The American Chemistry Council (ACC, americanchemistry.com) today announced the winners of this year’s Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards. Three companies, DiversiTech Corporation (diversitech.com), Entropex (entropex.com), and Preserve® (preserveproducts.com), were honored.
This year’s winners are being celebrated for developing innovative processes and products using post-industrial and/or post-consumer recycled plastics. Two of the award recipients recycle post-consumer rigid plastic packaging, a rapidly growing part of the plastics recycling industry. The awards were announced today in recognition of America Recycles Day, observed November 15.
"This year's award recipients – DiversiTech, Entropex and Preserve – have brought about successful innovations that are helping to significantly increase the recycling of rigid plastics like yogurt cups, deli and dairy containers, and caps and lids,” says Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “Rigid plastics represent one of the fastest growing segments of plastics recycling, which has nearly tripled since just 2007.”
- DiversiTech Corporation was selected for its use of post-industrial polypropylene with a wide range of specifications in air conditioning unit condenser pads. Although DiversiTech began manufacturing condenser pads from virgin polypropylene in 2004, the company gradually increased the ratio of recycled material until it was able to use 100% recycled polypropylene scrap. Today, DiversiTech’s recycling facility, based in Conyers, Georgia, recycles millions of pounds of polypropylene annually.
“The integration of recycled polypropylene has enabled DiversiTech to continue leading in our product line segment, while innovating in tangential channels,” says Mark Minor, vice president, eastern operations at DiversiTech. “We have been able to use post-industrial polypropylene material streams that are difficult for other processors. This flexibility has driven our engineering teams to innovate with a number of internally developed processes.”
- Entropex was awarded for creating its RigidReclaimTM technology, which recovers non-bottle plastic containers (e.g., food tubs, lids, thermoform packaging, cups, trays, and clamshells) for all major packaging resins (i.e., identification codes #1-7). This technology integrates state-of-the-art plastics sorting, cleaning, and processing to upgrade the quality of recycled mixed plastics. As of January 2013, RigidReclaimTM technology was in place to process 110 million pounds/year of capacity, creating 90 fulltime jobs. According to Entropex, more than 70% of the plastics covered by RigidReclaimTM technology are not typically recycled by conventional methods.
“At Entropex, we believe that having a clear sustainability strategy and message is paramount to long-term success,” says Keith Bechard, president of Entropex. “Plastic containers and lids are too valuable to waste and should be recycled after use. Entropex is proud to be recognized by the American Chemistry Council and privileged to be included in the company of the other award winners. We accept the award with gratitude and appreciation.”
- Preserve makes reusable food storage items, kitchenware and other popular consumer products from 100% recycled polypropylene here in the USA. Through Preserve’s “Gimme 5” program, which involves major brands and consumers in the collection process, Preserve is now collecting 242,000 pounds of polypropylene annually for recycling. Gimme 5 provides end-of-use solutions for companies that sponsor the program, in cases where products can be difficult to recycle due to undeveloped end markets (e.g., post-consumer polypropylene), mixed materials (e.g., drinking water filters) or size (e.g. lip balm containers).
"Preserve's products and Gimme 5 program are a testament to what is possible with recycling in the USA. With the help of the millions of consumers who recycle, we can transform everyday items like yogurt cups into new products,” says John Lively, director of environment and materials science at Preserve.