ORLANDO, FLA. — As part of its continuing push to promote the collection and use of recycled plastics, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is provided an unprecedented amount of educational space to the topic at NPE 2015.
The Zero Waste Zone featured recycled plastics from head to toe as SPI recruited a variety of companies to show off the viability of recyclables at the event in Orlando last month.
That includes recycled-based flooring donated by EcoStrate and Interface as well as a variety of products — electronics, personal care items, building and construction products and toys, for example — that all feature recycled content.
Utsav Sanghvi is an international trade consultant for Strategic Trade Alliance in Kendall Park, N.J., and was hanging out in the Zero Waste Zone during NPE March 23-27. Sanghvi buys plastic scrap in India for export to the U.S.
“I'm absolutely a fan of the zero waste. It helps my business, it helps the environment. I believe it helps everyone's bottom line,” he said while enjoying a cold one from the beer garden in the zone. “I definitely appreciate the initiative and promotion of the zero waste.”
Not far from where Sanghvi stood there were several displays promoting various aspects of recycling and zero waste. And beyond that was a grinder set up to reclaim plastic jars made at the show.
“Each of those products has a story, talks about how much recycled content it has, what the feed stream is,” said Kim Holmes, senior director of recycling and sustainability at SPI.
“I think one of the important things to educate the prime industry about is that recycled plastics are not necessarily an inferior material,” Holmes said.
“I think there's this perception of it being not as good as prime [virgin] quality,” she said. “Certainly it's got its challenges, but certainly it can go for innovative and high-end applications. And that's what we wanted to demonstrate.”
Nate Saint, chief operating officer at Iron Mountains LLC of Morgantown, Pa., was checking out some toys made from 100-percent recycled plastic, largely high density polethyene, by Green Toys Inc.
“I think it makes a lot of sense,” he said about the zero waste concept. “It doesn't make a lot of sense for every segment of the industry, but it seems like a good idea to me.”