In another move designed to promote a green economy, add green collar jobs to Arizona’s workforce, and further the Phoenix Climate Action Plan Goal of reaching zero waste by 2050, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, District Seven Councilwoman (and Congressional Candidate) Yassamin Ansari, along with representatives from ASU, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, and Hustle Phx, attended the grand opening of Circular Plastics Micro Factory on February 6, 2024.
The factory, located at the Goodwill Retail Operations Center in Phoenix, will specialize in recycling plastic products, deposited in landfills for example, and convert them into new products such as skateboards and furniture.
This will create, according to an account from Mikala Kass at ASU News, circular economic opportunities where this factory and others like it “will give discarded plastic new life by using it to make new products that are sold and used in the community again.”
The intended environmental benefit will “keep waste from going to landfills. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need for shipping recyclable plastics to processing facilities elsewhere.”
Furthermore, this “facility will employ around 10 people and is expected to save up to 550 tons of plastic from the landfill per year — over three times the weight of the Statue of Liberty. It is seeking partnerships and collaborations now and is expected to be open for business this summer.”
Speaking at the event, Mayor Gallego thanked all the partners that attended the ceremony, former Mayor Greg Stanton, and her team at the City of Phoenix, stating:
“…We are excited to make history today in Phoenix…It’s exciting to be leading in innovation right now…We want to be the most sustainable desert city and this is a very important step forward…It’s really exciting to see what is possible when a great group of people come together with a mission to change the world…Our team at the City of Phoenix has long been ambitious on circular economy. We have set a goal of 50 percent diversion by 2030 and zero waste by 2050. Investments like this will make that ambition possible and we are really excited to lead the way in that area…With partners like Hustle PHX and Goodwill, can help people get great jobs in sustainability…I’m excited to see what Hustle PHX and their entrepreneurs will do with the amazing feed stock that is coming out of this facility; the products that they will probably invent, I can’t even imagine…We are really excited for the innovation and again, Phoenix will be known for whatever great ideas come out of this facility, putting us on the global map for the right reasons.”
Calling this a “great win for Phoenix,” the Mayor and her team explained the days events further in the below social media post:
In her remarks, Councilwoman Ansari offered:
“…I’m so thrilled that this first of its kind innovation and circular plastics micro factory is located in District Seven…I want to take a moment to really appreciate what a big deal this is and thank all of the partners who’ve worked for a decade to make it happen…A huge thank you to the partners that have been mentioned…ASU, the City of Phoenix, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona and Hustle PHX who have embarked on this exciting journey leading the sustainable breakthrough of localizing components along our plastic supply chain generating revenue for Arizona based businesses, establishing local markets, and creating green jobs along the way…There’s no doubt that plastic pollution is an enormous problem, not only here in Phoenix but worldwide. We see plastic waste on our streets, in our waterways and islands of plastic the size of Arizona in our oceans. It clogs our landfills with materials that will virtually never break down…At this 10,000 square foot facility, plastic waste presents an opportunity that will improve public wellbeing through entrepreneurship while also preventing valuable commodities from ending up in our landfill. Again this is a huge, huge deal not only for Phoenix, but hopefully one day the world…”
Later on social media, the Councilwoman posted a video clip of Mayor Gallego cutting the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony.