Closed Loop Plastics, a Long Beach-based startup working to broaden the types of plastic materials that can be recycled and reused, is looking to expand operations from its Westside warehouse to at least one more location in California.
After completing the Long Beach Accelerator program as the only Long Beach-based company in the most recent cohort, the founding trio is now in the early stages of fundraising for an expansion that will allow them to build out a recycling facility closer to the waste processing plants that supply their base material, polystyrene.
“They’re smart and they’re energized, and they have a very interesting idea,” said Peter Greenthal, who mentored Closed Loop Plastics’ founders Sharon To, Aldrin Lupisan and Will Amos throughout the year as part of the accelerator program.
Now, it will be up to the trio to secure funding.
To open its new facility, Closed Loop Plastics is looking for $1.2 million in funding from investors and accelerators like the one they just completed in Long Beach.
Potential locations include San Luis Obispo, where the company has a longstanding partnership with the Cold Canyon landfill that currently supplies them with base materials. The company is also looking at properties in Marin County and Los Angeles.
Being closer to a waste processing plant or landfill would allow the company to significantly scale up its operations. But: “It’s all relatively new,” Lupisan said. “We’re still moving past the introductory stage.”
Through its proprietary technology, Closed Loop Plastics uses pre-sorted Type 6 plastic resin, which is then shredded, washed, dried and fed into a machine designed by the company to produce filament and resin used in 3D-printing and plastic molding.
While other companies already process other types of plastic like polyethylene terephthalate or PET, Type 6 resin is still largely underutilized, according to Lupisan. “[We’re] trying to tackle the rest of the plastic types that aren’t really widely recycled.”
Andrea White-Kjoss, director of the Long Beach Accelerator, from which the Closed Loop Plastics team graduated in October, said she’s confident that the trio will be able to grow its technology at scale and drive development in the recycling industry.
“Their team is really fantastic,” White-Kjoss said. “The solution that they have is head and shoulders above what else is available out there.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Closed Loop’s status as the only Long Beach-based company in the Long Beach Accelerator’s most recent cohort.