Gary Spilman, Ph.D. to Present at 2019 Western Coatings Symposium

PRESS RELEASE 

Gary Spilman, Ph.D. to Present at 2019 Western Coatings Symposium

Resinate Materials Group, a company advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Spilman, Research Fellow, will present at the 2019 Western Coatings Symposium.

Dr. Spilman’s presentation, titled Unlocking Additional Benefits in Sustainability: Synergies of Biorenewable with Recycle Content for the Future of Performance Coatings, will review how Resinate has achieved polyol and coating innovations using recycled and renewable content. Resinate will be exhibiting in booth 206 this year.

Western Coatings Symposium, an annual technical conference for the coatings industry, will bring academics and scientists together on October 20-23, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Spilman is scheduled to present at 1:45 p.m., on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. For more information, or to register, visit www.westerncoatings.org/.

 

About Resinate Materials Group

Resinate Materials Group is committed to advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, the backbone of materials such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams. Since 2007, Resinate has been innovating ways to divert landfill waste, extend the lifecycle of finite resources, and upcycle used molecules into valuable green chemistry solutions.

For more information, contact Resinate at +1 (800) 891-2955, or visit www.resinateinc.com.

Innovating with Plastics

Innovating with Plastics

This bi-monthly blog series will focus on the growing global issue of plastic waste in the environment. In it, we will discuss the threat plastic waste poses to the environment and economies around the globe, solutions on the horizon, as well as companies and organizations that are, like Resinate, working to make a difference.

In a world where one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute and five trillion single-use plastic bags are used every year1, it seems impossible to manage the amount of plastic waste being generated. An Ellen Macarthur Foundation report found that most plastic packaging is only used once – resulting in $80-120 billion in value of plastic packaging material lost annually. Innovation is the key to capturing this value and preventing plastic waste from becoming even more ubiquitous in the natural environment.

Eastman recently launched ‘carbon renewal technology’ that is capable of recycling some of the most difficult plastic waste, including flexible packaging and plastic films like grocery bags. Their innovative technology would allow this waste to be diverted from landfills and converted into building blocks for products like methyl acetate, acetic acid, and acetic anhydride. These valuable molecules are then used to manufacture cellulosic performance films for items such as eyeglass frames and LCD screens. Eastman has now completed pilot tests and expects commercial production this year by leveraging existing assets.

Polyethylene (used for grocery and trash bags, bubble wrap, flexible packaging, etc.) accounts for a third of all plastics produced globally. 97% of post-consumer plastic films end up in landfills and oceans, making films the most prevalently found marine plastic pollution.2 A California based company, Biocellection, has created an innovative process that turns this plastic waste into chemical intermediates including succinic acid, adipic acid, and azelaic acid. These materials are typically produced using petroleum – but this solution replaces fossil fuel with one of the most common, and difficult to recycle types of plastic waste.

In order to move toward a circular economy for plastics, we need to make the process of recycling more efficient. Ocean Optics is working to improve the sorting step of this process with near-infrared spectroscopy. By measuring the spectral differences between the polymer types that make up different types of plastics, this technology makes sorting more accurate and effective. This results in both lower costs and purer, more consistent material for recycling which can then be taken downstream for value-added materials.

At Resinate, we continue to develop innovative products that create a circular economy for plastics, upcycling them into polyols for higher-value applications. We are passionate about our work and the problem it aims to help solve – thus are always thinking about ways to find solutions for plastic waste, and continuously seek opportunities to collaborate.

Mike Christy
Technical Account Manager

 

1. https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/
2. http://www.closedlooppartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FilmRecyclingInvestmentReport_Final.pdf

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14: LIFE BELOW WATER

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14: LIFE BELOW WATER

For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, we will focus on a particular U.N. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

Our rainwater, climate, weather, drinking water, much of our food, and the oxygen in the air we breathe are all regulated or provided by the world’s oceans. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods – with the global market value of marine and coastal resources and industries estimated at $3 trillion per year.1 Unfortunately, overfishing, ocean acidification, and pollution are having adverse effects on this essential global resource, its ecosystems, and biodiversity.

Ocean acidity has increased by 26% since pre-industrial times and is expected to rapidly increase by 100-150% by 2100.2 This increase endangers marine life and impacts the ability of the ocean to absorb C02 – this is highly important in buffering the impacts of global warming, as oceans currently absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has created a roadmap to identify key impact opportunities for which companies like Eastman have incorporated actions into their goal setting and corporate reporting. With ocean acidification and goal 14 as major reasons, Eastman has committed to a 20% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.3

About 80% of marine pollution originates on land.4 This includes agricultural run-off, sewage, and plastics. Plastics are a key focus for us at Resinate, as you may have seen in one of our many conference presentations, articles, website or Plastics Blog. Plastics have become essential to modern life and are, in many ways, superior to their alternatives. (The British Plastics Federation estimates that alternative materials to plastics would result in 2.7 times more greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime.5) However, our lack of a circular model for design and use of plastics has resulted in dire consequences for our oceans.  Eight million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, the weight of nearly 90 aircraft carriers. Microplastics (tiny pieces of plastic less than 5 mm long, often found as exfoliants in beauty products, or resulting from larger plastic debris being broken down) in the seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.6

Many efforts are underway to reduce and avert marine pollution.  Much like Resinate, 3M is also working to find new, higher-value outlets for plastic waste. This month, they announced 3M Thinsulate™ Insulation made with 100% recycled content from plastic bottles.7 Understanding that collaboration between government, NGOs, and corporations is key to achieving the SDGs, Dow has become a leader in this space. They have invested in the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership to fast-track circular economy solutions for plastics.  Dow has also invested in Circulate Capital, a $100 million effort to create infrastructure that prevents the flow of plastic waste into our oceans. In addition, they are a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, intend to donate an additional $1 million to Ocean Conservancy over the next two years, and are working with governments and other stakeholders in Southeast Asia, the United States, and Africa to create a circular economy, turning recycled plastic into durable roads.8

With innovation, chemistry will continue to enable more efficient use of our natural resources and play an essential role in creating solutions that reduce pollution of all types – protecting our oceans and all that depend on them.

Dr. Gary Spilman
Research Fellow

1. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/oceans/ – Facts and Figures
2. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Infographic-Life-Below-Water.pdf

3. https://www.eastman.com/Company/Sustainability/Reporting/Environmental/Pages/Greenhouse_Gas.aspx

4. https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/oceans-seas/what-we-do/addressing-land-based-pollution

5. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-42646025

6. https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/caribbean-addresses-scourge-plastic-pollution

7. https://news.3m.com/stories/Reinventing-Warmth-With-Recycled-Plastic?utm_term=corp-susta-en_us-ba-susty2019-osm-lin-na-learn-photocard-jul19-na

8. 2018 Dow Sustainability Report

The Chemical Industry and U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

The Chemical Industry and U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

 

 For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, each entry will focus on a particular U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

As the population and economic growth have increased, so has resource use. If the population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, we will need about 3 Earths to sustain our current lifestyles. The need to do more with fewer resources is evident. Goal 12 aims to do just this.

Responsible consumption and production is about reducing resource use, degradation and pollution through promoting resource efficiency, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure. It aims at creating a better life for all by reducing future economic, environmental, and social costs, strengthening economic competitiveness, and creating jobs.

The chemical industry plays a unique role in sustainable consumption and production. With over 95% of manufactured goods being touched by chemistry, it is a four-trillion-dollar global business that affects virtually every sector.1

BASF’s Verbund concept is a prime example of how sustainable consumption and production not only produces environmental benefits, but significant cost advantages as well. BASF operates six Verbund sites worldwide where their production plants, energy and material flows, logistics, and site infrastructure are all integrated. In this type of efficient value chain, by-products from one plant can be used as raw materials elsewhere, reducing waste and resource use. The concept creates an opportunity to reduce emissions and waste, lower resource consumption, and minimize transport distances. The Verbund concept saves 6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year and reduces transportation needs by about 280,000 truckloads per year – thereby reducing fuel consumption, pollution, and handling/storage costs.  BASF sees an annual savings of over 1.1 billion dollars through its Verbund concept.

Perhaps one of the best ways to aid in the accomplishment of the targets for goal 12 is through the creation of circular economies. As the American Chemistry Council points out, progress towards a circular economy not only includes “responsible use of natural resources, but also enables the reuse, repurposing, recycling and recovery of the value locked in materials traditionally viewed as waste.” In this type of economy, we can continuously cycle resources to not only eliminate waste but reduce our need to harvest new materials from diminishing resources.

As you may have read in previous blog posts by my colleagues, the circular economy is something that is always front of mind at Resinate. We seek to harness the inherent properties and value of the molecules in materials like plastic waste, upcycling them into higher value applications with a much longer life cycle. We have already seen that a circular economy is realistic and beneficial through partnerships with companies like Ford Motor Company.  With collaboration and innovation, we can decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and create a more sustainable future for all.

Mike Christy
Technical Account & Business Development Manager

1. https://sdgroadmaps.wbcsd.org/the-chemical-sector/#section-chemSecSDGs

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, we will focus on a particular U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

Goal 6 has several targets for 2030 – including to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all; to improve water quality by reducing pollution; eliminating dumping and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials; to increase water-use efficiency across all sectors; to protect and restore water-related ecosystems; and to improve water and sanitation management.

According to the World Bank, water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030. In order to fill the gap, more than conservation alone is needed. Advances in technology in the chemical industry will enable not only conservation, but the recycling of wastewater into clean, safe drinking water.

“UNICEF reports that 1.5 million children die each year from a lack of clean water and sanitation.”1 Dow is one company working to make a difference in this area. The company has provided a $30 million-dollar loan guarantee to WaterHealth International. This loan will help finance 2,000 water treatment systems for over 11 million people in rural India and Africa. Dow is also working to make a difference with its technologies, like their plastic resin for lightweight water purification devices. One of these devices can provide water to a household for 10-15 years at only $1 per year, per person. Dow also has reverse osmosis technologies for desalination in areas where fresh water is limited. They are also involved in creating “bricks” that can transport food and water, then be used to build homes, schools, or medical facilities. Dow’s resins allow these bricks to be so lightweight and durable that they can be air-dropped to remote regions when necessary.

Chemistry is essential to safe drinking water and sanitation – from disinfectants that prevent disease, to polymer membrane filters that remove water impurities, to materials for pipes that protect water from its source to the tap, and many more. With continued innovation, chemistry will continue to enable more efficient use of our natural resources and play an essential role in providing safe drinking water to all communities globally.

Rick Tabor
Chief Technology Officer

 1.https://www.icca-chem.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Global-Chemical-Industry-Contributions-to-the-UN-Sustainable-Development-Goals.pdf

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION

 

For Resinate’s 2019 blog series, each month will focus on a different U.N. Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 4 includes several 2030 targets including ensuring that all boys and girls have access to quality childhood development and care, building and upgrading education facilities, and substantially increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills for employment. (Globally, 264 million children and adolescents do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school. If you would like to support this effort, here is a link to the U.N. Children’s Fund.)

Companies in the chemical industry, like PPG and Covestro, are trying to make a difference in this space. One example is a bilingual picture book published by Covestro Taiwan to create awareness for waste management principles through a children’s adventure story. PPG is committed to advancing STEM education through partnerships and has funded 4.26 million dollars in education grants.

There are endless opportunities to support these efforts on a global scale, but today I would like to discuss how the chemical industry can influence quality green chemistry education that provides students with the skills and knowledge for a career in the future of chemistry.

As environmental concerns, social consciousness, and a focus on sustainable development continue to drive demand for green chemistry solutions, it is essential that we prepare tomorrow’s chemists for the paradigm shift occurring in the chemical industry. We cannot approach the same problems with the same traditional solutions, we must arm future generations of chemists with a new toolbox and mindset, so that they arrive in the workforce with fresh perspectives. This mindset will help the development of future materials evolve into innovative designs and choices based on the 12 Design Principles of Green Chemistry

The University of Michigan, where I attended graduate school, is already recognizing the importance of a focus on green chemistry and have established a Green Chemistry Bachelor of Science program. Programs like these utilize the principles of green chemistry to evaluate the ecological and economical sustainability of chemicals and chemical processes on top of traditional training and education in a chemistry curriculum. This program includes courses like Sustainable Design of Products and Systems, Environmental Law, Life Cycle Assessment, and Industrial Ecology on top of the core chemistry courses.

Supporting these universities are chemical industry leaders like The Dow Chemical Company. One example is the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge which brings together eighteen universities (including University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Penn State, University of Cambridge, Brazil’s University of São Paulo, and China’s Peking University) to recognize innovative student projects. Also supporting universities and the industry on this mission are associations like the American Chemical Society which has several educational resources, a listing of green chemistry academic programs, and an ACS Student Chapter with an award program. The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council has established a policy statement on green chemistry in higher education, I encourage you and your company to sign on as we have at Resinate!

Slowly but surely the entire chemical industry is embracing the concept of sustainability and is taking a hard look at environmental impacts of their materials and processes.  There is no turning back, nor is there any desire to do so. The path forward is in the hands of the next generation of researchers.  As they slowly infiltrate the chemical industry over time, it will be easy to recognize the impact that their training and education has had on the choices they make and the materials they design.  We should catalyze this process any way we can and accelerate our evolution toward greater sustainability.

Dr. Gary Spilman
Research Fellow

The Chemical Industry and UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-Being

I am happy to launch Resinate’s 2019 blog series, where each month we will focus on a different UN Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.

The chemical industry is essential to sustainable development, and green chemistry is its path forward. Human health and well-being is a prime example of the impact green chemistry innovations can have.  The EPA gives several human health benefits of green chemistry including cleaner air and water, increased safety for workers in the chemical industry, safer consumer products of all types, and safer food.

Goal 3 includes several targets, with target 3.9 stating, By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.” This target is right in line with several of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry (including design less hazardous chemical syntheses; design safer chemicals and products; use safer solvents and reaction conditions; design products to degrade after used; analyze in real time to prevent pollution, and minimize the potential for accidents.)

Chemical industry leaders like Covestro are already recognizing the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Covestro has a goal to align their R&D project portfolio with them- and appears to be well on its way to achieving it. As an example, they have products for the medical industry that are improving human health, like the biocompatible polycarbonate resin, MAKROLON®. The company also works to prevent air, water and soil pollution by partnering along the value chain to create processes to strengthen a circular economy. In 2017, they established a central coordinating office for the circular economy.

Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer, uses a materials chemistry practice to assess materials in their supply chain and understand their potential impacts on human and environmental health. To date, they have assessed over 1,600 materials. This allows them to identify materials of concern, eliminate them, and work with their supply chain to develop sustainable alternatives.

At Resinate, our number one goal is always safety. This is why we have invested to create a strong safety culture that encourages and empowers employees to identify and eliminate hazards before they cause harm. We also consistently seek to use and create safer materials; as well as develop partnerships across the entire value chain that allow us to prevent waste and pollution by creating a circular economy.

90% of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry.1 It is our collective responsibility to ensure that as industry and the population continue to grow, it does so in a sustainable way that improves the lives and well-being of all.

Mark Maxwell
Business Director

 

1. An Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry, Strategies for Innovation, Research and Adoption by the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council

New Year, New Paradigm – What’s on the Horizon for Green Chemistry Innovation?

New Year, New Paradigm – What’s on the Horizon for Green Chemistry Innovation?

 

The role of sustainability has shifted from initiatives aimed at increasing goodwill and reducing costs to a business imperative shaping future-proof portfolio and driving strategic decision making. While industry can boast significant progress in reducing its environmental impact, increasing public and regulatory scrutiny around plastic waste has emerged as a critical issue.
– Rebecca Coons, December 2018 Issue of Chemical Week

 

Pike Research estimates that the green chemistry market will grow to $98.5 billion by 2020, which is staggering growth considering the market was just $2.8 billion in 2011. It’s no surprise that as the green chemistry market continues to grow, so does our definition of it.

The American Chemical Society traces the start of Green Chemistry back to Rachel Carson’s book from 1962, Silent Spring. Her book served as a wake-up call, inspiring the modern environmental movement that eventually led to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Scandals like the Love Canal Tragedy have sometimes caused the public to view the chemical industry as villains. However, thanks to work done by the EPA and a multitude of other chemical industry leaders and innovators; the world is beginning to see that the chemical industry not as the villain – but instead, a key to solving some of the world’s biggest problems.

Increased use of biorenewable plant-based intermediates has been an invaluable improvement for the environment over petroleum feedstocks based on carbon footprint.  A Scientific American article quotes Frederic Scheer as saying, “it takes 77 million years to make fossil fuels and 45 minutes to use as a coffee cup” (or water bottle).  Companies like NatureWorks are building from feedstocks we never thought possible, transforming greenhouse gases into PLA for use in everything from 3D printing to packaging and construction. NatureWorks states that if you replace a single average PET baby wipe with one made from their product; it saves non-renewable energy equal to running a lightbulb for 10 minutes.

The first of The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry is waste prevention. This is a core focus at Resinate, plastic waste prevention, in particular. Plastic contains valuable molecules that already have a significant energy history and environmental footprint paid to that point. With our patented innovative technology, we harvest and build upon the inherent performance properties of these molecules, complement them with biorenewable materials, and ultimately upcycle them into higher value applications. As an example, one wooden gym floor, fully protected with a coating made using a Resinate® polyol, can contain up to 400 PET water bottles. However, new outlets for plastic waste are desperately needed – as McKinsey & Company estimates that only 16% of plastic waste is collected for recycling; with 4% as process losses; 12% going to mechanical recycling; and less than 1% currently going to chemical recycling.  We can and must find ways to improve these numbers.  Resinate takes this challenge very seriously and continues looking for innovative ways of using materials at the end of their linear life cycle; transforming them into a circular model which enables their inherent value to be captured at its highest possible point for decades to come- a trend that is steadily building momentum.

Resinate technology creates new pathways for otherwise wasted resources; validated by performance, while trailblazing a parallel path alongside biorenewable materials in support of the projected 2020 green chemistry market growth.  A win-win for everyone involved- and especially our beloved planet.

Dr. Gary Spilman
Research Fellow

Resinate Materials Group® Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

Resinate Materials Group Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

PRESS RELEASE

Plymouth, MI. (December 5, 2018) — Resinate Materials Group® announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label on five additional products. 13 Resinate® products are now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content.

The following Resinate products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label:

  • Resinate C3851-100 Low Viscosity Building Block Polyol
    • 53% biobased content
  • Resinate C1181-100 High Flexibility Modifying Polyol
    • 60% biobased content
  • Resinate C1182-100 Mid-Flexibility Modifying Polyol
    • 48% biobased content
  • Resinate C2052-60 Mid Viscosity Polyol for Floor Coatings
    • 62% biobased content
  • Resinate C2051-50 Low Viscosity Polyol for Floor Coatings
    • 52% biobased content
  • Resinate A0352-73 High-Performance Polyol for RHMA
    • 71% biobased content
  • Resinate A0353-75 Multi-Purpose Polyol for RHMA
    • 67% biobased content
  • Resinate A2553-76 Multi-Purpose Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 50% biobased content
  • Resinate A2551-100 Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 51% biobased content
  • Resinate A2552-100 High Recycled Content Polyol for Solventless Adhesives
    • 28% biobased content
  • Resinate F0651-81 Flex Foam Polyester Polyol
    • 67% biobased content
  • Resinate F0701-79 Polyol for Flexible Foam Applications
    • 60% biobased content
  • Resinate F0702-82 Polyol for Flexible Foam Applications
    • 59% biobased content

Third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.

The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change.

Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.

“We applaud Resinate Materials Group for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. “Products from Resinate are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”

According to a report that USDA released in 2015, biobased products contributed $369 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013 and support, directly and indirectly, 4 million jobs. The same report found that biobased products also displace approximately 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road. The increased production of renewable chemicals and biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy – where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials.

About Resinate Materials Group
Resinate Materials Group is committed to advancing the use of recycled content in specialty polyols, the backbone of materials such as coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and foams. Since 2007, Resinate has been innovating ways to divert landfill waste, extend the lifecycle of finite resources, and upcycle used molecules into valuable green chemistry solutions.

For more information, contact Resinate at +1 (800) 891-2955, or visit www.resinateinc.com.

From Medical Packaging Waste to High-Performance Coatings; A Case Study

From Medical Packaging Waste to High-Performance Coatings; A Case Study

The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council states that healthcare facilities in the United States generate approximately 14,000 tons of waste per day, most of which is being disposed of in landfills or by incineration. It is estimated that 25% of this is plastic packaging and plastic products.1 In fact, according to BCC Research, more than 10 billion pounds of plastic healthcare packaging was placed on the market in 2013 and only 14% of that was collected for recycling.2

Hospitals say the waste is stockpiling because balancing patient safety, cost and sustainability is difficult. It doesn’t help that haulers and recyclers often have concerns about and shy away from healthcare waste – even though the World Health Organization estimates that 85% of hospital waste is noninfectious.3  Concerns grew at the beginning of 2018, when China placed an import ban on 24 types of recyclable materials, including plastics used in soda bottles, as part of an environmental reform movement designed to deal with its own growing waste problems.4

As we have seen in other markets, creating a successful circular economy for healthcare plastics will require educating and collaborating across the entire value chain. Hospital environments are busy and intense, so it needs to be simple and easy for employees to properly dispose of and sort the recyclable materials. Training may be needed on this subject, and champions are critical. Antea Group suggests starting with a few items and gradually adding other materials.2 However, the hesitation from some recyclers and haulers mentioned above will need to be addressed, and we must continue to seek new outlets for this and other recycled material.

Because of our commitment to the circular economy and solving the broader plastic waste problem, the team at Resinate was willing to help when the Plastics Industry Association and the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council reached out to us with a project.5

The overall goal of the project was to determine if PETG scrap from healthcare facilities, which have a significant embedded energy history and environmental footprint, can be upcycled into valuable assets. The data from this project showed promising performance from the resulting recycled PETG polyols. While much work remains to streamline this process across the value chain, it is now believed that this material could be used to create high-performing polyols for adhesives, sealants, elastomers, foams, and melamine-based coatings.  

To learn more about this project, view the recycling today article here.

Rick Tabor
Chief Technology Officer

 

1. https://www.hprc.org/about-hprc   2. https://www.plasticstoday.com/medical/healthcare-plastics-recycling-project-identifies-challenges-opportunities/91876758547448   3. http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/health-care-waste   4. https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/turning-chinas-ban-of-recyclable-imports-into-americas-opportunity   5. https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/petg-medical-packaging-recycling/