DuPont earns sustainability award for plastic recycling program in Brazil

Agrochemical multilayer bottle recycling process solves problems related to mixed material reclamation.


DuPont received the 2010 Premio ECO Award in the Sustainability in Products category, awarded November 26, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for its role in a closed-loop recycling process for agrochemical multilayer bottles. DuPont Latin America president Eduardo W. Wanick accepted the award during an international ceremony.

“It is a great honor to be recognized not only for the environmental impact of this recycling program, but for the science behind it,” said Wanick.  “Multilayer containers pose a great recycling challenge due to the variety of plastic materials used in the construction.”

The Virtuous Cycle using Fusabond Project relies on the unique characteristic of DuPont’s Fusabond coupling agent to compatibilize and bond dissimilar polymers in the recycling process. The additive also improves impact resistance, surface finish, and processability of parts and films so the recycled product can be used to form other articles with little material loss and great added value.

Empty agricultural chemical packaging is collected by the National Institute for the Processing of Empty Packaging (inPEV), launched by government mandate and initially supported by 22 founding companies, including DuPont.  Since 2002, more than 150,000 tons of empty packaging has been collected, eliminating the need for 374,000 barrels of crude oil and more than 160,000 tons of CO2 equivalents.

In the award-winning recycling program, agrochemical multilayer bottles are recycled into high-value industrial applications such as flexible corrugated pipes. Brazil is a leader in collecting used agricultural chemical packaging with a 95% collection rate, compared with Canada (73%), Germany (76%), France (66%) and the U.S. (30%).

DuPont contributes to global food production by providing products and services that help ensure food safety, higher crop yields, and healthier foods. “Innovative programs such as these evolve when the entire value chain is engaged,” said Wanick. “DuPont is uniquely focused across the value chain allowing us to introduce customized solutions based on our holistic view of global food production. Reducing the negative effects on the environment requires collaborative innovation throughout the value chain focused on a common goal of a sustainable future.”

The ECO Award, organized by Amcham (American Chamber of Commerce) and the newspaper Valor Economico, was launched in 1982 and awards socially responsible companies and emerging sustainable practices.

DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

Visit the Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering Channel.

Edited by Peter Welander,

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