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GPEC 2010 Environmental Awards spotlight tech advances

The list of Environmental Stewardship Awards that the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) will present during the Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC, Orlando, FL, March 8-10) is vivid testimony to the progress being made in all phases of recycling plastics, from product design through reuse.

In total, SPE's Plastics Environmental Division gave 10 awards to processors, resin producers, recycling organizations, brand owners, and research organizations for a broad variety of technical achievements. The Chairman's Award went to Nicos Polymers Group (Nazareth, PA) for its proprietary process to remove continuous fiber reinforcement from flexible composites, allowing clean recovery of the polymer substrate.

The Daniel Eberhardt Environmental Stewardship Award is going to Delta Plastics of the South (Little Rock, AR) for meeting its lofty goal of reclaiming and recycling virtually 100% of the used LLDPE irrigation tubing it produces. Going beyond that, Delta Plastics now recycles a large quantity of its competitors' tubing and another 718 tons per month of miscellaneous LDPE products into certified post-consumer resin.

Other award winners include Arkema Inc. (Philadelphia, PA), for Pebax RNew engineering TPE line made from renewable resources; BIOtech Products (Randolph, NJ), for organometallic additives to make conventional plastics landfill biodegradable; Eco Research Institute (Tokyo, Japan), technology for micro-pulverizing paper and compounding it into eco-friendly plastics; Vast Enterprises (Minneapolis, MN), for composite pavers made from a blend of recycled car tires and plastic containers; Amway (Ada, MI), for its  eSpring System consumer water purifier; Associated Packaging Technologies (Chadds Ford, PA), for thermoformed CPET trays with lower environmental impact than previous versions; Mannington Mills (Salem, NJ), for its LOOP program, which recycles postconsumer carpet back into carpet and resilient vinyl composition tile; Mack Molding (Arlington, VT) and BigBelly Solar (Needham, MA), for a solar-powered compacting trash receptacle for low-cost municipal waste collection.

For full information on the awards and on the comprehensive program at GPEC 2010, look at www.sperecycling.org or www.4spe.org. [email protected]

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