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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sustainability Inherent Within Plastic

Louis Herrera & Ben Mascarello
of Hilex Poly @ the Summit

Hilex Poly, the world's largest plastic bag manufacturer, hosted an Environmental Summit on October 06 at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, NC.  The well-attended summit was an opportunity for Hilex Poly to educate their customers on the sustainability inherent within plastic when best practices are followed.  The Ei FB album, 10-06-11 Hilex Poly Environmental Summit, gives a pictorial summit overview.

Phil Rozenski @ the podium
Phil Rozenski, Hilex Poly Director of Marketing & Sustainability, prepared an excellent program with topics ranging from the basics of sustainability (what is it?) to plastic recycling 101 to assistance available from the EPA's WasteWise program.  The session on greenwashing and FTC label regulations was excellent.

Not limited to plastic film recycling, Tasmin Ettefagh of ENVISION Plastics gave an invigorating presentation on High Density Polyethylene (HDPE - #4) recycling, including interesting anecdotes from its sometimes colorful history.  ENVISION developed EcoPrime, the first FDA approved post-consumer recycled HDPE resin in North America for food contact.  Tasmin ended her podium time with facts underlying the importance of plastics recycling:
  • Production of recycled resin uses 90% less energy and emits 78% less greenhouse gases than virgin resin.
  • Recycling plastics creates 6 times more jobs than landfilling recyclables and 36 more jobs than incineration.
  • New petroleum is not used in the recycled resin pellet manufacturing 
Plastic film beginning the
recycling journey @
Hilex Poly's recycling plant
Attendees left the summit inspired to join Hilex Poly in their mission to recycle every plastic bag manufactured.  Collective action is necessary to change business and manufacturing practices.  As a global leader in plastic bag manufacturing, Hillex Poly plays a vital role in plastic recycling education and action.  

See the ZWZ Blog post, Getting a Handle on Plastic Recycling, for an overview of Simon Property Group's tour of Hilex Poly's North Vernon, IN plastic film recycling facility.  The Ei FB album, 07-01-11 Hilex Poly Tour in N. Vernon, IN, gives a pictorial tour recap.

It is time for the tides to turn and understand plastic is valuable resource that may be used over and over again.  Let's keep it out of landfills, oceans and incinerators and recycle it into new products.

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