Award trophy
© Dana Rothstein -

Plastics announces 2020 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards winners

Three winners were selected for these awards. Winners of the Leadership in Innovation Award and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at Re|focus in May.

February 17, 2020

The Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), Washington, has announced the three winners of the annual Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards. The winners exemplify the best submissions in the categories of materials, design and end-of-life innovations, all of which were assessed by a judging panel of experts in recycling and sustainability from members of Plastics, the association reports in a news release on the awards. The winners include:

Materials: Vartega, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, received this award for its reclaimed and recycled carbon fiber that enables the diversion of thousands of tons of carbon fiber from the landfill. Vartega’s recycled fibers are used in a range of applications, including nonwoven fabrics, thermoplastic pellets and 3D printing filaments. The company’s partners for this award include Ford, Dow, Michelman, Techmer PM, Michigan State University, IACMI-The Composites Institute, Colorado School of Mines, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

Design: Accredo Packaging, Sugar Land, Texas, received this award for its AccredoFlex RP Gen2, an all-polyethylene fully recyclable stand-up pouch that can be used for a variety of products. The pouches can be made using up to 25 percent biobased resin and are fully converted into pouches using wind or solar energy.

End-of-life: Eastman, Kingsport, Tennessee, received this award for its Carbon Renewal Technology (CRT), which breaks down plastic scrap into molecular building blocks like carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and turns those building blocks into new, virgin-quality plastics.

According to a news release from Plastics, the winning entries were chosen out of 35 innovations submitted.

“The 2020 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards drew an exceptionally competitive field of entries this year,” says Plastics' Director of Sustainability Ashley Hood-Morley. “Each winning innovation has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to eliminating waste in plastics manufacturing and eliminating waste, period. There are countless ways in which this industry is working to solve our planet’s environmental challenges. We congratulate Eastman, Accredo and Vartega for their commitment to sustainability and look forward to seeing the impact their innovations will undoubtedly have on our industry and our environment.”

The Leadership in Innovation Award, determined by a judging panel, and the People’s Choice Award, determined by Re|focus attendees, will be announced at the Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit that will take place May 18-20 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

More information about these awards and the 2020 submissions is available online