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The plastics division of the American Chemistry Council announced KW Plastics, Safeplay Systems, and Sony Electronics Inc., were the winners of this year's Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards.This year's winners are being celebrated for developing innovative processes and/or products using post-consumer recycled plastics, ACC stated.

PlasticsToday Staff

November 16, 2012

3 Min Read
ACC recognizes innovators in plastics recycling

The plastics division of the American Chemistry Council announced KW Plastics, Safeplay Systems, and Sony Electronics Inc., were the winners of this year's Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards.

This year's winners are being celebrated for developing innovative processes and/or products using post-consumer recycled plastics, ACC stated.

"Thanks to the creative advancements brought about by these recyclers and others like them, we are able to keep more valuable plastics out of landfills than ever before," said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for ACC. "Used plastics are too valuable to waste and can be recycled to make high-quality, innovative products, such as furniture, car parts, home building products, fashion and packaging."

KW Plastics was awarded for its approaches to recycling post-consumer polypropylene packaging. 

Due to the range of polypropylene products found in household waste, many reclaimers have had difficulty handling the various melt flows, layers and additives.

KW Plastics has developed processes, specifications and equipment that overcome these challenges, allowing the processing of yogurt cups, butter tubs, ketchup bottles, juice boxes and even corrugated yard signs made from polypropylene-and all as part of an integrated processing system. 

The Troy, AL-based firm now purchases these items from around the country and reprocesses them. 

In addition, KW Plastics is the first domestic reprocessor to collect and recycle woven and non-woven flexible polypropylene. KW Plastics currently has the capacity to reprocess 450 million pounds of high-density polyethylene and 300 million pounds of polypropylene annually.

IMG_6993.JPGSafeplay Systems won for EcoPlay, its line of playground equipment for schools and parks made from post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

EcoPlay lumber is made from a minimum 95% post-consumer recycled content. On average each playground structure keeps more than 35,000 milk jugs out of landfills. 

Safeplay has its own recycling program and accepts all its products for re-recycling at the end of their useful lives.

"We are proud of our high-performance polypropylene structures that don't splinter, crack, swell or rust and are virtually maintenance free. But more than that, environmental stewardship is an integral part of Safeplay Systems' business, and we are honored to be recognized for our innovations in plastics recycling," said Eric Torrey, director of marketing for Safeplay Systems.

Sony Electronics Inc. won for its development of SoRPlas, a material made from 99% recycled polycarbonate that is used in the housings of some of Sony's popular consumer products, particularly in high-end cameras. To make SoRPlas, Sony uses 50% post-industrial scrap from optical disc manufacturing, such as CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, and 50% post-consumer recycled plastics from end-of-life products, containers and other items. 

The Sony Group uses more than 17,000 tons of recycled plastics annually, including SoRPlas, in various products.

"Sony is dedicated to protecting and improving the environment in all parts of our business," said Doug Smith, director of corporate environmental affairs for Sony Electronics Inc. "We are excited to be recognized for developing SoRPlas, a durable resin made from recycled polycarbonate that helps to conserve resources and reduce emissions in the manufacturing process, and we are committed to expanding the use of recycled plastics in our products as research continues."

The annual event honors companies and individuals who have successfully brought new technologies, products and initiatives into communities and/or the marketplace. Last year Axion International Inc., Nepco Industrial Company Ltd. and Trex Company were selected to receive awards.

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