CPIA announces industry award winners
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has named the recipients of its 2012 industry awards: the Leader of the Year, the Plastics Innovator award, the Recycled Products award, the Plastics Stewardship award, and the...
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has named the recipients of its 2012 industry awards: the Leader of the Year, the Plastics Innovator award, the Recycled Products award, the Plastics Stewardship award, and the Newcomer of the Year award.
LEADER OF THE YEAR: PAUL COHEN, W. RALSTON (CANADA) INC.
The CEO of polyethylene film extruder W. Ralston (Canada) Inc., Cohen has been at the front and centre of Canada’s plastics industry for over 20 years. In addition to heading Brampton, Ont.-based Ralston, Cohen is currently the chair of the CPIA’s Board of Directors, a past chair of the Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada, a past member of the management committee of the CPIA’s Environment and Plastics Industry Council, and the recipient of a CPIA CanPlast award for outstanding leadership.
Ralston first supplied jumbos of film to bag converters in Eastern Canada until it eventually began converting its own finished products. It was one of the first Canadian companies to produce garbage bags, offering a new, cleaner method of waste disposal for both household and commercial marketplaces; the first to manufacture linear bags in Canada; the first to get “Ecologo”-certified for using post-consumer resins; the first to offer bags with anti-bacterial components; and the first with composting bags that used bioplastics. “As demand grew so did the company, and we expanded into our production facility in Brampton in 1968,” Cohen told Canadian Plastics. “In 1983, we opened a second manufacturing site in Drumheller, Alta., in order to be closer to the fast growing economy in Western Canada; one of our first production lines enabled us to produce wide rolls of construction film that’s used as a vapor barrier in new homes across the West. Besides the two main plants, Ralston also runs a small converting operation in Montreal.”
PLASTICS INNOVATOR AWARD: Dr. Mohini Sain, Centre for BioComposites
and BioMaterials, University of Toronto
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.