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US plastics champions claim Refocus Awards

The Plastics Industry Association has announced the three winners of its annual Refocus Sustainability Innovation Awards, picked by judges from a total of 35 candidates.

The winners are said to exemplify the best submissions in three categories covering materials, design, and end-of-life applications. The winners in the three sections were…

Materials: Vartega for its reclaimed and recycled carbon fibre that enables the diversion of thousands of tonnes of material from landfill. Vartega’s recycled fibres are used in a broad range of applications including non-woven fabrics, thermoplastic pellets, and 3D printing filaments. Vartega’s partners for this award include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ford and Dow.

Design: Accredo Packaging for its AccredoFlex RP Gen2, a polyethylene fully-recyclable stand-up pouch that can serve a variety of products. The pouches use up to 25% bio-based resin and are manufactured using wind or solar energy. 

End-of-Life: Eastman for its carbon renewal technology, which breaks down waste plastics into the molecular building blocks of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and converts them into new, virgin-quality plastics.


‘Each winning innovation has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to eliminating waste in plastics manufacturing and eliminating waste, period,’ says the Plastic Industry Association’s sustainability director Ashley Hood-Morley. She adds that the 2020 awards ‘drew an exceptionally competitive field of entries’. 

In addition to the three categories, a Leadership in Innovation Award – determined by a judging panel – and a People’s Choice Award will be announced at the Refocus Sustainability & Recycling Summit. This event will take place from 18-20 May in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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