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LEADING PLASTIC BOTTLE RECYCLER ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION

 YORK, Pa. April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Graham Recycling Company is poised for its second expansion in less than a year, according to company officials.
 The plastics recycling company will add a third processing line at its York plant to provide additional recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) for Graham Packaging Company. HDPE is the material used to make the majority of today's plastic containers.
 Graham Recycling started its second line in mid 1992 -- and already produces more recycled HDPE used in making new bottles than any other company in the world. The new addition will expand that lead and push the plant's capacity to 28 million bottles per month, according to Roger Prevot, president and general manager of Graham's recycling business.
 Graham Packaging, which has 27 bottle-making plants throughout North America is the world's largest producer of HDPE bottles. In addition, the company is also the largest consumer of recycled HDPE, using that material to make new bottles for leading consumer packaged goods companies.
 "Our demand for recycled HDPE has doubled annually for the last three years," said Gerry Claes, Graham Packaging's director of environmental programs, "and we expect that to happen again this year. In fact, Graham Packaging's increased demand for recycled plastic will allow Graham Recycling Company to recapture 315 million used HDPE bottles annually. If you placed all of those bottles end to end, they would circle the earth 1.9 times."
 Claes said that virtually all of Graham Packaging's customers are now using recycled plastic in their non-food bottles. And, he said, the percentage of recycled material used in those bottles continues to grow. This growing usage has helped the emerging recycling industry become more competitive with virgin plastics.
 "Our customers have made a commitment to the use of recycled plastic," said Claes. "They want an environmentally-friendly package and they helped us develop our bottles-to-bottles recycling program."
 All of Graham Packaging's customers have committed to the use of at least 25 percent recycled plastic in their non-food bottles, Claes said. And, today Graham Packaging makes almost 2 billion bottles a year using plastic recycled from old HDPE bottles.
 "This is a strong recycling success story," said Prevot. "We think this kind of closed-loop bottles-to-bottles program is the future of recycling. In fact, the biggest problem we're facing right now is getting enough community recycling programs collecting quality material to feed our recycling plant. Graham Packaging has projected continued rapid growth in the use of recycled HDPE and we need to get our sources established right now."
 Graham Recycling Company will need an additional 20 million pounds of baled, used bottles from community collection programs, Prevot said. And, the increasing demand for HDPE means that communities will find ready markets for the bottles they collect.
 Prevot said that Graham Engineering -- a sister company of both Graham Recycling and Graham Packaging -- is already at work on engineering for the plant expansion.
 "We designed the building to accommodate at least three recycling lines without additional construction," Prevot said. "It's a pleasant surprise that we're adding that third line less than three years after we opened the doors."
 Graham Recycling Company, Graham Packaging Company and Graham Engineering Corporation are all wholly-owned by The Graham Companies, a privately held group based in York, Pennsylvania. The Graham Companies are involved in consumer packaging worldwide and Graham Packaging recently announced the acquisition of Plax, Canada's largest manufacturer of custom blow-molded plastic containers and a major user of recycled plastic.
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Patrick M. Early of Alliance Communications Group, 717-852-0322, for The Graham Companies/


CO: The Graham Companies ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

CC -- PH009 -- 8539 04/21/93 09:22 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1993
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