Revitalizing Plastic Recycling With a Systems Approach

image of pile of plastic to demonstrate plastic recycling is needed

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Recycling is an industry in crisis. A broken recycling system is contributing to the plastic waste problem. We need a systems approach to revitalize plastic recycling.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about packaging waste, and our clients are asking us for solutions. We define packaging waste reduction strategies, develop customized mathematical models that predict feedstock availability and identify alternative packaging materials. In addition, we evaluate technology-based options for plastic waste to energy conversion, recycling, and upcycling for individual clients.

Recently, we expanded the reach and scope of our sustainability work to address the plastic problem. Through a collaboration with our parent company, RTI International, and in partnership with the EPA and Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Central Ohio, we’re helping the SWA increase municipal collaboration and support within the plastics recycling industry. Our team is applying our innovation ecosystem framework. This approach addresses complex systemic problems and will establish a plastic recycling industry cluster in the Ohio River Valley.

Our focus includes engaging relevant stakeholders and creating a stakeholder map. We’re also, assessing the technical, economic, and environmental potential of the industries, and augmenting the stakeholder conversations with additional research. Our goal is to demonstrate we can revitalize plastic recycling using a systems methodology.

Today, we are drafting for our client the final plan that is the culmination of the effort’s first phase. We’re developing a model to address the economic, logistical, and cooperative issues that have hampered these efforts previously. Ultimately, our work will provide answers to the question of how a locality can address the plastic pollution challenge.

How can we help your organization use and reuse materials more effectively and throughout a product’s lifecycle?

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