Plastics Industry Association sets 100% waste diversion goal at NPE2018

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS; Washington, DC), producer of NPE2018, has announced a 100% waste diversion goal for next month’s event. The goal demonstrates the association’s commitment to sustainability and aims to exceed the 87% of waste that was diverted from the last NPE show in 2015.

shredded plastic
Image courtesy WEIMA.

To achieve this objective, Commercial Plastics Recycling (CPR; Tampa, FL) will collect and remove scrap plastic from the show floor and transport it to the new on-site recycling area in the Westwood parking lot, sponsored by WEIMA America (Fort Mill, SC). After the plastics have been collected directly from exhibitors, scrap will be sorted prior to being ground in WEIMA’s two-stage shredding system, which will reduce the collected scrap plastic into small pieces before it is transported to CPR’s headquarters in Tampa. Attendees are invited to visit the demonstration area to see the recycling process in action, said the PLASTICS release.

“The addition of on-site grinding capabilities will ensure an even greener NPE,” said Paul Benvenuti of CPR. “Recycling the plastic before transportation will allow us to use fewer trucks when hauling it to our facility in Tampa, resulting in fewer carbon emissions.”

While PET was one of the top materials recycled at NPE2015, PLASTICS explained to PlasticsToday that HDPE and PP were even larger when combined. PET is handled one of two ways, said PLASTICS: “By bringing material to Tampa or collecting it in Orlando for further processing of any materials that are not post-industrial grade.”

Since all the materials will be post-industrial, there will be no labels or other contamination on the waste plastics, PLASTICS told PlasticsToday. Thus there will be no need for washing or other cleaning.

At the CPR plant in Tampa, the plastic that was removed from the show floor will undergo rigorous quality control testing to make sure it meets material specifications before it is sold to end users. Once sold, the plastic can be reborn in new products, often being used in place of virgin plastic materials.

“Plastics are a valuable resource that should always be recovered for the highest and best use,” said PLASTICS President and CEO, William R. Carteaux. “At NPE2018, we’re practicing what we preach, putting sustainability and recycling at the center of the event, from the forward-thinking educational programming of the co-located Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit to our ambitious goal of diverting 100% of the waste from the show.”

Food prep waste from the show that can’t be donated will be collected and transported to Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Orlando, where it will be recycled into electricity and fertilizer for local farms. The Energy Garden uses anaerobic digestion to divert organic waste from the landfill and turn it into clean, renewable energy, transforming it into a sustainable resource for the community.

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