PLASTICS names sustainability award winners 

May 2, 2024
Voting for People's Choice and awards ceremony will take place during NPE.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has announced the winners of its 2024 Plastic Sustainability Innovation Awards, recognizing innovations in plastics manufacturing that further environmental advantages in design, material and end-of-life management.  

PLASTICS’ VP of sustainability, Patrick Krieger, congratulated the winners. “The plastic industry is constantly innovating to find new ways to keep plastic waste out of our environment and use resources responsibly. I congratulate our winners and look forward to presenting these companies with their well-deserved awards and voting for the People’s Choice Award.”   

The award ceremony will take place at NPE2024 at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, in Room W314A. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will take place at NPE on Monday and Tuesday and will be announced at the ceremony.  

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award 

Eastman’s new material-to-material molecular recycling facility in Tennessee is the largest in the world, with the capacity to process 110,000 metric tons of polyester waste that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. Eastman’s process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 50 percent when compared to traditional processes.  

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award 

Bantam Materials UK Ltd. won for their Prevented Ocean Plastic Initiative. Bantam creates a market for discarded PET in countries with severely lacking recycling systems. It has directly supported the construction of 13 collection centers, generated over 500,000 bottle collector workdays, created nearly 2,000 jobs and prevented more than 2 billion bottles from entering the ocean. 

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award 

With its ELV Bumper Recycling Program, Ultra-Poly developed a complete reverse logistics collection program with auto body shops for bumper covers — a previously wasted material — and now recycles about 1.2 million pounds per year. The recycled pellets are now in commercial production of a wheel outer liner for GM heavy-duty pickup trucks, completing vehicle-to-vehicle circularity. 

Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award 

Polycarbin earned the Leadership Award, for the company with the best overall score across the three categories, for its Circular Economy for Laboratory Plastics and Carbin Counter Platform. Polycarbin has a complete closed-loop system for collecting, recycling and re-manufacturing laboratory plastic products such as pipette tips, tubes, tube racks, etc. They also provide a tracking software, Carbin Counter, that relays the information back to users. 

People's Choice Award finalists 

Amcor – Blue Bin 100 percent PCR Wine Bottle   

Amcor Rigid Packaging, in conjunction with Ron Rubin Winery, recently brought to market Blue Bin, a premium wine packaged in a 750ml bottle made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) material — a first in North America.   

Avient – Versaflex HC BIO BT218 Material   

Avient’s Versaflex HC BIO BT218 was developed as a more sustainable alternative to single-use biopharmaceutical tubing materials. This first-generation plant-based product provides critical requirements for single-use applications, such as clarity, flexibility and low extractable/leachable profile, while reducing the product carbon footprint by 25 percent over petroleum-based elastomers and an even greater reduction compared to silicone.   

Coperion GmbH – ZSK FilCo Filtration Compounder   

For recycling of PCR or any highly contaminated polymer, Coperion has developed the ZSK FilCo filtration compounder that allows filtration and compounding in a single production step. It offers a streamlined equipment setup, while extrusion energy consumption and emissions are reduced by more than 50 percent, and the resulting once-melted resin is a higher-quality product.    

Hoola One Technologies, Inc. – HO Wrack   

The HO Wrack is a portable and mobile treatment plant adapted for removing plastic pellet spills from unpaved areas, where pellets mix with other materials such as rocks, dirt or other organic matter. The HO Wrack technology separates plastic from other natural materials to the point where all of the natural material is returned to the ground and the pellets can be recycled and re-sold. This gives companies a more economical way to comply with regulations than the remediation costs of excavation and disposal of contaminated soil.   

PureCycle Technologies – PureFive Ultra-Pure Recycling Process   

This polypropylene (PP) recycling technology consists of seven main process stages that help close the loop on plastic waste while making recycled plastics more accessible at scale. The unique purification process uses extraction and filtration to remove color, odor, and other impurities from PP waste resulting in an industry-first Ultra-Pure Recycled resin that can be recycled and reused multiple times.