Hilex Poly received the award for its innovative “Bag-2-Bag®” recycling program, which allows millions of consumers and retail employees to easily recycle plastic bags, sacks and wraps at grocery stores and retailers. Once collected, the bagsare recycledd into new bags, reducing the need for virgin material.
“We are honored to be recognized for our joint commitment to plastics and sustainability innovation,” said Mike Sullivan, Director of New Product Development at Hilex Poly, who received the award. “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.”
With more than 30,000 collection points distributed across the country at in-store collection bins, Hilex Poly collects plastic bags, sacks and wraps – including dry cleaning bags, water bottle overwraps and newspaper bags – which are then gathered into bales and transported to the company’s state of the art recycling center in North Vernon, Ind. Hilex Poly also partners with other companies to purchase used plastic bags and film packaging for recycling. These materials are then recycled into new, sanitary, recyclable plastic bags. Recycled plastic bags and packaging films can be recycled into many products, including backyard decking, piping and playground equipment.
“The GPEC Environmental Awards (given by the Environmental Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers) are solicited from candidates, globally. 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,” said Dr. Pallatheri Subramanian, Awards Chair, Environmental Division of Society of Plastics Engineers.
Hilex Poly invested more than $25 million in its recycling center, which recycled in excess of 20 million pounds of bags, sacks and wraps in 2012. Compared to conventional bags, the “Bag-2-Bag®” bags made of recycled content require 20 percent less energy to produce, lower carbon emissions by 11 percent, divert millions of pounds from landfills each year, and provide sustainability conscious consumers a closed-loop carryout package.
To watch a video about the Hilex Poly “Bag 2 Bag®” program, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pZr2YqqD0Ak#
Hilex Poly, based in Hartsville, S.C., is the nation’s largest plastic bag manufacturer and operates the largest closed-loop recycling facility in the United States. Hilex Poly’s Bag-2-Bag® recycling program was the first closed-loop recycling program to introduce plastic bag recycling programs at supermarkets and retailers that also rewarded customers with high recycled content shopping bags. Hilex Poly operates the nation’s largest plastic bag recycling plant, located in North Vernon, Ind. For more information on Hilex Poly’s sustainability efforts, plastic bag recycling or the Bag-2-Bag® program, visit http://www.hilexpoly.com/.
The SPE Environmental Division is concerned with all aspects of the recycling, sustainability, bio-degradable , non-petroleum based polymers, reclamation, resource recovery, and disposal of plastic materials. Its mission is to foster the advancement of technology in the development of recycled plastics as a valuable raw-material resource and disseminate information in fostering the development of polymers derived from renewable sources. To this end, the Division promotes public and member education on plastics recycling and sustainability through the coordination and dissemination of technical information via local, regional, national and international sessions and conferences, publications, and interaction with other interested national, international, academic and industrial organizations. For more information visit http://www.sperecycling.org.