On March 8, CarbonLITE Holdings, which says it’s “the world’s largest recycler of plastic beverage bottles,” announced it had filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The action pertains to CarbonLITE’s three facilities in Riverside, Calif.; Dallas; and Reading, Penn. It also applies to PinnPACK Packaging (Oxnard, Calif.), a subsidiary of CarbonLITE and producer of recycled plastic packaging. In its filing, the company reports a total of 100-199 creditors, $10 million to $50 million in assets, and $50 million to $100 million in liabilities. CarbonLITE plans to renegotiate customer contracts to “ensure solid financial footing.”

The filing will not affect production at the facilities or employee compensation and will not result in any layoffs, CarbonLITE says. In addition, it adds, “there will be no stoppage of supply to CarbonLITE’s customers during the reorganization period.”

CarbonLITE says the decision to file for bankruptcy was a direct result of pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including “temporary production slow-downs caused by employee illness, the low price of virgin plastic relative to rPET, and a nine-month delay in the grand opening of the company’s new Pennsylvania facility caused by travel restrictions that held up equipment commissioning by European manufacturers.”

CarbonLITE has undergone a capital-intensive few years, expanding its Dallas facility and building a 270,000-square-foot facility in Reading, which includes advanced sorting technology and is “the largest standalone bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in the world,” according to CarbonLITE. The plant began production last October.

CarbonLITE supplies major beverage producers Coca-Cola, Nestle Waters North America, and PepsiCo, among others. It opened its first plant in Riverside in 2012.


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