Plastics Industry Association Recognizes Innovators in Sustainability

May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has announced the winners of its 2021 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards, recognizing companies driving environmental advances in product design, sustainable materials and end-of-life recovery of plastics.


Garçon Wines is the winner of the Design category for addressing the large carbon footprint of round, glass wine bottles with a beautifully designed, space-, weight- and energy-saving flat bottle made entirely from recycled PET plastic.


Ford Motor Company is the recipient of this year’s Materials award for a composite incorporating biomaterial from coffee manufacturing. The composite is 17% lighter, requiring 25% less energy to produce and more sustainable than the talc-filled material that was its predecessor.


Digimarc Corporation takes home the End-of-Life award for its digital watermarking solution, giving plastics and other waste a “digital recycling passport” to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the recycling process and drive a more circular economy.

PLASTICS also announced the winners of the Re|focus Leadership and People’s Choice awards.


The Leadership Award, the award for the company with the best overall score across the three categories, goes to Chevron Phillips Chemical for converting difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into top-quality raw materials.

“Receiving the 2021 Re|focus Sustainability Leadership Innovation Award underscores our commitment to advance a circular economy for plastics,” said Benny Mermans, Vice President, Sustainability, at Chevron Phillips Chemical. “Through Marlex® Anew™ Circular Polyethylene and our expanding efforts to create sustainable streams for waste plastics, Chevron Phillips Chemical is well-positioned to deliver sustainable solutions for years to come.”


The People’s Choice Award winner is Ford Otosan for an automotive fan shroud that is produced with 50% recycled material and reduces the CO2 produced in the manufacturing process.

“Since we started on the project in 2019 to develop a part that provides the same performance level by using recycled material instead of the conventional fan shroud part made of only raw plastic, we have successfully decreased carbon emissions related to production and achieved a 17% cost savings with a 2.2 kg carbon footprint reduction per piece,” said Özak Durmuş, Ford Otosan Sustainability Senior Engineer. “This is a very significant step toward increasing the demand for recycled plastics and creating a circular economy structure in Turkey.”

Tony Radoszewski, CEO of PLASTICS, congratulated the winners and thanked all who entered the awards competition, saying, “I’m proud to be part of an industry filled with so much innovative thinking.”

“We had a record-setting year of 52 entries for the 2021 awards and 3,080 votes cast for our People’s Choice Award,” said Patrick Krieger, Senior Director of Materials & Sustainability for PLASTICS. “The applications are incredibly diverse, showing how sustainability is being incorporated into plastics.”

Nominations for the 2022 PLASTICS Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards commence in November of this year.