3/7/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit is Back this May

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The 2019 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit brings the full manufacturing supply chain together to discuss how the industry can advance recycling and sustainability goals for plastics. 

Mark your calendars for 2019 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit, presented by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), which will be held on May 20-22 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Once again, the line-up is top-notch making this a must-attend event. 

For instance, Edmond Irizarry, executive director of packaging development for Aveda will serve as the keynote speaker. Irizarry will be joined by Denise Coogan of Subaru of America, Inc., Kevin Cronin of Ultra-Poly Corp., and more, bringing the full manufacturing supply chain together to discuss how the industry can advance recycling and sustainability goals for plastics. 

On a personal note, I’m so excited to moderate a session at this year’s event! I will be moderating the Sustainable Innovations in 3D Printing session.

Session description: 

We are just beginning to understand the potential of how additive manufacturing will change the structure of manufacturing and consumption. This session will explore how sustainability intersects with this new technology, including how recycled content can be brought into the additive manufacturing process. 

It features the following speakers:

  • Steve Post, business development manager, material characterization for Thermo Fisher Scientific. He is responsible for R&D and production co and counter rotating twin screw extruders, mixers, single screw extruders, torque and rotational rheometers for the polymer, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. Check out the company’s work with the U.S. Army on turning recycled PET into 3D-printed parts.  
  • Dr. Rob Hoyt, CEO of Tethers Unlimited Inc. He co-founded Tethers Unlimited in 1994 and has built it into a multimillion dollar space and defense R&D firm that is pioneering advances in small satellite technologies as well as in-space manufacturing and assembly capabilities. Tethers Unlimited is the creator behind the Refabricator, the machine that allows NASA to 3D print plastic parts and also recycles them back into reusable raw materials to make more parts. For more about the machine, click here
  • Andrew Maxey, CEO of Vartega. Maxey founded Vartega to develop cost-effective carbon fiber recycling processes and thereby drive sustainable and widespread carbon fiber adoption. Vartega combines its recycled carbon fiber with thermoplastics to make custom materials for use in 3D printer filaments and injection molding for applications such as sporting goods, consumer products and car parts. Last year, the company formed an alliance focused on advancing sustainable thermoplastics and additive manufacturing in Colorado.   

Beyond that session, there will be ones discussing additives to expand the horizons for recycling; striving for zero net waste in manufacturing; how material suppliers are exploring the possibility of vertical integration by adding a recycling component to their traditional virgin material supply chain and much more. For full line-up, click here

Re|focus will also feature enhanced engagement opportunities that include: a pre-summit Sustainability 101 course; tours of facilities that demonstrate sustainable manufacturing and materials management; the Sustainability Innovation Award ceremony; and a post-reception networking dinner. Re|focus will also offer attendees a marketplace featuring solution providers from leading recycling and sustainability companies to help attendees take their sustainability goals from aspirational to operational.

There’s still time for early-bird registration pricing, which ends on March 15th. Hope to see you all there! 


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