Ravago’s Robert Render talks plastics recycling trends in build-up to AMI Plastics World Expos
Canadian PlasticsPlastics Processes Recycling
The co-located shows are taking place in Cleveland, Ohio on Nov. 9-10, 2022.
The AMI Plastics World Expos is around the corner, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio on Nov. 9-10, 2022.
The trade show is made up of four co-located exhibitions – Compounding World Expo, Plastics Recycling World Expo, Plastics Extrusion World Expo and Polymer Testing World Expo – and features over 300 exhibitors.
Running alongside the exhibitions, the five conference theaters feature more than 100 speakers providing practical advice, expertise and opinions on industry demands, growth and challenges.
In advance of the show, Robert Render, business development manager sustainability for exhibitor Ravago Recycling Group, talked with AMI marketing coordinator William Whittleton about some prominent plastics recycling industry trends. Render will also be a panelist for ‘Exploring solutions to increase recycling rates, capture more plastics and drive sustainability’ conference at the Plastic Recycling World Expo.
Q: How do you see the industry developing and growing in the next three-to-five years?
A: The emphasis on sustainability and circularity will only grow over time and be influenced by customer demand, brand goals, and state, local and federal regulation. The industry’s response has to be leadership in providing solutions that address all these factors. It will be a period of new approaches as evidenced by the enormous investment by start-ups and established companies and scaling of those technologies that prove to be economical, efficient, and impactful.
Q: What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?
A: Frankly, the demonization of plastics and willingness of brands and their suppliers to shift away from plastic to less sustainable materials for the optics is troubling. Similarly, regulatory approaches that target plastics even though waste and litter from all sources is the issue. We have to change the conversation and back our messaging with actions. When NGOs belittle the investments being made to address plastic waste as greenwashing, it’s disappointing. Their solution is always to ban plastics.
Q: In your view, what has been the most exciting development in the industry in the last couple of years? And why?
A: There are a number of developments that are exciting and indicative of the industry’s commitment to sustainability, including advanced recycling technologies and the investments to develop and bring them to scale in PET, PU, PC, PS, and PP/PE; the use of renewable materials and waste materials in composites that perform and replace materials under stress like hardwoods; the ‘Uberization’ of collection of recyclables in smaller locales driven by apps where traditional curbside or drop off systems don’t serve; and new additives that compatibilize materials and aid processibility of previously unrecyclable materials.