Innovators in plastics recycling honored
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) named the winners of this year’s Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards. Three companies, DiversiTech Corporation, Entropex and Preserve®, 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 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,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for ACC. “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 percent recycled polypropylene scrap. Today, DiversiTech’s recycling facility, based in Conyers, Georgia, recycles millions of pounds of polypropylene annually.
•Entropex was awarded for creating its RigidReclaim™ 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 through 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, RigidReclaim technology was in place to process 110 million pounds per year of capacity, creating 90 fulltime jobs. According to Entropex, more than 70 percent of the plastics covered by RigidReclaim technology are not typically recycled by conventional methods.
•Preserve makes reusable food storage items, kitchenware and other popular consumer products from 100 percent recycled polypropylene here in the U.S. 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 or size.