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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2019 – The Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC), a council of the Vinyl Institute (VI), which is leading sustainability efforts within the vinyl industry, presented its first-ever Vinyl Recycler of Year award at its annual meeting, Vinyl360, to Return Polymers of Ashland, Ohio.
“We recognize the importance of sustainability in our industry,” said Dick Heinle, VI Chairman. “And recycling is a very important facet to our larger sustainability journey. The fact that Return Polymers was successfully able to develop a 100 percent recycled vinyl material to be extruded into this complex shape at the flame-retardant certification they achieved in such a brief timeframe is award-winning.”
The Vinyl Recycler of the Year Award recognizes efforts of recyclers and product manufacturers with operations in the U.S. that find new solutions and/or markets for reclaimed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials, increase use of recycled content in their products, and/or engage in partnerships with companies in take-back programs.
“Landfill diversion is a top priority for the vinyl industry,” said Stan Graveline, VSC Chairman. “Earlier this year, VSC launched an industry-wide sustainability initiative with three impact categories, one of which being landfill diversion. I’m pleased that the award is going to a company that has found a truly innovative way to recycle vinyl materials.”
In a tight six-month timeframe, Return Polymers worked on their customer’s behalf to develop a 100 percent recycled vinyl compound capable of being extruded into complex refrigeration equipment profiles on either single or twin screw extruders. The compounds also received a difficult-to-achieve V-0 flame-retardant rating at 1-millimeter thickness. The listing was certified by the global safety certification company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) which was needed for the refrigeration components. Return Polymers was successful in developing consistent lot-to-lot quality pellet and powder recycled compounds that processed without a loss of efficiency thereby providing additional operating flexibility at their customer’s plant. Over the past 18 months, some 500,000 pounds of reclaimed vinyl materials have been diverted from the landfill into this application.
“It’s a real honor to receive the first-ever Vinyl Sustainability Council Vinyl Recycler of the Year award,” said David Foell, President of Return Polymers. “Because of the team’s vast experience in developing compounds that meet strict UL requirements for demanding customer applications, this timeline was close but not implausible. We were confident we’d be able to meet the processing and sustainability requirements of our customer and did just that.”
About the Vinyl Sustainability Council
The Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC), founded in 2016 in partnership with the Vinyl Institute, is a council created to advance the vinyl industry’s efforts in addressing sustainability. The VSC is a collaborative platform for companies, organizations and other industry stakeholders to come together to create a sustainable development path for the industry.
About the Vinyl Institute
The Vinyl Institute (VI), founded in 1982, is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives, and modifiers. The VI works on behalf of its members to promote the benefits of the world's most versatile plastic, used to make everything from PVC piping to flooring, roofing and vinyl siding. The vinyl industry in the United States employs over 350,000 highly skilled employees at nearly 3,000 facilities and generates an economic value of $54 billion. For more information, visit vinylinfo.org.
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