Success Stories

Cast Nylons Ltd.

Cast Nylons Ltd. is a manufacturer of cast nylon headquartered in Willoughby, OH, USA. Its materials are used in construction, food processing, waste water, material handling, oil & gas, steel mills and roll shops, agriculture, mining equipment, marine and other industries. Cast Nylons Ltd. was founded in 1979 and now has three facilities in Ohio as well as operations in Mexico. The company received the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award in 2013 for the Most Innovative Program.

Cast Nylons Ltd. was honored for the company’s thorough approach to its corporate-wide Eco-Green Program. Traditionally, companies start with a recycling program and evolve it to a multi-faceted sustainability program. Cast Nylons launched a comprehensive program that included an environmental mission statement posted throughout the company’s workplace, an analysis of utility usage and identification of areas to reduce consumption and implementation of measures to reduce electricity, water and natural gas usage. High-efficiency HVAC units and solar-powered lighting were installed, numerous weather-proofing improvements were made to reduce the need for heating in the winter and low-water requirement landscaping was planted to reduce water needs during the summer months. The company recycles 98.5 percent of all solid waste and more than 99 percent of process scrap, plus office paper and trash, scrap metal, liquid unreacted nylon and machining oils and coolants. In addition, Cast Nylons established a policy for handling mercury and is partnering with a recycler to recycle mercury from all fluorescent bulbs. The company is implementing several safeguards to reduce emissions for cleaner air and has made significant investments in process improvements, capital equipment and lean manufacturing principles to increase efficiency by approximately 11 percent.



Cope Plastics

Cope Plastics, Inc. is a distributor of performance plastics headquartered in Alton, IL, USA. Founded in 1946, it is now one of the largest privately held women-owned businesses in the St. Louis, MO, USA area. Cope is the supplier of choice to more than 7,000 companies looking for plastics solutions, including original equipment manufacturers involved in heavy equipment, agriculture, food service, oil & gas, aerospace, medical, transportation, retail, graphics and many others. Cope has been honored with the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award for Best Recycling Program every year the company has submitted an application for the awards.

Cope Plastics, Inc.’s recycling program includes 36 different grades of plastic, which make up nearly 90 percent of the material distributed through or consumed by the company. In 2014, they opened a supply scrap channel for five different polyvinyl chloride (PVC) types. This new PVC outlet is forecasted to keep an additional 200,000 pounds of PVC scrap out of landfills annually. In 2012, Cope began a concentrated effort to regain scrap from customers, which has been met with great success. Cope received 141,575 pounds in the 12-month period from July 2012 through June 2013. From July 2013 to June 2014 that number increased to 604,053 pounds and the number of participating customers increased by 129 percent.

In July of 2013, Cope added a single-stream recycling program for employees to recycle cardboard, post-consumer plastic, steel and aluminum cans and glass and paper containers. This program offers recycling to more than 100 Cope employees who live in communities too small to offer curbside recycling. This program is responsible for an additional 200,000 pounds of post-consumer waste being diverted from area landfills.

Cope has continued its programs to recycle scrap metal, electronics, bulk paper files, oil and coolant, batteries and light bulbs generated through industrial processes. It has also begun recycling old or broken wood pallets through a local pallet manufacturer that takes these unwanted and unusable pallets and turns them into mulch. This program diverts about 9,000 pounds each month from being burned and creates about 100,000 pounds of mulch annually.

Despite the increased resources required to move an additional 600,000 pounds of customer scrap as well as the costs to sustain the equivalent of three more employees, Cope’s environmental program is economically self-sustaining. The solar-powered Processing Center has continued to be profitable and contributed positively to the bottom line at Cope Plastics, Inc. The salvage program that started in 2012 was designed to recover material that might be upcycled and used for prime consumption rather than recycling. Cope has identified and upcycled more than 120,000 pounds of material this year. The salvage program has also contributed thousands of dollars in profits from local sales, proving that environmental initiatives aren’t just a good idea for the planet, but can serve as a new revenue stream.



Curbell Plastics, Inc.

Curbell Plastics, Inc. was founded in 1942 as a small machine shop. Today it’s a privately held company headquartered in Orchard Park, NY, USA. The company, a performance plastics distributor, has multiple sales and warehouse locations throughout the United States. Curbell Plastics, Inc. has received numerous IAPD Environmental Excellence Awards, most recently in 2015 when the company was honored with the Gold Level Award for having the Best Overall Program.

Curbell Plastics, Inc. was honored for its continued dedication to environmentally responsible practices. In past years, the company applied a methodical approach to its program, targeting the areas of most waste first, and then expanding on its success. This past year, Curbell replaced a heating and cooling system at its headquarters. With its computerized thermostatic network, the company has reduced energy consumption by 61,000 kilowatt hours, resulting in a savings of US$7,000 and 111,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The company has implemented new lighting projects in four of its warehouses, resulting in a reduction of more than 20,000 kilowatt hours of energy used and a US$2,000 annual savings. The company had already been recycling computers and office equipment, but found a new recycler who refurbishes and reuses as much of the equipment as possible and distributes much of the equipment to schools in need. Curbell also worked with a vendor to eliminate the individually wrapped parts in poly bags and diverted 450 tons of waste from landfill at a total profit/cost reduction in excess of US$230,000. Curbell actively partners with neighboring businesses to help make recycling materials a more profitable activity for all involved. Curbell is a Federal Green Challenge participant, an EPA WasteWise partner and has reduced its solid waste by 90 percent while maintaining zero landfill status at its two largest facilities in Orchard Park, NY, USA.



Laird Plastics, Inc.

Laird Plastics is a distributor of performance plastics based in Boca Raton, FL, USA. Their multi-national team of 400+ employees serves more than 25,000 customers across North America in all segments of commercial, industrial and advertising activity. They offer a comprehensive network of service centers and inventories with an extensive product range including acrylics and polycarbonates, graphics materials (substrates and a variety of higher end materials) and mechanical/engineering materials (UHMW, LDPE, HDPE, nylons, acetals). Laird Plastics received the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award for Best Overall Program every year since the inception of the program in 2008. Laird Plastics works up and down the supply chain to ensure the efficient and environmentally sustainable collection of plastic waste. A business unit is dedicated solely to sustainable supply chain management and domestic plastic recycling. This business unit is responsible for the collection and analysis of environmental data and report these findings back to corporate leadership, customers and manufacturers. Recent accomplishments include recycling for 50 of its facilities and hundreds of customers throughout North America, as well as recycling for customers in 47 states and seven Canadian provinces. Laird Plastics recycled 12 million pounds of plastic in 2013, including increased total pounds of ABS, polystyrene and polycarbonate. The company’s first green product is also being actively promoted. Currently there is almost one million linear feet of corner guard being used throughout the Laird Plastics network. This product is 100 percent recyclable, manufactured domestically and replaces traditional cardboard.



Polymer Industries

Polymer Industries is a plastics manufacturer headquartered in Henagar, AL, USA. Their product line includes high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW). Their products can be found in cutting boards, playground equipment, restroom partitions, computer keyboards, signs, marina dock bumpers and conveyor parts. The company received the 2014 IAPD Environmental Excellence Award for Best New Program.

Polymer Industries was selected for its exemplary efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Starting with waste management, Polymer Industries implemented programs that reduced its waste from 4 million pounds annually to 400,000 pounds. The company has saved more than 3 million pounds of recyclable materials from going into landfills, all while being on an annual production growth path of double digits year over year for the past 10 years. In addition to the environmental benefits of this program, the cost savings have been what the company calls “staggering.” Their program started with bailing cardboard, aluminum and paper, then they purchased a line that converts saw shavings from sheet extrusion and converts them into pellet form and, ultimately, into a viable sheet product that can be sold and reused. They have repurposed 400,000-500,000 pounds of what was at one time waste high density polyethylene (HDPE) into a utility grade of HDPE for resale. Scrap that they cannot convert themselves is sold to a recycler, which averages 60,000 pounds per month. Beyond waste management, the company worked with local government officials to bring natural gas to their community, which is a cleaner and more efficient fuel than liquefied petroleum gas, which had been in use previously. This switch resulted in significant cost savings as well. In addition, the company has established a buy-back program for designated customers and they purchase approximately 200,000 pounds annually of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) products and 500,000 pounds annually of HDPE. They also repurpose approximately 100,000 pounds annually of post-consumer HDPE, such as recycled milk jugs. This is above and beyond the postindustrial regrind operations they engage in on a daily basis. The most recent environmental improvement is an energy-efficient lighting project throughout their operations.



Regal Plastic Supply, Inc.

Regal Plastics is a wholesale supplier of plastic material to a wide range of markets and industries. The company is headquartered in Dallas, TX, USA, and has branch locations throughout the states of Texas and Louisiana. Regal Plastic Supply, Inc. received the IAPD Environmental Excellence Award in 2013 for Best New Program.

Regal Plastic Supply, Inc. was selected for a company-wide program branded as “Going Green.” It started with meetings at each branch location, where a Going Green Coordinator was selected to promote and document the green efforts at that branch. The company added a recycling dumpster and recycling wastebaskets at every desk, published tips for office workers to re-think how much paper they use and started the Going Green Newsletter, a quarterly publication dedicated to sharing what each branch is doing to promote green practices. The company tracks plastics recycling, non-plastics recycling and energy consumption. In 2012 alone, Regal Plastic recycled 82,146 pounds of plastics. The company has also started to recycle wooden spools. In addition, Regal Plastic is increasing their stock of green and recycled products which they promote to customers. The company’s San Antonio branch worked with the local electricity provider and received a rebate for upgraded energy-efficient lighting and light sensors in the warehouse. The Dallas/Fort Worth branch upgraded to energy-efficient lighting and added a higher-rated insulation when the roof was replaced.