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Clear Path Recycling Honored with Two GE Ecomagination Environment Awards

June 29, 2017 - Joint venture between Shaw Industries and DAK Americas reduces chemical use while optimizing its processes for recycling 3 billion plastic bottles into carpet fiber each year.

Shaw Industries

GE Water & Process Technologies has honored Clear Path Recycling with its prestigious Ecomagination Leadership and Return on Environment (ROE) awards to recognize the plastic bottle recycling operation for its noteworthy reductions in chemical usage and cost. Clear Path – a joint venture between Shaw Industries, a leading floorcovering provider, and DAK Americas, a leading producer of polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) resin – recycles approximately 3 billion plastic bottles annually. Converting post-consumer PET packaging into polyester fiber for Shaw’s carpet products saves approximately 1.5 trillion British thermal units of energy annually.

The GE Water & Process Technologies Ecomagination Leadership award recognizes the achievements of industrial users for striking a positive balance between today's environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges. It is given to the top GE customers in environmental and economic performance. The GE Water & Process Technologies ROE is a prestigious award honoring a significant environmental (water, energy, resource) accomplishment.

"Delivering a high quality, environmentally sustainable solution cost-effectively is paramount. GE devised a far-reaching strategy for us to improve chemical control, use more efficient chemical products and capture data to improve operations. The project exceeded our expectations in lowering costs, and the quality of our recycled product greatly improved. We are honored that GE recognized us with Ecomagination Leadership and ROE awards," said Carlos Garcia, managing director, Clear Path Recycling.

Faced with running a recycling operation more economically and the desire to become even more sustainable, Clear Path Recycling in Fayetteville, North Carolina, turned to GE’s advanced chemistry and digital tools to optimize its PET plastic bottle recycling process. As a result, the company substantially reduced chemical usage and costs while improving process control and quality.

"Our products are at the center of places where millions of life events occur. We can have a positive impact on people’s lives with our products and our operations,” stated Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs, Shaw Industries Group, Inc.. “A focus on material health, material reutilization and continuous improvement is part of our strategic approach to sustainability. That’s exemplified by this project.”

GE Water & Process Technologies provided Clear Path Recycling with chemistry and its InSight* asset performance management system, including advanced data analytics and process controls, and product quality improved dramatically, and material handling safety was enhanced.

GE's Gary Brown and Richard Ringler presented the awards at a ceremony last month to Clear Path Recycling’s Carlos Garcia, Marcelo Leal and Kent Robinson.

"This project is a shining example that a company can achieve sustainability goals while also realizing economic benefits. Clear Path Recycling is very deserving of both the GE Ecomagination Leadership and ROE awards for its leadership in this space,” said Amy Ericson, global leader, chemical and monitoring solutions—GE Water & Process Technologies.