Feature

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association picks a FRESH CROP of Honorees

PLASTICS INNOVATOR AWARD


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June 1, 2012 by Canadian Plastics

PLASTICS INNOVATOR AWARD

Dr. Mohini Sain, Centre for BioComposites
and BioMaterials, University of Toronto

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Mohini Sain, the odds are good that you’ve at least heard of his work. An internationally renowned expert in biocomposites, Dr. Sain holds several awards for innovation and contributions to industry, has published more than 275 referred journal papers and about 300 conferences papers, and has organized bioplastics conferences in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. 

Dr. Sain’s breakthrough research on natural fibre reinforced thermoplastics is currently being commercialized by Mississauga, Ont.-based GreenCore Composites Inc. GreenCore’s “NCell” high-performance thermoplastics for injection molding and extrusion applications consist of a polypropylene or polyethylene matrix reinforced with up to 40 per cent natural cellulosic microfibres.

Dr. Sain is also one of the principal investigators for the Ontario BioCar Initiative, a partnership between the automotive industry and the private sector whose goal is to accelerate the use of biomass in automotive materials.

RECYCLED PRODUCTS AWARD

Nuform Building Technologies Inc.

Founded in 1992, Nuform Building Technologies Inc. — formerly Royal Building Technologies Ltd. — is producer of two polymer-based products that use recycled materials.  The Woodbridge, Ont.-based company’s “CONFORM” product (pictured) is a permanent, pre-finished concrete wall forming system for the building industry. The extruded components slide and interconnect together to create a concrete formwork that can be easily erected in any climate. CONFORM doesn’t require painting, resists ultraviolet radiation, is virtually maintenance-free, and is impervious to weather.

“RELINE” is an innovative, pre-finished, lightweight panel system for finishing walls and ceilings of new and existing buildings. The interlocking panels connect directly to an existing wall or truss ceiling. The durable finished surface won’t warp, rust or corrode, and never needs painting.

As the CPIA award category implies, the product’s polymer components — made with a minimum of 55 per cent post-industrial recycled plastics — are recyclable, energy efficient, and non-toxic.

PLASTICS STEWARDSHIP AWARD

Stuart Clark, Simplas 

In 2005, after 12 years with PVC pipe and fittings manufacturer Royal Pipe Systems, a division of Royal Building Products, Stuart Clark established Simplas, a Mississauga, Ont.-based plastics recycling business. The goal was to capture and recycle plastic pipe products, such as sewers, water mains, gas mains, conduit and plumbing products, as well as vinyl siding, and sell it back to local manufacturers. To date, Simplas has diverted over 12,000,000 lbs. of post-industrial pipe and another 3,000,000 lbs. of post-consumer plastic pipe and siding back to local markets throughout Canada.

To encourage construction firms to divert their plastic waste in the first place, Simplas allows them to dump their plastic waste at the company’s site free of charge, instead of at landfills where they’d be paying tipping fees. 

Simplas also opened a recycling plant in Edmonton in 2009, Clark having spent the previous three years pioneering a process to recycle composite plastic pipe used in Alberta that had previously been sent to landfill. The result will ultimately divert millions of pounds of this material from landfill and supply recyclate to the local economy.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Groupe RCM Inc.

Founded in 1981, Quebec-based Groupe RCM is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to create jobs for people with physical or cognitive limitations. 

Since 2010, the organization, which employs 160 handicapped workers, has operated an innovative new processing line at its Yamachiche, Que., facility. The line uses a high-speed, waste-free thermokinetic process that transforms all elements of plastics bags, straws, and film into LDPE granules suitable for a wide array of applications, including the manufacture of flower pots, railway ties, and pallets. The 100 per cent post-consumer resin is available for sale throughout Canada and the U.S. 

Groupe RCM’s objective is to reach a total yearly processing volume of 12,000 tonnes within the next three years.