Plastics recycling innovators honored for plastic products

The American Chemistry Council announced the inaugural winners of its new Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards. Three companies – Axion International, Inc., Nepco Industrial Company Ltd., and Trex Company, were selected to receive awards. Altogether, these three companies employ 700 Americans and process about 325 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastics annually. The winners, all of which have successful business models, are being recognized for developing high-performing, popular products using post-consumer recycled plastics.

•The New Jersey-based Axion International, Inc. has received accolades for developing extremely strong and durable building products, including railroad ties made from 100 percent recycled plastics, primarily polyethylene. Axion’s products have been selected for use in numerous military and infrastructure projects.

“Collecting plastics from the waste stream isn’t difficult. The trick is developing demand for the tens of millions of pounds that are being collected and encouraging municipalities, businesses, and individuals to recycle even more,” said Jim Kerstein, founder and chief technology officer for Axion International, Inc.

  • Nepco Industrial Company Ltd. makes high-end moldings for picture frames from recycled expanded polystyrene at its 36,000 square foot facility in Chino, California. Nepco processes 4.2 million pounds of post-consumer polystyrene per year.
  • NEPCO prides itself on being an innovator in both recycling technology and recycled products, such as high-end picture frames. For example, our machinery can reduce the volume of expanded polystyrene by a factor of 80 to 1, making it easier for businesses and communities to manage this valuable material, while helping to protect the environment,” said Tommy Kim, director of operations for NEPCO.
  • Every year at its manufacturing facilities in Winchester, Virginia, and Fernley, Nevada, Trex Company transforms 300 million pounds of post-consumer polyethylene – primarily used plastics bags and wraps – into durable, high-end fencing and decking products. Trex estimates that it recycles 1.3 billion plastic grocery bags annually.

“The tremendous volumes of post-consumer plastics these companies rely on to manufacture products show that post-use plastics are valuable materials – too valuable to waste – and should be recycled,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council.

“In addition to railroad ties, picture frames and decking, recycled plastics are used to make a diverse range of products from women’s fashions to rugged outerwear, and from carpeting, car parts, and furniture, to new bottles, bags and containers,” Russell added.