Materials that make up the Performance Plastics category have helped to create modern civilization. Today, we build buildings taller, cheaper and safer with performance plastics. Cars are lighter, safer and more efficient. Cell phones, computers, medical devices would not be possible without performance plastics and in many cases performance plastics are a more sustainable choice than traditional materials.
Mankind’s dreams-to-reality are only limited by the materials available and performance plastics have created so many realities that otherwise could not have been achieved. There is absolutely no way you could or would want to go a day without interacting in some way with performance plastic.
Here are the stories of IAPD members who have made stellar contributions to our industry while maintaining successful sustainability programs.
Cast Nylons Ltd.
Cast Nylons Ltd. is a manufacturer of cast nylon headquartered in Willoughby, OH, USA.
- Founded in 1979 with three locations in Ohio; operations in Mexico.
- Products used in construction, food processing, waste water, material hand.
- Hosts corporate-wide Eco-Green Program that included an environmental mission statement posted throughout the company’s workplace, an analysis of utility usage and identification of areas to reduce consumption and implementation of measures to reduce electricity, water and natural gas usage.
- Installed high-efficiency HVAC units and solar-powered lighting, numerous weather-proofing improvements throughout all facilities and low-water requirement landscaping was planted to reduce water needs during the summer months.
- Recycles 98.5 percent of all solid waste and more than 99 percent of process scrap, plus office paper and trash, scrap metal, liquid unreacted nylon and machining oils and coolants.
- Partnering with a recycler to recycle mercury from all fluorescent bulbs.
- Significant investment in process improvements, capital equipment and lean manufacturing principles to increase efficiency by approximately 11 percent.
- Winner IAPD Environmental Excellence Award in 2013 for the Most Innovative Program.
Cope Plastics, Inc.
Cope Plastics, Inc. is a distributor and fabricator of performance plastics headquartered in Alton, IL, USA with 15 branches across the country and is one of the largest privately held women-owned businesses in the metropolitan area.
- Founded in 1946 and have been recycling for over twenty years.
- Recycling program includes 44 different grades of plastic, which make up nearly 90 percent of the material distributed through or consumed by the company.
- 2012 - began a concentrated effort to regain scrap from customers. Received 141,575 pounds July 2012 through June 2013.
- July 2013 - added a single-stream recycling program for employees to recycle cardboard, post-consumer plastic, steel and aluminum, glass, and paper containers. Responsible for diverting an additional 200,000 pounds of post-consumer waste from area landfills annually and benefitting more than 100 employees who live in communities too small to offer curbside recycling.
- June 2014 - increased to 604,053 pounds of scrap received and the number of participating customers grew by 129 percent.
- July 2013 to June 2014 - increased to 604,053 pounds of scrap received and the number of participating customers increased by 129 percent.
- 2014 - opened a supply scrap channel for five different polyvinyl chloride (PVC) types; forecasted to keep an additional 200,000 pounds of PVC scrap out of landfills annually.
- June 2015 & 2016 - hit over 1.5 million pounds of reclaimed customer material and processed over 2.5 million pounds total per year.
- Also recycle scrap metal, electronics, ink cartridges, bulk paper files, cardboard, oil and coolant, batteries, and light bulbs generated through industrial processes.
- Partnered with a local pallet manufacturer to convert unwanted and unusable pallets into mulch, avoiding incineration and creating around 100,000 pounds of mulch annually.
- Cope has identified and upcycled more than 120,000 pounds of material each year, adding thousands of dollars in profits from local sales.
- Solar-powered Processing Center has continued to be profitable and contributed positively to the company’s bottom line.
- Winner of IAPD Environmental Excellence Awards every year since 2008.
Curbell Plastics, Inc.
Curbell Plastics, Inc. was founded in 1942 as a small machine shop now headquartered in Orchard Park, NY, USA. The company, a performance plastics distributor, has multiple sales and warehouse locations throughout the United States.
- Replaced a heating and cooling system at headquarters and reduced energy consumption by 61,000 kilowatt hours, resulting in a savings of US$7,000 and 111,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
- Implemented new lighting projects in four of its warehouses, resulting in a reduction of more than 20,000 kilowatt hours of energy used and a US$2,000 annual savings.
- Recycling computers and office equipment through a recycler who refurbishes and reuses as much of the equipment as possible and distributes much of the equipment to schools in need.
- Worked with a vendor to eliminate the individually wrapped parts in poly bags and diverted 450 tons of waste from landfill at a total profit/cost reduction in excess of US$230,000.
- Curbell is a Federal Green Challenge participant, an EPA WasteWise partner and has reduced its solid waste by 90 percent while maintaining zero landfill status at its two largest facilities in Orchard Park, NY, USA.
- Winner of numerous IAPD Environmental Excellence Awards including the Gold Level Award for having the Best Overall Program in 2015.
Laird Plastics, Inc.
Laird Plastics, Inc. is a distributor of performance plastics based in Boca Raton, FL, USA with a multi-national team of 400+ employees serving more than 25,000 customers across North America in all segments of commercial, industrial and advertising activity.
- They offer a comprehensive network of service centers and inventories with an extensive product range including acrylics and polycarbonates, graphics materials (substrates and a variety of higher end materials) and mechanical/engineering materials (UHMW, LDPE, HDPE, nylons, acetals).
- Maintains a business unit dedicated solely to sustainable supply chain management and domestic plastic recycling; responsible for the collection and analysis of environmental data.
- Recent accomplishments- established recycling facility for 50+ branches facilities and hundreds of customers throughout North America, as well as recycling for customers in 47 states and seven Canadian provinces.
- 2013- recycled 12 million pounds of plastic including increased total pounds of ABS, polystyrene and polycarbonate.
- Almost one million linear feet of corner guard, a U.S. manufactured, 100 percent recyclable green product, being used throughout the Laird Plastics network.
- Winner of the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award for Best Overall Program every year since 2008.
Polymer Industries, a plastics manufacturer headquartered in Henagar, AL, USA, implemented in-house programs that reduced waste from 4 million pounds annually to 400,000 pounds (Saving more than 3 million pounds of recyclable materials from going into landfills) all while being on an annual production growth path of double digits year over year for the past 10 years. The cost savings have been what the company calls “staggering.”
- Program started with bailing cardboard, aluminum and paper.
- Purchased a line that converts saw shavings from sheet extrusion and converts them into pellet form to be sold and reused.
- Repurposed 400,000-500,000 pounds of high density polyethylene (HDPE) waste into a utility grade of HDPE for resale.
- Averages 60,000 pounds per month of other scrap sp;d tp recyclers.
- Worked with local government officials to bring natural gas to their community, which is a cleaner and more efficient fuel than previously used liquefied petroleum gas.
- Established buy-back program for designated customers and purchase approximately 200,000 pounds annually of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) products and 500,000 pounds annually of HDPE.
- Repurpose approximately 100,000 pounds annually of post-consumer HDPE, such as recycled milk jugs. This is above and beyond the postindustrial regrind operations they engage in on a daily basis.
- Recently installed an energy-efficient lighting project throughout their operations.
- Winner of the 2014 IAPD Environmental Excellence Award for Best New Program.
Regal Plastic Supply, Inc.
Regal Plastics Supply, Inc. is a wholesale supplier of plastic material headquartered in Dallas, TX, USA,with branch locations throughout Texas and Louisiana.
- Implemented a company-wide program branded as “Going Green”
- Installed a recycling dumpster and recycling wastebaskets at every desk, published tips for office workers to re-think how much paper they use and started the Going Green Newsletter, a quarterly publication dedicated to sharing what each branch is doing to promote green practices.
- 2012- recycled 82,146 pounds of plastics.
- Started to recycle wooden spools.
- Increased stock of green and recycled products which they promote to customers.
- San Antonio branch worked received a rebate for upgraded energy-efficient lighting and light sensors in the warehouse from local utility
- Dallas/Fort Worth branch upgraded to energy-efficient lighting and added a higher-rated insulation when the roof was replaced.
- Winner of the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award in 2013 for Best New Program.
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