California company Rewilder was honored for its Airbag Backpack. | Courtesy of the Upcyclers Network

In the run-up to America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, the Upcyclers Network has announced the winners of its product awards, which highlight goods made from recycled materials.

For the 2019 awards, the Upcyclers Network is recognizing those recycling wind turbine blades, airbags, ceiling tiles, various textiles, aluminum, PET bottles and marine plastics. 

“With these awards, we are reminding businesses and consumers that not only should they recycle, but they must buy recycled to truly enable the full recirculation of materials back into our economy,” Gina Lee, founder of the Upcyclers Network, stated in a press release. “By supporting those businesses who drive domestic demand for recovered and recycled material, we can bolster the financial health of our recycling system, lessen our reliance on foreign material imports, and create local jobs!”

The following are the winners from 30 total submissions (the first listed under each category is the “business to business” subcategory winner, and the second is the “business to consumer” subcategory winner): 

Material innovation/creativity category

  • Global Fiberglass Solutions (GFS): This Washington state-based company won for its wall panel made from recovered fiberglass composites from wind turbine blades. Plastics Recycling Update in March wrote about the company’s project to expand recycling capacity in Sweetwater, Texas. 
  • Rewilder: The California company won for its Airbag Backpack, which is made from airbag production scrap, salvaged seatbelts and recovered thread. 

Closed Loop Solutions category

  • Armstrong: The Pennsylvania-headquartered company won for its Armstrong Ceiling Tiles, which are made from recycled ceiling tiles. The company recovers them through its 20-year-old recycling program. 
  • Public Thread (with Steelcase): This Michigan company won for its textile recycling efforts, including its partnership with Steelcase through which recovered fabrics are used in new furniture. 

Scale category

  • Can Manufacturers Institute: The Washington, D.C.-based group won for the aluminum can, which has the highest recycling rate in the U.S. among beverage containers and is made with a high level of recycled content. 
  • Recover: The North Carolina company’s “Local Layer” outerwear is made with post-consumer PET. 

Honorable mention

  • Sana Packaging: The Colorado company won for its Sana Ocean Tube, which is made from recovered marine plastics and is used as packaging for cannabis. The company partnered with Oceanworks to source the material. 

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