Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards Program

Key Dates

October 18, 2023 – The entry form will be available, and entries submitted through this link.
January 31, 2024 – All entries must be submitted by midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
February 1 – February 23, 2024 – All entries will be judged on the criteria listed under Judging Criteria. The winner will be contacted following.
May 6 – 10, 2024 – The winner will be announced as part of NPE2024: The Plastics Show.

All questions can be emailed to:

Heather Nortz
Manager, Sustainability & Materials
Plastics Industry Association

About the Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards:

The Re|focus Sustainability Innovation awards provide a platform for sharing and celebrating some of the great work being done across the globe to push sustainability in manufacturing forward. These awards are designed to recognize outstanding innovations in plastics manufacturing that further environmental advantages in design, material, and end of life management. Each submission is judged on the following three criteria:

  • Innovation: How novel is the idea being proposed?
  • Environmental impact: How significant is the environmental benefit?
  • Market impact: How scalable is this innovation? How significant would the market impact be if it were to reach commercialization?

These awards, along with the Innovation in Bioplastics Award, are presented annually at a PLASTICS event. This year’s awards were presented at NPE2024!

The 2025 Sustainability Innovation Awards nomination will open in October 2024. To be notified when the nominations period opens please Sign Up now.

Award Categories

Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award
Awards the “front-runner” in all areas of the judging criteria. This winner can be an applicant of any of the three categories.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award
Awards an innovation in product, equipment, or process design that appeals to recyclability, anti-litter, composability, and innovation in equipment allowing for new product design.

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award
Awards an innovation in or use of bioplastics, recycled content, and additives for upcycling.

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award
Awards an innovation in recycling or composting process or equipment.

People’s Choice Award
All nominations for the Innovation awards qualify to be a part of the People’s Choice Award contest. All proposals will be shared on PLASTICS’ social media channels and the nominee with the most votes wins.

Awards Archive

PLASTICS is proud to have awarded these five honors since 2019. Take a look at the previous winners of the Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards.


Leadership in Sustainable Innovation Award Winner – The Leadership Award, the award for the company with the best overall score across the three categories, was awarded to Amcor Rigid Packaging. Amcor submitted three innovations:

  • QuantumTM  Premium Lightweight Finish Technology: a two-step lightweighting technology that eliminates unnecessary material – more than 50% – of the weight in the finish of a PET bottle.
  • PowerPost™ Lightweighting Technology: the most advanced lightweighting technology for hot-fill beverages. This technology delivers a bottle that is up to 30% lighter and can be made with up to 100% recycled material and is fully recyclable.
  • PepsiCo 2.5 L PET Returnable, Reusable, and Refillable Bottle: a 100% recyclable and refillable 2.5 L polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle created in partnership with GEEP, PepsiCo’s exclusive bottler in Mexico.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award WinnerAvient Corporation is the winner of the design award for their Color Prediction Service (CPS). It’s the first digital tool of its kind that can illustrate the color possibilities or limitations of certain types of recycled resins (PCR) prior to laboratory trials. This can help shorten the time-to-launch of new product ranges, allowing fast and reliable checks prior to initiating sample development and simplifying the overall decision-making process for brand owners and technical colorists.

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award WinnerEnvision Plastics is the winner of materials award for their EcoPrime® Fit for Food Contact HDPE and PP PCR. EcoPrime® is made of postconsumer containers that started out as food packaging, and leveraging Envision Plastics’ patented, post-extrusion, and chemical-free devolatilization process to decontaminate and clean the recycled resin by removing odors, volatiles, and semi-volatiles from the resin so that it is safe to be used again in direct food contact.

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award Winner ExxonMobil is the winner of the end-of-life award for their ExxtendTM Technology for Advanced Recycling. The technology breaks down difficult-to-mechanically-recycle plastic waste into feedstock used to create new virgin-quality plastic and other valuable products.

People’s Choice Award WinnerSolvay is the winner of the People’s Choice Award for their Amodel® Bios PPA. Amodel® is a partially bio-sourced long-chain PPA made from non-food competing biomass and which resin is produced using 100% renewable electricity. This sustainable combination results in Solvay’s Amodel® Bios PPA having the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) of all PPA resins.


Leadership in Sustainable Innovation Award Winner – Ford Motor Company – Built Wild: Ford Bronco Sport Becomes First Vehicle to Feature Parts Made of 100% Recycled Ocean Plastic ‘Ghost Gear.’

Ford also won for their

  • Nanocellulose Enhanced Flexible PU Foams and Industry FIRST Closed Loop
  • Recycling of Additive Manufacturing Waste To Replace Injection Molded Automotive Parts.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award Winner – Klockner PentaplastkpNext™ R1   

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award Winner – Starlinger Viscotec – rPET100: Heat Resistant and Fully Recyclable Material  

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award Winner JP Industrial Products – AERO Screening Technology (Aspiration-Elutriation-Reduction-Optimization)  

People’s Choice Award Winner Novoloop, Inc. – Oistre™ Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU)


Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award winner – Chevron Phillips Chemical; converting difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into top-quality raw materials.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award winner – Garçon Wines; beautifully designed, space-, weight- and energy-saving flat bottle made entirely from recycled PET plastic.

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award winner – Ford Motor Company; composite incorporating biomaterial from coffee manufacturing which is 17% lighter, requiring 25% less energy to produce and more sustainable than the talc-filled material that was its predecessor.

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award winner – Digimarc Corporation; digital watermarking solution, or “digital recycling passport”, that increases the accuracy and efficiency of the recycling process to drive a more circular economy.

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

Read more about the 2021 Award Winners on our Re|focus Website.


Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award winner – PureCycle Technologies; physical separation and purification process that does not require any chemical reactions and uses similar operating conditions comparable to current polyolefin (PP and PE) production.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award & People’s Choice Award winner – Accredo Packaging; The AccredoFlex® RP™ Gen2 pouch is an all-polyethylene, fully recyclable stand-up pouch consisting of up to 25% bio-based resin and made with solar and wind energy.

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award winner – Vartega; reclaimed and recycled carbon fiber that enables the diversion of thousands of tons of carbon fiber from the landfill. 

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award winner – Eastman; Carbon Renewal Technology (CRT), which breaks down waste plastics into molecular building blocks like carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and turns those building blocks into new, virgin-quality plastics.


Leadership in Sustainability Innovation Award winner – UBQ Materials; propriety conversion process of converting household waste into sustainable biobased materials.

Sustainable Innovation in Design Award winner – Tarkett; ethos® Modular Carpet Tile with Omnicoat Technology which was created using recycled material from disposed windshields and safety glass.

Sustainable Innovation in Materials Award winner – Dell; Latitude 5000 Notebook which contains a structural material for a notebook computer housing that is 50-percent recycled content by weight and still meets the toughest durability requirements.

Sustainable Innovation in End-of-Life Award winner – Circular Polymers/Broadview Group; Rotary Impact Separator which disassembles post-consumer carpet into clean face fiber, clean backing fiber and a limestone granulate.

People’s Choice Award winner – iMFLUX; philosophy and method for injection molding called the “Green Curve”.