Technological watch

Modernizing recycling infrastructure will benefit businesses as well as the environment

Given the uncertainty surrounding the automotive industry amid the pandemic, auto suppliers have been looking at all possible avenues to anticipate disruptions and navigate market challenges. We have long been working to develop routines that would help our business overcome obstacles, and one of the ways we have done this is by focusing on how to minimize our environmental impact.

As it relates to the environment, a key area in which auto suppliers are focused is reducing plastic waste. To promote more circularity, we have adopted advanced recycling technologies that allow us to reuse plastics while reducing our operating costs at the same time. We are already experiencing the benefits of this approach, as old plastics become new products.

The approach we take at Loose Plastics Inc. is to aim for zero waste, as all materials we use and purchase are 100 percent reusable and recyclable — as we do our part to help achieve the goal of a circular economy and less plastic waste.

As an extruder of plastic sheet and rollstock, we sell our products to companies in automotive and other fields, and those same companies later return scrap to us to be recycled and reused in other products. Operating with this waste-free goal helps both Loose Plastics and our customers, and can be a strong model for others to follow as we work to limit plastic waste and keep the circular economy growing.

We work closely with our customers to determine what waste can be returned for reuse and any used parts that we can reacquire and use as raw material for new orders.

As these kinds of innovations begin to take off, we firmly believe the conversation will no longer center around "business vs. the environment."

Advanced recycling technologies are improving how we recycle and reuse plastic. We can achieve the ideal balance between producing quality products that consumers expect while also minimizing our impact on the environment.

Josh Loose is president of Loose Plastics in Gladwin, Mich.

Publication date: 04/12/2020

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Last update: 2022-01-31