MAY 2010
                                        

SPE chooses recipients of 2010 awards

The Plastics Environmental Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) announced the recipients of the Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC) 2010 Environmental Stewardship Awards.

The award recipients are listed below:

Chairman’s Award

Nicos Polymers Group, Nazareth, Pennsylvania – For a proprietary process for the removal of continuous fiber reinforcement from flexible composites, making possible the cleanest recovery of the valuable polymer substrate.

Daniel Eberhardt Environmental Stewardship Award

Delta Plastics of the South, Little Rock, Arkansas – Having achieved its goal of reclaiming and recycling 100 percent of its used manufactured LLDPE irrigation tubing, Delta Plastics is now recycling a large portion of competitors’ tubing and an additional 1,436,000 pounds per month of miscellaneous LDPE products into certified post-consumer resin.

Plastic Materials from Renewable Sources

Arkema Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –. Pebax® RNew is the first engineering thermoplastic elastomer range made from renewable resources. 

New Environmental Technologies in Conventional Plastic Materials

BIOtech Products LLC, Randolph, New Jersey –. BIOchem™ organometallic additives render conventional plastics landfill biodegradable in accordance with ASTM D 5526 for anaerobic biodegradation in landfills, while retaining or improving normal service life and processing as typically expected of organotitanates.

Emerging Technologies in Materials, Processing & Applications

Eco Research Institute Ltd.,Tokyo, Japan – New technologies for pulverizing paper into powders as minute as 50 μm (50 X 10-6 m) and compounding the paper with plastics yield pelletized eco-friendly plastics for mass-production molding.

Design for Sustainability

VAST Enterprises LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota –Composite pavers produced from a proprietary blend of up to 95 percent recycled car tires and plastic containers meet the demanding requirements for aesthetics, durability, sustainability, and installation efficiency.

Amway, Ada, Michigan – “Design for Sustainability”. The eSpring System is an innovative water purifier that incorporates a sustainable design based on life-cycle assessment without sacrificing the features and benefits that consumers desire. 

Plastics Recycling Technologies and Applications

Associated Packaging Technologies, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania –A range of thermoformed crystalline PET (CPET) trays is designed with smaller environmental impacts than traditional CPET products. 

Carpet/Floor/Wall Coverings Recycling

Mannington Mills Inc., Salem, New Jersey – Mannington has expanded LOOP™, their program for recycling post-consumer carpet into carpet and resilient, to now include recycling vinyl composition tile. 

Enabling Technologies in Processes and Procedures

Mack Molding Company, Arlington, Vermont and BigBelly Solar, Needham, Massachusetts –  The BigBelly® Solar Compactor is a solar-powered compacting trash receptacle for large scale, low-cost municipal waste collection; Mack injection molds the solar bubble, fabricates the back panel and door, procures over 150 unique parts, and totally assembles the compactor and optional recycler for direct shipment to BigBelly Solar’s customers all over the world.

DETAILS ON GPEC® 2010 ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS

Awards Criteria:

To be considered for the GPEC 2010 Achievement Awards, an entry had to meet the following criteria:

1.  Must involve plastics.

2.  Must contribute to environmental improvement.

3.  Must have been commercially adopted or accepted in 2009.

4.  Must promote leadership in environmental areas.

5.  Contribution should be verifiable.

6.  Should facilitate innovation, standards, regulations, etc.

7.  Must demonstrate leadership in a specific area—technology, marketing, legislation, education, community, etc.

8.  Must demonstrate creativity and originality.

9.  Must have significant impact, showing value for its intended purpose.

The ‘Daniel Eberhardt Environmental Stewardship’ award is presented to the nominee who is totally committed to the spirit of environmental sustainability in all their actions and meets and surpasses all of the criteria described above.

•    Nicos Polymers Group (Nazareth, PA): CHAIRMAN’S AWARD for a proprietary process for the removal of continuous fiber reinforcement from flexible composites, making possible the cleanest recovery of the valuable polymer substrate.

Originally developed for reclaiming PVC from garden hose, the process also yields excellent results with industrial hoses, single-ply roofing membrane (both TPO- and PVC-based), and architectural wall coverings.  Nicos Polymers Group specializes in developing recycling processes that reclaim the value in manufacturing waste.

•    Delta Plastics of the South (Little Rock, AR): DANIEL EBERHARDT ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD. Having achieved its extraordinary goal of reclaiming and recycling virtually 100% of its used manufactured LLDPE irrigation tubing, Delta Plastics is now recycling a large portion of competitors’ tubing and an additional 1,436,000 pounds (650 metric tons) per month of miscellaneous LDPE products into certified post-consumer resin.

Among the LDPE products being reclaimed by Delta Plastics of the South are gas field pond liners, greenhouse film, drip tape, mulch film,  and grain bags. The company is the industry leader in the manufacturing of agricultural irrigation tubing. Its corporate slogan, “Preserving our Farmland,” reflects a commitment to “take out what we put in” the environment. Delta Plastics of the South is a true “Green Leader” in taking its manufactured product full cycle (virgin polyethylene resin to certified post consumer resin) and doing it in environmentally friendly manner. www.deltapl.com

•    Arkema Inc. (Philadelphia, PA): “Plastic Materials from Renewable Sources” . Pebax® RNew is the first engineering thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) range made from renewable resources. 

Arkema’s Pebax® Rnew and Rnew 100 are polyether block amide (PEBA)-type materials based on a natural vegetable oil extracted from a non-edible crop.  These new resins magnify the outstanding features of PEBA through a favorable crystalline structure of the polyamide 11 phase.  Normalized fossil energy requirements for production, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, are reduced when compared with similar products based on petroleum resources.  A global chemical company and France’s leading chemical producer, Arkema is present in over 40 countries with 15,000 employees and achieved sales of 5.6 billion euros in 2008. www.arkema-inc.com

•    BIOtech Products LLC (Randolph, New Jersey): “New Environmental Technologies in Conventional Plastic Materials”. BIOchem™ organometallic additives render conventional plastics landfill biodegradable (in accordance with ASTM D 5526 for anaerobic biodegradation in landfills), while retaining or improving normal service life and processing as typically expected of organotitanates.

BIOchem enables anaerobic landfill microbes to penetrate most hydrophobic polymers such as PVC, styrenics, or polyolefins and initiate degradative mechanisms in a relatively short time.  Biodegradation with BIOchem-containing articles does not occur under aerobic conditions and therefore does not compromise outdoor service, but it does occur at the end of their usefulness under anaerobic landfill conditions. BIOtech Products, LLC was formed to expand the use of BIOchem beyond PVC and polystyrene BIOflex® signage produced by Ultraflex Systems, Inc. into the ubiquitous plastics market. www.biotech-products.net

•    Eco Research Institute Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan): “Emerging Technologies in Materials, Processing & Applications”. New technologies for pulverizing paper into powders as minute as 50 μm (50 X 10-6 m) and compounding the paper with plastics yield pelletized eco-friendly plastics for mass-production molding.

Pellets can contain up to 70% paper. This product can reduce CO2 emission dramatically by recycling paper. It is also free from toxic gas emission at the time of incineration. Currently the technology is commercially available in polypropylene for injection molding products. Other formulation work with different base polymers is ongoing. www.er-kankyo.co.jp/eri

•    VAST Enterprises LLC (Minneapolis, MN): “Design for Sustainability”. Composite pavers produced from a proprietary blend of up to 95% recycled car tires and plastic containers meet the demanding requirements for aesthetics, durability, sustainability, and installation efficiency.

VAST pavers can contribute to projects achieving LEED® certification. VAST’s composite material imparts rich colors, superior slip resistance, and high strength at one-third the weight of concrete pavers. Their weight advantage makes them ideal for rooftop patios and decks. VAST pavers are easy to work with. When the pavers are inserted into VAST’s grid system, they are automatically spaced and aligned. http://vastpavers.com

•    Amway (Ada, MI): “Design for Sustainability”. The eSpring System is an innovative water purifier that incorporates a sustainable design based on life-cycle assessment without sacrificing the features and benefits that consumers desire. 

The use of GaBi™ software allowed the design team to measure the effects of design and material variables so that the effect to the environment could be minimized, but still retain critical capabilities of the system.  This led to a design that had less of an environmental impact than the previous design, while still providing superior water filtration capabilities, eliminating 99.9% of disease-causing bacteria and viruses and filtering out more than 140 contaminants that could affect human health. www.espring.com

•    Associated Packaging Technologies (Chadds Ford, PA): “Plastics Recycling Technologies and Applications”. A range of thermoformed crystalline PET (CPET) trays is designed with smaller environmental impacts than traditional CPET products. 

By engaging a strategic supply partner and implementing innovative process improvements, Associated Packaging Technologies provides a wide variety of CPET trays for direct food contact.  Using up to 40% post-consumer recycled PET, APT’s RePET™ trays are suitable for microwave or conventional oven cooking, while maintaining price parity with traditional CPET trays. In 2009 substitution of virgin PET resin with recycled PET allowed energy optimization and eliminated an estimated 12,910 of CO2 emissions from the environment. www.aptechnologies.com

•    Mannington Mills Inc. (Salem, NJ): “Carpet/Floor/Wall Coverings Recycling”. Mannington has expanded LOOP™, their program for recycling post-consumer carpet into carpet and resilient, to now include recycling vinyl composition tile (VCT). 

“VCT n2 VCT” introduces 3 premium commercial tile product lines with 25% post-consumer content, an amount unmatched in the marketplace. The resilient flooring industry has historically been challenged with developing a technically viable take-back program, but Mannington’s innovation, significant investment, and progressive product has already prevented millions of pounds of used VCT from being sent to landfill. The product also includes recycled drywall diverted from landfills.  The product is third-party certified for 25% recycled content and at the Gold level as environmentally preferable, to the NSF-332-2007 standard. www.mannington.com

•    Mack Molding Company (Arlington, VT) and BigBelly Solar (Needham, MA): “Enabling Technologies in Processes and Procedures”. The BigBelly® Solar Compactor is a solar-powered compacting trash receptacle for large scale, low-cost municipal waste collection; Mack injection molds the solar bubble, fabricates the back panel and door, procures over 150 unique parts, and totally assembles the compactor and optional recycler for direct shipment to BigBelly Solar’s customers all over the world.

The Big Belly Solar Compactor is used in waste collection programs that are now being conducted in 45 states and 20 countries. Rather than connecting to the grid, BigBelly gets 100% of its energy from the sun and uses less than five watt hours per day. Similar in size to an ordinary trash receptacle, its capacity is five times greater (160 gallons) because of compaction. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. By displacing four out of five trash pick-ups, BigBelly dramatically reduces transportation and labor costs as well.