Sustainable Innovation in End of Life Award Winners
The Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award is presented to innovations in recycling or composting processes or equipment. These innovations facilitate the recycling or composting of plastic or bioplastic materials. Innovations in the plastic end-of-life space allows the industry to more efficiently reprocess these materials and increase the volume of material suitable to continue into a second, third, fourth life.
A major sustainability goal of the plastics industry is to ever-increase the volume and amount of product types that can be collected, sorted, and processed through recycling or composting facilities. These inventions help us all to achieve this goal.
The Rotary Impact Separator dis-assembles post consumer carpet into clean face fiber, clean backing fiber, and a limestone granulate. This is a novel mechanical process that uses only enough mechanical force to disengage the face fiber and the backing fiber from each other, and from the limestone backing material. The processed carpet is ideal for chemical recycling. The fiber is can also be pelletized or densified and used in a wide variety of injection molding applications. The limestone granulate is used in road construction, and as a filler in rubber and plastic products.
2020 Leadership in Sustainable Innovation Award: PureCycle Technologies - Polypropylene physical separation and purification technology
PureCycle Technologies’ process removes contaminants, odors and colors from recycled feedstock, producing highly desirable resin that is near virgin quality which can be used in consumer facing applications. This groundbreaking process does not require any chemical reactions and uses similar operating conditions comparable to current polyolefin (PP and PE) production. Initial life cycle analysis suggests that the PureCycle process (including collection, processing, and distribution) uses ~1/8 the nonrenewable energy required to produce virgin polypropylene.
2020 Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award Winner: Eastman & Shelton Group - Carbon Renewal Technology (CRT)
Carbon Renewal Technology (CRT) breaks down waste plastics into molecular building blocks like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen and turns those building blocks into new virgin-quality plastics. CRT is a game-changer for recycling because it provides an end-of-life solution for many plastics from a variety of sources, such as single-use plastics, textiles, and carpet, that traditional mechanical recycling methods cannot process. The durable goods produced from this technology can be infinitely recycled through the same CRT process, creating a fully circular model and a reduction in the virgin materials needed.
2021 Leadership in Sustainable Innovation Award Winner: Chevron Phillips Chemical - conversion technology to create Marlex® Anew™ Circular PE
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) is the first petrochemical producer to publicly announce the successful commercial-scale production of circular polyethylene (PE) in the United States from recycled, mixed-waste plastic. This product, branded as Marlex® Anew™ Circular PE, is produced through advanced recycling technologies. It is certified recycled PE by the ISCC Plus™ approach via their rigorous mass-balance certification methodology. CPChem has announced plans to produce and sell 1 billion pounds of Circular PE by 2030.
2021 Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award Winner: Digimarc Corporation - Digimarc Digital Watermarking Technology
Digimarc digital watermarking technology creates a "digital recycling passport" into any printed material or plastic object. Although the digital identifier is visually imperceptible to humans, it can be detected by computing devices with cameras (smartphones, sorting machines, point-of-sale, etc.) In essence, most any media or 3D object can be turned into an ‘internet of things’ (IoT) object, linked to virtually unlimited data about the object. This enables sorting equipment and recycling facility operators to sort and filter based on the object at its unique product level, such as manufacturer, product SKU, resin type, various components of multi-layer packaging, prior food vs non-food contact, CO2 footprint, carbon-black, etc. Consumer can scan similarly enhanced packaged to obtain disposal instructions on a specific package, based on their geo-location or municipal recycler.
2022 Leadership in Sustainable Innovation Award Winner: Ford Motor Company - Industry FIRST Closed Loop Recycling of Additive Manufacturing Waste To Replace Injection Molded Automotive Parts.
Typically, even in the most efficient 3D printing processes, there is the material that is not consumed, and there are prototype parts that do not have long lifespans. Hence, scrap is generated and, without a way to reuse it, it is destined for a landfill. Here, Ford offers a solution for recycling this waste material into a high-quality injection molded part.
Ford partnered with HP, Lavergne (Tier 2), and A Raymond (Tier 1) to recycle waste polymer additive powder and 3D printed parts from HP’s high-capacity MultiJet Fusion (MJF) printers. The waste polymer is compounded into pellets that are then injection molded.
2022 Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award Winner: JP Industrial Products - AERO Screening Technology (Aspiration-Elutriation-Reduction-Optimization)
The proprietary process by which JPI captures and converts PVC materials to reusable form is called AERO Screening Technology (Aspiration-Elutriation-Reduction-Optimization). The materials this process allows us to recover are a high-grade PVC powder that can be used in a variety of quality applications. JPI's proprietary processing line is aimed at reclaiming PVC that has been historically designated as waste. This line optimizes byproducts of the recycling process as it pertains specifically to vinyl window scrap materials. Processing hundreds of millions of pounds of vinyl window scrap annually, JPI saw gaps in available technology to capture the abundance of waste that is created in the recycling process itself. Aimed at maximizing recovery rates and limiting the volume that was being landfilled, JPI designed and implemented new processing equipment and strategies that captured this material in a form that could be reused. This material has been used in a variety of end life applications and products, many of which are, more likely than not, in the building products in your home.