Industry leaders talk plastic recycling in New Orleans

Industry leaders talk plastic recycling in New Orleans

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Approximately 1,500 of the plastics recycling industry's best and brightest converged in New Orleans last week for the annual Plastics Recycling Conference.

The conference featured representatives from 39 states, six Canadian provinces and 30 countries — including several organizations sending delegations from China to seek out new business opportunities and meet with current and potential North American partners. The conference also featured a sold-out tradeshow with over 125 exhibiting companies and organizations.

The conference kicked off with a panel featuring Society of the Plastics Industry CEO Bill Carteaux, Environmental Industry Associations CEO Sharon Kneiss and American Chemistry Council Plastics Division VP Steve Russell. The panel featured a lively discussion about the role of these organizations in plastics recycling, as well as how the economic and policy picture is going to change in the near future.

"It's clear the U.S. has adopted recycling as a value — not just a business," explained Kneiss. "As we started looking at product bans in California and elsewhere, we realized there needed to be more options for recycling and when those were put in place, they produced real results."

The panel also talked about areas of cooperation between SPI, Environmental Industry Associations and the ACC, with Bill Carteaux thanking the other panelists for the role they play in promoting recycling, as well as the complementary role each organization has in promoting plastic businesses.

"This is an incredibly diverse industry with everything from family businesses to big firms," said Steve Russell. "There's no easy answer, but we're beginning to see results, technologies and processes that make recycling both the norm for consumers, and also profitable for businesses."

Also announced at the conference were the date and location of the 2014 Plastics Recycling Conference, to be held March 11-12 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. Go to in the coming months for more information.

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