Transforming Recycled Plastic into Additives for Industrial and Consumer Products

March 24, 2020 | 124 views

With a more increased focus on adding more recycled content to products, it’s becoming very apparent that innovation is required in order to meet these demands. During the Plastics Recycling Conference, Canadian cleantech company GreenMantra Technologies accepted the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) Showcase Award, which is given to companies who have a innovative and potentially game-changing idea to advance the recycling of plastics. GreenMantra Technologies is a clean technology company that utilizes a proprietary catalyst and patented depolymerization process to upcycle and transform recycled plastics into value-added synthetic waxes and specialty polymers.

Spotlight

Kemileg, Strokovno svetovanje, Barbara Kolar Berg

For companies involved in the production of dangerous substances, trade or use of dangerous chemicals we obtain an authorization for carrying out trade with hazardous chemicals. If they want to fulfill legal requirements for sales of detergents, biocidal products, paints and varnishes, one of the conditions is to name a consultant for chemicals, who we can provide. We regularly upgrade our knowledge and experience through training courses organized by the Chemical Office of the Republic of Slovenia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS).

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

How Leading Chemical Companies Protect Customer Data Online

Article | July 22, 2021

Cybersecurity concerns must be considered in order for the chemical sector to succeed with digital commerce; simply listing your products on an online store and crossing your fingers won't cut it. It is crucial to pick a spouse who is aware of these hazards and has a strong defense in place. It is evident that the sector has massive potential for online sales, but selling chemicals online is different from selling common consumer goods online. Who your consumers are and how you gather and maintain data about them raise severe security and privacy problems. Chemical company leaders have every right to be concerned about the privacy of their data, given that one cyber attack occurs every 11 seconds. However, they should still go online because there is too much business risk in not taking advantage of the digital opportunity. Deloitte estimates that the chemical sector alone sold over $27 billion worth of goods online in 2020. More than half (58%) of chemical purchasers reportedly stated that they would transfer providers if their demands, which include demands for a fantastic digital experience, were not delivered. The objective is to limit risk and create a secure digital sales environment rather than dismissing e-commerce due to cybersecurity issues. Setting up the appropriate IT infrastructure: Building for convenience and security is possible thanks to new IT technologies. Emphasis on confirming identification: Always be aware of who you are dealing with, regardless of whether they came through a digital or physical means. Offering simple (and safe) reorder alternatives to clients that have been verified. It's ideal for business owners in the chemical sector who want to test selling online but are concerned about data collecting, security, and privacy for my company and customers.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Future-Proofing the Chemical Industry with Digitalization

Article | July 8, 2022

Over the next five to seven years, the chemical sector will place a greater emphasis on sustainability, and digitization will play a significant part in this. Reducing resource use, pollution, energy consumption, and waste are some of its main applications. Additionally, it will increase demand for a circular economy supported by IoT, AI, and other digital technologies. Some of the systems now in place or being used in the sector include autonomous solutions that enable lower energy usage, dispatching systems for effective logistics and strategies for sustainable power and fuel consumption. Chemical players making the switch to digital platforms have a chance to triumph if they move swiftly and update their operational models in accordance with a few common success characteristics. In fact, according to our study, making the correct decisions can increase total earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by 3 percent or more (EBITDA). The Next Step of Operational Excellence The same level of transformation is available with digital technology for optimal performance, together with success-enabling measures. The same level of corporate participation and realignment will also be necessary for the effective implementation of digital technology. Finance and telecoms were early leaders in adopting digital technology faster than the chemical sector, which has just recently started to move in more significant numbers toward digitalization. A circular economy in the sector is also being enabled by the use and evaluation of digital technology. The "Right to Fix" movement is being driven by governments and legislators in Europe and the US, and small and medium-sized businesses in the industry are expected to invest in technology that makes it easier to repair electronic items with the least amount of waste. On a side note, by enabling the re-use of resources and products throughout the supply chain, digitalization with lean manufacturing (LM) would enable businesses to improve operational excellence and create value, thereby supporting the circular economy goal. Conclusion Given its extensive safety and regulatory requirements, the chemical sector has evolved slowly. However, as the global economy changes, some skills will become obsolete and others essential. The interconnectedness of people, processes, and technology, as well as the requirement for real-time insight at the levels closest to the action, are among the basic principles of Industry 4.0. These values have existed for some time and are an extension of our teams' current operational excellence initiatives. Digital transformation is not a technology endpoint but rather the following stage in the process and business evolution as the chemicals industry advances continuously.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Key Trends in the Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry

Article | August 2, 2022

The chemical business is intricate, with numerous sub-sectors dealing with various challenges. Thus, there are some differences in the sector's main areas of digitalization. For instance, while specialty chemicals with smaller batches but larger profit margins are concerned with improving quality, large factories are concentrated on accelerating throughput speed. To be able to react to quick and repeated changes in demand, supply, and working circumstances, however, every plant must optimize output, reduce waste, improve safety and sustainability, and become more nimble. Therefore, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing are expected to be the three most popular applications for digital transformation during the coming two years. Key Trends Production Optimization The first and most valuable use cases of digitalization in chemical plants center on production optimization through improved equipment performance, process automation, remote and predictive monitoring, and simplified maintenance. Chemical factories, which often provide basic chemicals for use as end products in other sectors, have a special responsibility to maintain consistently high product quality. However, doing so can be challenging given the significant variations in raw material supply and quality. In addition, as process engineers can change the mix on the fly in reaction to fluctuations in quality, feedstock, or ambient temperatures, better data and analytics enable finer and more frequent adjustments. Lowering Waste The main advantage of digitally transformed plants so far has been cost reduction. The price volatility of raw materials is a problem for the chemical production sector because customers naturally want constant low prices. Minimizing waste is critical since facilities must contend with rising energy costs. Analytics tools that monitor fluctuating raw material prices aid factories in negotiating the best deals with suppliers and preparing in advance for price spikes. The risk of oversupply is reduced since plants can prepare the proper quantities of various products thanks to more precise demand predictions. Sustainability, Compliance, and Safety The chemical industry is heavily regulated as a result of the quantity of hazardous chemicals and the number of end-use industries that rely on it. Businesses are adopting digital transformation to boost safety awareness, reduce emissions and dangerous flare incidents, and guarantee a transparent and accurate audit trail. Plants that quickly adopt digital solutions for remote monitoring, supply chain visibility, waste reduction, production optimization, raising their safety profile, and opening up new opportunities will profit from higher profits and increased revenue, whereas those that hesitate for too long risk failing in the long run.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

The Future of Supply Chain Management for Chemical Companies

Article | July 8, 2022

Individual consumers expect tailored products and services. Color, size, quantity, payment method, and delivery channel options abound. The chemical sector is also now following this suit of action. The global chemicals supply chain has grown steadily for three decades. Chemical businesses are improving their supply chain capabilities to handle complexity and meet client demands. This includes implementing advanced data-driven and cloud-based technologies that enable faster, more flexible, and tailored customer interactions. Areas of innovation for chemical companies Living Segmentation Living segmentation can help chemical businesses better serve clients and satisfy their expectations. This entails adapting supply chain capabilities to each customer's needs. Asset-light Network An asset-light network involves developing an ecosystem of partners to add capabilities and value to your supply chain beyond standard co-manufacturing, co-packing, and third-party or last-mile logistics providers. In addition, it should include technology partners that help chemical businesses innovate and be adaptable. Data and Applied Intelligence Improving speed, agility, and efficiency in global supply chains demands comprehensive visibility and the correct information. Data provides visibility and insights. The key to providing excellent customer service is gathering the appropriate data and using it strategically to get important insight. The industry generates a ton of data, which is excellent news. In response to last year's supply chain delays, corporations are building supply chains with geographically spread shipping/supplier choices. Real-time visibility and enhanced analytics can be used to track delays by providing revised ETAs and analyzing downstream implications. Data-driven insights can alert organizations of a delay almost immediately and help them acquire raw materials from another supplier to reduce the domino impact downstream. Chemical businesses must rethink their supply chains to implement living segmentation, asset-light networks, data, and AI.

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Spotlight

Kemileg, Strokovno svetovanje, Barbara Kolar Berg

For companies involved in the production of dangerous substances, trade or use of dangerous chemicals we obtain an authorization for carrying out trade with hazardous chemicals. If they want to fulfill legal requirements for sales of detergents, biocidal products, paints and varnishes, one of the conditions is to name a consultant for chemicals, who we can provide. We regularly upgrade our knowledge and experience through training courses organized by the Chemical Office of the Republic of Slovenia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS).

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Zenni Introduces ReMakes a Sustainable Eyewear Collection Made With Recycled Plastic

Zenni | August 29, 2022

Online eyewear retail leader Zenni announced today the launch of ReMakes™, a new sustainable eyewear collection made with 100% certified recycled post-consumer plastic. ReMakes™ by Zenni are created by collecting post-consumer plastic and repurposing it to produce high quality, stylish frames. Every pair purchased supports the Wyland Foundation and its mission to promote, protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waterways and marine life. “Plastic waste is entering the ocean at unprecedented levels, which comes with devastating impacts to marine life. At Zenni, we’re committed to reducing plastic waste entering our natural environment, and taking steps to be part of the solution. We’re proud to release ReMakes™, our first collection of sustainable glasses upcycled from common consumer goods. We’re also excited to begin our partnership with the incredible Wyland Foundation, and work closely with them to bring people together for clean water and a healthy ocean.” Michelle Ticknor, head of social impact and lifestyle partnerships with Zenni Approximately three plastic water bottles are recycled to create one ReMakes™ frame. The on-trend collection includes eight unique, lightweight frame styles named after seas around the world, including six adult styles and two kids styles. The collection is available with the full range of Zenni’s optical and sunglass lenses including its suite of Blokz™ blue light blocking lenses with prices starting at $39.95 for adults and $35.95 for kids. Zenni is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an international organization whose members contribute at least 1% of profits from specific collections or entire organizations to support environmental causes. One percent of ReMakes™ proceeds will directly support environmental nonprofit Wyland Foundation to help advance its mission to promote, protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waterways and marine life. Beyond the launch of ReMakes™, Zenni is partnering with Wyland Foundation to encourage environmental awareness through education programs, public arts projects and community events. “We strive to educate people everywhere about clean water and healthy oceans, and are thrilled to work with Zenni to continue that mission,” Wyland said. “Every choice is important – from the glasses you buy to the waste you throw out. ReMakes™ by Zenni give you one more simple choice to help protect and preserve our world’s waterways.” The ReMakes™ by Zenni collection is manufactured with Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification. GRS promotes sustainability and social responsibility on all levels of production. In addition to providing customers a more sustainable way to wear fashionable customizable eyewear, Zenni is also committed to delivering these glasses in a more sustainable way. ReMakes™ by Zenni are shipped in a cylindrical tube made of recyclable paper and include a pouch and lens cloth made from 80% recycled PET fabric (RPET) extracted from plastic bottles. About Zenni Zenni pioneered the online eyewear industry in 2003 with a mission to make prescription eyewear affordable and accessible to everyone. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zenni offers men, women, and children the freedom to express their personal style through high-quality prescription and protective eyewear curated with a sense for fashion and incredible selection. With complete prescription pairs starting at just $6.95, and averaging just over $40, the company has brought massive price disruption to the traditional retail model. With over 45 million frames sold worldwide, a pair of Zennis is owned in every country across the globe. Zenni is proud to be the Official Eyewear of the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Red Sox, Call of Duty League and the Chicago Bulls. Zenni has worked with designers and tastemakers on curations and collections, including Iris Apfel, Rashida Jones, Cynthia Rowley, Coco + Breezy and George and Claire Kittle.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

New Association of Plastic Recyclers State-of-the-Industry Report Shows Strength of US Plastic Recycling

Association of Plastic Recyclers | August 12, 2022

The Association of Plastic Recyclers The Voice of Plastic Recycling®, issued a report that provides a data-driven update on the progress of plastic recycling in the United States showing that it is a viable, accessible and scalable solution for reducing plastic waste. The report compiles research and analysis from across the $236 billion recycling industry which includes over 9,000 community recycling programs across the country and more than 100 post-consumer recyclers. The report finds that plastic recycling alone is responsible for over 200,000 U.S. jobs. “APR’s state-of-the-industry report tells the true story of plastic recycling in the United States. This is an industry that processed almost five billion pounds of post-consumer plastic material in 2020 despite a pandemic and related lockdown, and we have every expectation that number will continue to grow.” Steve Alexander, President and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers The report presents an important clarification on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the discussion on US recycling rates. The report explains that 80% of rigid plastic packaging is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). These are the types of plastic packaging (such as soda bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and yogurt tubs) that are most used by businesses and available to consumers to put in their blue bins. The report found that 21% of these types of plastic, the type that U.S. consumers touch every day, are recycled based on EPA data. The report also includes the latest data for PET and HDPE bottles alone - a current recycling rate of 28%. With more supply of recyclable plastic material from consumers, U.S. plastic recyclers could boost PET and HDPE bottle recycling rate – raising the rate to over 40% – with minimal additional investment and using existing processing infrastructure in the U.S. “Increasing the recycling rate is important because demand for recycled material, a key driver of the recycling chain, is stronger than ever, spurred by a variety of factors including brand sustainability commitments and legislative activity,” added Alexander. The report concludes that meeting that high demand and continuing to sustain and grow recycling will require three steps: (1) companies to manufacture plastic products and packaging that are compatible with recycling, (2) consumers to put recyclable material in the bin and (3) a robust recycling infrastructure to collect, sort and process that material. The report provides policy recommendations including: ensure that all new products and packaging are made to be compatible with recycling; increase and strengthen community recycling programs and create harmonization among the types of plastic that are collected in those programs; and encourage the consideration of the true cost of disposal and the low costs to landfill. “This report shows that, while there is still work to be done, plastic recycling can succeed,” Alexander added. “Consumers want recycling to work, and recyclers are ready to process more material. Our industry is innovative and resilient. It is time to recommit to plastic recycling for our communities, for our environment, and for our future.” As the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, APR membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. APR advocates the recycling of all plastics. Visit www.PlasticsRecyling.org for more information.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to Drive Improvement in Recycling Behavior and Boost Confidence in U.S. Recycling

Milliken | August 08, 2022

The Recycling Partnership announced today that it has launched The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impactcto drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behavior and mobilize household participation in the circular economy. Human behavior is at the heart of any successful recycling program. The Recycling Partnership is taking the lead in helping people to overcome barriers to participation, pairing behavioral science with programs aimed at growing access. "Engaging the public means first ensuring that all people have equitable access to recycling services. As we reached over 100 million American households, we saw first-hand that there is a critical missing piece. We have a responsibility to make it easy, even enjoyable, for all Americans to fully participate. We will do just that, working in collaboration with our expert launch advisors to create and rapidly share innovative, evidence-based solutions with practitioners and stakeholders working across the circular economy on recycling, reuse, and reduction.” Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership Each year, 15 million tons of household recyclables are lost to landfills because Americans are confused and lack confidence when it comes to recycling. The loss of 15 million tons of recyclable material is equivalent to 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide; capturing this material would yield more than 17,500 jobs and $834 million in landfill savings. “Solving this challenge requires an evidence-based approach,” said Louise Bruce, Managing Director for the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact. “By rigorously evaluating and disseminating our findings, we are making the Center the go-to hub for innovative, people- focused solutions that substantially improve recycling at every step of the consumer journey. With this, we hope to empower recycling leaders to optimize their programs, and advance circularity of the economy.” With founding support from the Walmart Foundation and Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation, The Recycling Partnership will leverage its network of community partnerships, comprehensive national database, deep expertise in recycling education, and established track record of improving underperforming recycling programs to propel positive change in recycling behavior. This change will be measured through both an increased capture of recyclable material and growth in household recycling participation. “People are at the heart of our sustainability strategy, so supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact was the right fit,” said Milliken & Company President and CEO and Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation Board Chair, Halsey Cook. “The Center’s work to build consumer confidence and equitably overcome barriers to residential recycling will become a critical element of our strategy to solve the plastics end-of-life challenge.” “The Center is filling a gap in the flywheel of the circular economy, which includes circular design, infrastructure and behavior change,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President & COO of The Walmart Foundation. “The Walmart Foundation is supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to identify key trends, attitudes, motivations, and barriers to circularity nationally, regionally, and locally. These insights will inform multiple tools to accelerate trust in and adoption of recycling, including a digital playbook that will be designed purposefully to improve community confidence in recycling and embed equity in circular initiatives.” While Americans overwhelmingly support recycling with 80% saying it has a positive impact, when it comes to actually putting recyclables in the bin, one obstacle is lack of confidence. Through its inaugural Recycling Confidence Index, The Center uses behavioral science to gauge consumer confidence in recycling programs and identify the drivers of these beliefs. Half of those surveyed believe that the items they recycle are made into new things, suggesting that there is room to boost recycling confidence, but only 7% said they believed recycled items rarely or never become something new. Significantly, the survey found that the highest levels of confidence exist among those who receive the full spectrum of recycling communications and support, including convenient bins, recycling knowledge and information, and motivational messages. Where there is strong communication, information and support, consumers are most likely to trust that recycling works and that their personal behaviors have a genuine impact. Click here to read more about the Recycling Confidence Index. The Center will initially focus on three areas: (i) deepening understanding of consumer barriers and sentiments toward recycling, (ii) scientifically testing different types of solutions to determine the most effective and scalable tactics that improve recycling behavior with different populations in the US., and (iii) creating a playbook and accompanying online tool to make best practices and key insights available to national, state, and local recycling leaders. To support its initial phase The Center is working with six Launch Advisors; experts and practitioners in the fields of environmental research, behavioral science, community recycling program management and sustainability marketing to ensure that its research practices meet the highest scientific standards, while rooted in the everyday challenges of local communities. The Launch Advisors are Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation Jason Hale, Director of Operations, Ocean Plastics Asia, Systemiq Steve Raabe, Founder and President, OpinionWorks Suzanne Shelton, Founder, President, & CEO, Shelton Group Joseph Sherlock, Applied Behavioral Researcher, the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University Cynthia Shih, Senior Advisor, Delterra “The vast majority of Americans want to do the right thing and keep their waste out of landfills. Why, then, are diversion rates so low in some areas? We have real work to do to change this, and I’m proud to be part of the effort to solve this problem, before it’s too late,” said Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation. About The Recycling Partnership At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packaging circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. About Milliken Milliken & Company is a global manufacturing leader whose focus on materials science delivers tomorrow’s breakthroughs today. From industry-leading molecules to sustainable innovations, Milliken creates products that enhance people’s lives and deliver solutions for its customers and communities. Drawing on thousands of patents and a portfolio with applications across the textile, flooring, chemical and healthcare businesses, the company harnesses a shared sense of integrity and excellence to positively impact the world for generations. Discover more about Milliken’s curious minds and inspired solutions at milliken.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Zenni Introduces ReMakes a Sustainable Eyewear Collection Made With Recycled Plastic

Zenni | August 29, 2022

Online eyewear retail leader Zenni announced today the launch of ReMakes™, a new sustainable eyewear collection made with 100% certified recycled post-consumer plastic. ReMakes™ by Zenni are created by collecting post-consumer plastic and repurposing it to produce high quality, stylish frames. Every pair purchased supports the Wyland Foundation and its mission to promote, protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waterways and marine life. “Plastic waste is entering the ocean at unprecedented levels, which comes with devastating impacts to marine life. At Zenni, we’re committed to reducing plastic waste entering our natural environment, and taking steps to be part of the solution. We’re proud to release ReMakes™, our first collection of sustainable glasses upcycled from common consumer goods. We’re also excited to begin our partnership with the incredible Wyland Foundation, and work closely with them to bring people together for clean water and a healthy ocean.” Michelle Ticknor, head of social impact and lifestyle partnerships with Zenni Approximately three plastic water bottles are recycled to create one ReMakes™ frame. The on-trend collection includes eight unique, lightweight frame styles named after seas around the world, including six adult styles and two kids styles. The collection is available with the full range of Zenni’s optical and sunglass lenses including its suite of Blokz™ blue light blocking lenses with prices starting at $39.95 for adults and $35.95 for kids. Zenni is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an international organization whose members contribute at least 1% of profits from specific collections or entire organizations to support environmental causes. One percent of ReMakes™ proceeds will directly support environmental nonprofit Wyland Foundation to help advance its mission to promote, protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waterways and marine life. Beyond the launch of ReMakes™, Zenni is partnering with Wyland Foundation to encourage environmental awareness through education programs, public arts projects and community events. “We strive to educate people everywhere about clean water and healthy oceans, and are thrilled to work with Zenni to continue that mission,” Wyland said. “Every choice is important – from the glasses you buy to the waste you throw out. ReMakes™ by Zenni give you one more simple choice to help protect and preserve our world’s waterways.” The ReMakes™ by Zenni collection is manufactured with Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification. GRS promotes sustainability and social responsibility on all levels of production. In addition to providing customers a more sustainable way to wear fashionable customizable eyewear, Zenni is also committed to delivering these glasses in a more sustainable way. ReMakes™ by Zenni are shipped in a cylindrical tube made of recyclable paper and include a pouch and lens cloth made from 80% recycled PET fabric (RPET) extracted from plastic bottles. About Zenni Zenni pioneered the online eyewear industry in 2003 with a mission to make prescription eyewear affordable and accessible to everyone. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zenni offers men, women, and children the freedom to express their personal style through high-quality prescription and protective eyewear curated with a sense for fashion and incredible selection. With complete prescription pairs starting at just $6.95, and averaging just over $40, the company has brought massive price disruption to the traditional retail model. With over 45 million frames sold worldwide, a pair of Zennis is owned in every country across the globe. Zenni is proud to be the Official Eyewear of the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Red Sox, Call of Duty League and the Chicago Bulls. Zenni has worked with designers and tastemakers on curations and collections, including Iris Apfel, Rashida Jones, Cynthia Rowley, Coco + Breezy and George and Claire Kittle.

Read More

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

New Association of Plastic Recyclers State-of-the-Industry Report Shows Strength of US Plastic Recycling

Association of Plastic Recyclers | August 12, 2022

The Association of Plastic Recyclers The Voice of Plastic Recycling®, issued a report that provides a data-driven update on the progress of plastic recycling in the United States showing that it is a viable, accessible and scalable solution for reducing plastic waste. The report compiles research and analysis from across the $236 billion recycling industry which includes over 9,000 community recycling programs across the country and more than 100 post-consumer recyclers. The report finds that plastic recycling alone is responsible for over 200,000 U.S. jobs. “APR’s state-of-the-industry report tells the true story of plastic recycling in the United States. This is an industry that processed almost five billion pounds of post-consumer plastic material in 2020 despite a pandemic and related lockdown, and we have every expectation that number will continue to grow.” Steve Alexander, President and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers The report presents an important clarification on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the discussion on US recycling rates. The report explains that 80% of rigid plastic packaging is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). These are the types of plastic packaging (such as soda bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and yogurt tubs) that are most used by businesses and available to consumers to put in their blue bins. The report found that 21% of these types of plastic, the type that U.S. consumers touch every day, are recycled based on EPA data. The report also includes the latest data for PET and HDPE bottles alone - a current recycling rate of 28%. With more supply of recyclable plastic material from consumers, U.S. plastic recyclers could boost PET and HDPE bottle recycling rate – raising the rate to over 40% – with minimal additional investment and using existing processing infrastructure in the U.S. “Increasing the recycling rate is important because demand for recycled material, a key driver of the recycling chain, is stronger than ever, spurred by a variety of factors including brand sustainability commitments and legislative activity,” added Alexander. The report concludes that meeting that high demand and continuing to sustain and grow recycling will require three steps: (1) companies to manufacture plastic products and packaging that are compatible with recycling, (2) consumers to put recyclable material in the bin and (3) a robust recycling infrastructure to collect, sort and process that material. The report provides policy recommendations including: ensure that all new products and packaging are made to be compatible with recycling; increase and strengthen community recycling programs and create harmonization among the types of plastic that are collected in those programs; and encourage the consideration of the true cost of disposal and the low costs to landfill. “This report shows that, while there is still work to be done, plastic recycling can succeed,” Alexander added. “Consumers want recycling to work, and recyclers are ready to process more material. Our industry is innovative and resilient. It is time to recommit to plastic recycling for our communities, for our environment, and for our future.” As the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, APR membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. APR advocates the recycling of all plastics. Visit www.PlasticsRecyling.org for more information.

Read More

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to Drive Improvement in Recycling Behavior and Boost Confidence in U.S. Recycling

Milliken | August 08, 2022

The Recycling Partnership announced today that it has launched The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impactcto drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behavior and mobilize household participation in the circular economy. Human behavior is at the heart of any successful recycling program. The Recycling Partnership is taking the lead in helping people to overcome barriers to participation, pairing behavioral science with programs aimed at growing access. "Engaging the public means first ensuring that all people have equitable access to recycling services. As we reached over 100 million American households, we saw first-hand that there is a critical missing piece. We have a responsibility to make it easy, even enjoyable, for all Americans to fully participate. We will do just that, working in collaboration with our expert launch advisors to create and rapidly share innovative, evidence-based solutions with practitioners and stakeholders working across the circular economy on recycling, reuse, and reduction.” Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership Each year, 15 million tons of household recyclables are lost to landfills because Americans are confused and lack confidence when it comes to recycling. The loss of 15 million tons of recyclable material is equivalent to 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide; capturing this material would yield more than 17,500 jobs and $834 million in landfill savings. “Solving this challenge requires an evidence-based approach,” said Louise Bruce, Managing Director for the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact. “By rigorously evaluating and disseminating our findings, we are making the Center the go-to hub for innovative, people- focused solutions that substantially improve recycling at every step of the consumer journey. With this, we hope to empower recycling leaders to optimize their programs, and advance circularity of the economy.” With founding support from the Walmart Foundation and Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation, The Recycling Partnership will leverage its network of community partnerships, comprehensive national database, deep expertise in recycling education, and established track record of improving underperforming recycling programs to propel positive change in recycling behavior. This change will be measured through both an increased capture of recyclable material and growth in household recycling participation. “People are at the heart of our sustainability strategy, so supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact was the right fit,” said Milliken & Company President and CEO and Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation Board Chair, Halsey Cook. “The Center’s work to build consumer confidence and equitably overcome barriers to residential recycling will become a critical element of our strategy to solve the plastics end-of-life challenge.” “The Center is filling a gap in the flywheel of the circular economy, which includes circular design, infrastructure and behavior change,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President & COO of The Walmart Foundation. “The Walmart Foundation is supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to identify key trends, attitudes, motivations, and barriers to circularity nationally, regionally, and locally. These insights will inform multiple tools to accelerate trust in and adoption of recycling, including a digital playbook that will be designed purposefully to improve community confidence in recycling and embed equity in circular initiatives.” While Americans overwhelmingly support recycling with 80% saying it has a positive impact, when it comes to actually putting recyclables in the bin, one obstacle is lack of confidence. Through its inaugural Recycling Confidence Index, The Center uses behavioral science to gauge consumer confidence in recycling programs and identify the drivers of these beliefs. Half of those surveyed believe that the items they recycle are made into new things, suggesting that there is room to boost recycling confidence, but only 7% said they believed recycled items rarely or never become something new. Significantly, the survey found that the highest levels of confidence exist among those who receive the full spectrum of recycling communications and support, including convenient bins, recycling knowledge and information, and motivational messages. Where there is strong communication, information and support, consumers are most likely to trust that recycling works and that their personal behaviors have a genuine impact. Click here to read more about the Recycling Confidence Index. The Center will initially focus on three areas: (i) deepening understanding of consumer barriers and sentiments toward recycling, (ii) scientifically testing different types of solutions to determine the most effective and scalable tactics that improve recycling behavior with different populations in the US., and (iii) creating a playbook and accompanying online tool to make best practices and key insights available to national, state, and local recycling leaders. To support its initial phase The Center is working with six Launch Advisors; experts and practitioners in the fields of environmental research, behavioral science, community recycling program management and sustainability marketing to ensure that its research practices meet the highest scientific standards, while rooted in the everyday challenges of local communities. The Launch Advisors are Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation Jason Hale, Director of Operations, Ocean Plastics Asia, Systemiq Steve Raabe, Founder and President, OpinionWorks Suzanne Shelton, Founder, President, & CEO, Shelton Group Joseph Sherlock, Applied Behavioral Researcher, the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University Cynthia Shih, Senior Advisor, Delterra “The vast majority of Americans want to do the right thing and keep their waste out of landfills. Why, then, are diversion rates so low in some areas? We have real work to do to change this, and I’m proud to be part of the effort to solve this problem, before it’s too late,” said Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation. About The Recycling Partnership At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packaging circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. About Milliken Milliken & Company is a global manufacturing leader whose focus on materials science delivers tomorrow’s breakthroughs today. From industry-leading molecules to sustainable innovations, Milliken creates products that enhance people’s lives and deliver solutions for its customers and communities. Drawing on thousands of patents and a portfolio with applications across the textile, flooring, chemical and healthcare businesses, the company harnesses a shared sense of integrity and excellence to positively impact the world for generations. Discover more about Milliken’s curious minds and inspired solutions at milliken.

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