Call it a challenge to the industry, call it a possibility, call it what you will: Sustainability is taking on an ever-greater weight In discussions in the plastics industry, and beyond the industry, too, as others view plastics and see possibility or, too often, simply trash. In case you missed these articles, all recently covered in our NewsFeed daily e-newsletter, here is a recap of four current events involving the “green” discussion within the plastics Industry. Three of the four articles are about people who see the possibility; the third, though, sounds like a potential challenge. Backed by one of the industry’s notable processors, with 100 million lb of PET recycling capacity planned forits start, CarbonLITE Industries is putting down its roots in a new 220,000 square feet facility in Riverside, CA. The plant is scheduled to come onstream in mid-2011. The company is the brainchild of Leon Farahnik, one of the most successful plastics processors in North America.  Farahnik’s holding company, HPC Industries LLC, in April 2010 completed the sale of its thermoforming business, PWP Industries, to Pactiv Corp. for $200 million.  PWP had established a postconsumer recyclate PET (PCR-PET) recycling facility in Parkersburg, WV in mid-2008. Earlier in his career Farahnik started a company that eventually grew into Hilex-Poly, the world’s largest processor of plastic shopping bags. As we reported in our Notable Processors feature in the April 2010 issue, Farahnik had said he intended to enter the PET recycling market; CarbonLITE will be the fruit of his efforts. With $40 million invested in it, the newly formed company will produce bottle-grade PET pellet and flake from postconsumer PET bottles with a first-phase annual capacity of 100 million Ib per annum. This will make CarbonLITE the largest bottle-grade PCR-PET producer in the western United States. The challenge for the company will be out-bidding Chinese companies for the PET recyclate collected in California. Plans already are in the works to double its capacity to 200 million lb when a second phase comes onstream in 2012. Until the Riverside facility is operational, the CarbonLITE team will operate from HPC’s offices in Century City (Los Angeles).