Q: How do we know if we are doing enough to consider ourselves an “environmentally friendly” company?
A: We can always do more. The annual Environmental Award application offers a great starting point for companies taking their first footsteps toward a robust environmental stewardship program and a scalable structure for those members who have set up corporate environmental programs and are ready to move to the next level.
to access the Environmental Award application.
Q. Can plastics really be considered an environmentally friendly or sustainable material?
A. YES! IAPD members primarily produce and distribute
Performance Plastics — multi-use or durable plastics. A category of plastic that, relative to other materials (such as wood, glass or metal) has a longer useful life, enhanced chemical and physical properties and is more economically and environmentally friendly.
not single use or throw away plastics. Performance plastics are designed to last for multi-use applications and in many cases generate a smaller carbon footprint than glass, steel and/or wood. Performance Plastics offer unique opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Q: What types of plastic polymers command a market/outlet for recyclability?
A: Plastic products range in desirability and marketability.
Here’s broad range:
- High demand: Polycarbonate, Acrylic, Styrene and ABScl
- Medium demand: Polyolefin, PETG and Nylons
- Low demand (harder to recycle): PVC, Teflon, Acetyl, and other high performance polymers.
to learn more about the economic benefits of a proactive environmental stewardship program.
Q. How can I better prepare my plastic scraps for recyclers?
A: Sort. Sort. Sort. Recyclers pay more for better-sorted scraps. Scraps must be free of foreign debris (wood, dirt, metal, etc.). Confirm other requirements with your recycler.
to learn about how you can make your plastic scrap more valuable.
Q. How do we find a quality recycler so that we can be assured proper disposal of materials collected from my facility?
A: Top-notch waste management companies file reports with the DEC (to obtain and maintain their license) that describe the full cycle of material they process. The reports are publicly available and the recycler should make them available to you. The certificate should be able to track your materials to their final destination.
for tips on locating and picking a quality recycler.
Q. What is the IAPD Environmental Committee?
A. The IAPD Board of Directors formed the Environmental Committee in April 2008 in response to increasing requests from its membership for guidance on improving their individual and collective environmental stewardship performance. Since then the committee has provided a proactive set of guidelines, instituted the GreenScene program and annual Environmental Award – both of which require strict compliance standards, developed green best practices program for the membership.
Today, the IAPD Environmental Committee actively promotes the environmental advantages of performance plastics to the public and assists IAPD members to develop sustainability practices across a variety of business sectors.
The guiding principles of our sustainability commitment are Conservation, Waste Minimization, Preservation, Cooperation and Education.
Q. What is the difference between selling scrap and recycling materials?
A. Often, when we say “recycling”, we generally mean the resell of Post Industrial or Post Consumer plastic waste to scrap purchasers. There exists a large vibrant and profitable (for the buyer and seller) industry for this material. Click here for a list of companies that purchase scrap.
Q. What does a scrap purchaser do with the material they buy?
A. Pelletize, grind, wash, compound, sort and package this material to be used as an economically viable alternative to virgin resin / pellets.
Q. How do I set up a scrap purchasing program at my company?
A. For businesses regularly producing large amounts of scrap, developing a system to collect and sell it can become a steady source of income for your business, additionally it may save on fees and other taxes associated with disposing of unusable material. Plus, it’s the right thing to do for the environment.
- Determine if you can sell your plastic: The most important question is whether you have plastic scrap that buyers are willing to take. Common types of sellable plastics include: PP, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, Nylon, Polycarbonate (PC), GPPS, Styrene (HIPS), PBT, ABS, PVC, PC/ABS
- Do you meet the minimum amount of scrap to sell? Most prefer to purchase by the truckload, which can range from 10,000 - 40,000 lbs, but others have more liberal minimums. Contact the purchaser to confirm their minimums.
- Preparing Your Plastic to Sell: Some plastics are more sought after (valuable) than others. Sort the material by type and separate light/dark pieces to make it easier to sell. If the scrap is dirty, the value may be affected, or sellers may refuse to accept them, so washing away dirt, oil, and other grime is a good idea before heading to your plastic retailer. The material always garners a higher price when it is sorted by type and is free from contaminants.
- What tools do we need? Ask the purchaser if they supply bins or gaylords which will make the process of sorting easier. A scale is recommended as is a designated area for storing your scrap.
- Transporting the material to the purchaser: Once you’ve met the minimum amount to sell, it can be loaded and transported to the plastic dealer of your choice. Many companies will arrange to pick up your plastic, if you have no means to transport it yourself. The buyer will calculate your amount, and you’ll be receiving your first payout for your plastic scraps.