- The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) has recognized the first company in its Zero Net Waste program, which was established earlier this year to make plastics manufacturing more sustainable, as reported by Plastics News.
- Ohio-based thermoplastic company The Minco Group was recognized for diverting 88% of manufacturing waste from landfill by volume, and 46% by weight.
- The company projects these new recycling strategies will help generate $20,000 in revenue in 2017.
The Zero Net Waste program is available to all SPI members, offering tools and resources to help reach waste reduction goals. Through a self-reporting program companies are asked to provide information on landfill diversion rates and employee education among other metrics. Participating companies can also display their zero waste qualifications on marketing materials.
The Minco Group's efforts were driven by subsidiary All Service Plastic Molding, which organized a "green team" to run zero waste operations. In addition to boosting diversion rates the team also led a 24-hour waste sort and categorized it into 26 different material types. This helped educate employees about what types of manufacturing waste could be recycled.
While a recent study commissioned by the American Chemistry Council had the surprising finding that the environmental costs of plastic are four times lower than other materials that doesn't mean more can't be done to reduce waste in the supply chain. Recent reports such as the MacArthur Foundation's "New Plastics Economy" have advocated for manufacturers to take more steps toward a circular economy and this is a good place to start.