No NPE in history has had more programming about sustainability and recycling than NPE2018: The Plastics Show will have. The triennial event is May 7-11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. With the co-location of the Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit and the concentration of sustainability-focused exhibitors in the Re|focus Zone (in the South Hall), companies can take their environmental and recycling goals from aspirational to operational.

As NPE’s producer, the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is committed to driving the industry forward. Our work helping our members set and meet their environmental goals continues throughout the year, from providing tools and resources that accelerate and support sustainability efforts to identifying new recovery and recycling opportunities for plastic products. Here are some examples of the work PLASTICS and its members do daily to illustrate how environmentally friendly plastics are:

  • Zero Net Waste program — The Zero Net Waste program offers companies tools to eliminate waste from their facilities and recognizes those that have committed to maximizing diversion.
  • Bioplastics — Plastics, whether traditionally derived or built from renewable resources, present sustainability advantages. Member companies are developing new bioplastics, expanding the range of materials available to processors and manufacturers.
  • Sustainability initiatives — PLASTICS has undertaken a significant, coordinated effort to unlock new recovery and recycling opportunities for a range of materials, including health-care products, vehicles and forms of flexible packaging and products. These pilot programs and demonstration projects are bearing fruit as companies commit to using recycled material.
  • Marine debris and sustainable product management — Marine debris is a complex issue. It presents an opportunity to show our industry’s commitment to sustainable plastics production and life-cycle product management. That’s one reason PLASTICS supports the growth of recycling in the U.S. by funding The Recycling Partnership. We want to close the loop on these materials that should not be entering waterways and oceans. PLASTICS also collaborates with other trade associations to share best practices, such as the adoption of Operation Clean Sweep, which gives plastics companies guidelines to ensure they’re operating their facilities as cleanly as possible.

Regardless of which corner of the plastics industry you occupy, you have something to offer PLASTICS—your voice. We hope you join us at NPE2018 as we show the world how sustainable plastics truly are.

Bill Carteaux is president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), headquartered in Washington and online at