Hilex Poly Co., a Hartsville, S.C.-based manufacturer and recycler of plastic bags, has received the 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Environmental Division’s Award for Plastics Recycling Technologies and Applications. The award, presented at the SPE’s 2013 Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC) in New Orleans in March, is designed to “recognize innovations in plastics recycling solutions and overall commitment to sustainability.”
Hilex Poly received the award for its Bag-2-Bag recycling program, which allows consumers and retail employees to recycle plastic bags, sacks and wraps at grocery stores and retailers. Once collected, the bags are recycled into new bags.
“We are honored to be recognized for our joint commitment to plastics and sustainability innovation,” says Mike Sullivan, Hilex Poly’s director of new product development. “At Hilex Poly, our innovative Bag-2-Bag program is a collaborative effort with our customers and reinforces our responsibility and dedication to the environment.”
Hilex Poly has more than 30,000 collection points throughout the country at in-store collection bins. The company collects plastic bags, sacks and wraps – including dry cleaning bags, water bottle overwraps and newspaper bags—which are baled and transported to its North Vernon, Ind., recycling center. Hilex Poly also partners with other companies to purchase used plastic bags and film packaging for recycling.
“The GPEC Environmental Awards (given by the Environmental Division of SPE) are solicited from candidates, globally,” says Pallatheri Subramanian, awards chair for the SPE’s Environmental Division. “The winner is recognized for their innovation in plastics recycling and its impact on the environment. Hilex is being recognized for their commitment to environmental sustainability by establishing the infrastructure and technologies to recycle millions of pounds of post-consumer plastic bags (saving them from land-fill disposal) and making new bags from these (bag to bag program). Significant savings in energy consumption and reduction of the carbon footprint are achieved thereby.”
Hilex Poly has invested more than $25 million in its recycling center, which recycled more than 20 million pounds of bags, sacks and wraps in 2012.