2021 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit Virtual Webinar Series
A Practical Guide to Sustainability in Plastics

Day 1: Sustainability in Plastics
Wednesday, December 1, 2021  | 11:00am EST – 1:30pm EST

Introduction to A Practical Guide to Sustainability in Plastics
11:00am – 11:05am 

What You Need to Know About Sustainability in the Plastics Industry
11:05am - 11:35am

An introduction to sustainability in the world of plastics, how the plastics industry defines sustainability, and other key terms like recycling, circularity, and bioplastics. 

Framework to Building and Reporting Your Sustainability Program
11:40am - 12:45pm 

Deep dive into the processes and methods behind developing and implementing an industry sustainability program with tools and resources that can be applied to your sustainability reporting to measure and effectively communicate your organization's impact on the environment, economy, and society.

Sustainability Claims and Labels
12:50pm - 1:25pm

Learn about considerations for making sustainability-related claims and the relevant standards and common industry practices you should be aware of. 


Day 2: The Current Status of the U.S. Recycling System
Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 11:00am EST – 2:00pm EST


Introduction to The Current Status of the U.S. Recycling System 
11:00am - 11:05am 

Current Status of Collection and Sortation & Opportunities for Innovation
11:05am - 11:35am

Asking the structural questions: What advancements have been made in infrastructure within Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) content collection and sortation in the mechanical recycling process? What changes are left to be made to improve efficiency? Furthermore, how much do all these advancements in infrastructure cost? 

Mechanical Recycling: Current Status of Processing & Opportunities for Innovation
11:40am - 12:20pm

An overview of the current system of processing PCR mechanically in the U.S. and a look into the effectiveness of this system along with the challenges it faces.

Addressing the Challenges: Advancements in Policy
12:20pm - 12:50pm

Hear about current regulatory and legislative activity that is shaping the future of recycling and materials management, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Recycling Goals and Strategies, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) strategies, and the following proposed legislation: RECYCLE Act, RECOVER Act, and Plastic Waste Recovery and Recycling Act.

Combatting the Challenges: Advanced Recycling
12:55pm - 1:25pm

Gain insight into understanding what advanced recycling is, the process that has been made in this space, and how these new processes can complement mechanical recycling. 

Combatting the Challenges: Alternative Plastic Materials
1:25pm - 1:55pm

Tune in to learn about the trends in bioplastics—biobased and/or biodegradable—and the considerations that should be made when exploring the capabilities of these plastic materials to aid in improving your carbon footprint, landfill avoidance, and other sustainability goals. 


2020 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit Virtual Webinar Series

Due to travel bans and guidelines in place due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and Recycling Committee decided to cancel the live 2020 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit originally scheduled for May 21, 2020, in Cincinnati, OH. 

Components of the program were held as a complimentary webinar series from May 28, 2020 through December 2020. The Re|focus six-part webinar series honed in on: 

Putting Marine Plastics to Work in the Supply Chain
View Recording

Join us for the first webinar in the Re|focus webinar series. Major efforts are underway across the globe to remove plastic marine debris from the environment. Aside from landfilling this material or incinerating it, what can be done with it? This complimentary session will feature panelists that are leading research on the recycling of these materials and explore strategies for aggregating meaningful volumes of materials from otherwise isolated clean-up efforts. 

  • Moderator: Mark Richardson, Series One LLC, Co-Founder & Principal
  • Scott Howard, PolyVisions, CEO
  • Scott Farling, Ocean Plastics Recovery Project, Co-Founder
  • Andy Schroeder, Ocean Plastics Recovery Project, Co-Founder
  • Ryan Schoenike, OceanCycle, Co-Founder & President 

Driving Environmental Outcomes Using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
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"Paper or plastic?" While a seemingly simple question, arriving at an answer could be quite complex. Without the right set of information to answer this question, you're really just hoping to make the best choice for the environment. Fortunately, life cycle analysis (LCA) can be used as a tool to reveal the critical information necessary to make the choices about materials and design that will drive the best environmental outcomes. This session will explore how to use LCA in your business, how to be a good consumer of LCA data and how LCA data can translate into policy and regulatory frameworks relating to packaging. 

  • Moderator: Monica Filyaw, PolyQuest, Director of Quality, Safety, and Regulatory Affairs
  • Dennis Kittel, Amcor Rigid Packaging, Senior Sustainability Advisor
  • Bruce Uhlman, BASF Corporation, Manager, Applied Sustainability, Product Stewardship

Industry Collaboration in Bioplastics
View Recording

As brands are making commitments toward more sustainable material choices, bioplastics are often looked at as a solution. Whether made from renewable feedstocks or in some way biodegradable (such as industrial compostable), bioplastics are a growing part of the plastics industry, and are suitable for many different types of applications and products. In addition to an overview of what bioplastics are and tackling some common misconceptions, this session will include presentations from experts and companies about how the plastics industry is collaborating and innovating to provide new sustainable options. 

  • Moderator: Patrick Krieger, Director, Sustainability & Materials, Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS)
  • Kevin Hanrahan, Chief Marketing Officer, High Performance Polymers, Arkema High Performance Polymers
  • Dr. Michael Mang, Director of Materials Technology, Danimer Scientific

Telling Our Sustainability Stories
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Today, more than ever, constructing a persuasive narrative is essential to reaching our audiences.  While the plastics industry has traditionally relied on science-based facts to tell our sustainability story, it is becoming increasingly clear those facts must be couched in a compelling story to maximize impact.  During this session, panelists from each segment of the supply chain will use a specific case study on recycling marine plastics to showcase how you can shape an impactful narrative to better tell your sustainability story.

  • Francisco Cruz, Co-Founder and CEO, Atando Cabos
  • Julio Compagnon, CEO, Comberplast
  • Ricardo Vereta, Latin America Market Development Lead, ExxonMobil Chemical Company
  • Pam Cadile, Market Developer, ExxonMobil Chemical Company

New Solutions for Untapped Feedstocks
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As the industry seeks to advance the circularity of our products, the limitations of mechanical recycling are becoming increasingly clear. While some products are perfectly suited for mechanical recycling, some are not. Emerging technologies that go beyond mechanical recycling offer new solutions to expand recovery beyond current realities. This session will explore how advanced recycling technologies are building new pathways to ensure all plastics can be managed as valuable resources for manufacturing. 

  • Moderator: Donna Davis, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Sustainability and Advocacy Manager for Polyethylene
  • Charles Willard, Lux Research, Inc., Senior Research Associate
  • Joe Vaillancourt, Cyclyx, President

Leading Bipartisan Solutions for Recycling in Congress: A Conversation with Rep. Haley Stevens 
View Recording

While most would agree that plastics are a valuable material that should be recovered for their highest and best use and prevented from entering the environment, creating policy solutions to bolster the systems needed to make this vision a reality is a far more difficult task. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) is proving that bipartisan policy solutions are possible. In June 2020, Rep. Stevens introduced The Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act alongside Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). Join us for a conversation with Rep. Stevens to learn more about recycling policy and the support needed from the plastics industry. 

  • Moderator: Matt Seaholm, Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), Vice President, Government Affairs
  • Moderator: Ashley Hood Morley, Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), Senior Director, Sustainability & Materials 
  • Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-MI), United States House of Representatives 
  • David Clark, Global VP of Sustainability, Amcor

2018 Event Photos