2019 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards
Celebrating innovations driving environmental advantages in product design, sustainable materials and end-of-life recovery

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and the SPE Sustainability Division are proud to announce the launch of the Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards, which will be awarded at the Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit on May 20 - 22, 2019. The awards are designed to recognize the companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation—driving environmental advantages in product design, sustainable materials and end-of-life recovery. 

Awards will be given in three categories: 

  • Design
  • Materials
  • End of Life 

Some examples include (but not limited to): 


  • Design for Recycling
  • Design for Anti-Litter
  • Innovation in Equipment Allowing for New Product Design 


  • Innovation in or Use of Bioplastics
  • Innovation in or Use of Recycled Content
  • Additives for Upcycling

End of Life

  • Innovation in Recycling
  • Innovation in Recycling or Composting Equipment 

Winners in each category will be selected in January and announced in February. Winners are strongly encouraged to attend the 2019 Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit to receive their awards in-person.

In addition to the three defined award categories, two additional awards will be announced during the ceremony at Re|focus.

The Leadership Innovation Award: The winner of this award will be determined by the judging panel. 

The People's Choice Award: The winner of this award will be determined by Re|focus attendees. All proposals will be shared with attendees, and registered attendees will be asked to cast their vote for their favorite innovation proposal. 



The winners of each category awards will be determined by a panel of six judges, made up of members of PLASTICS and the SPE Sustainability Division. Each submission will be graded on the following criteria: 

  • Innovation: How novel is the idea being proposed?
  • Environmental Impact: What is the environmental benefit? If this can be quantified (CO2 savings, water reduction, energy reduction, etc.), this should be included in the submission.  
  • Market Impact: How scalable is this innovation? What is the potential market impact if it were to reach commercialization? 


Submission Process, Important Dates and Official Rules

  1. Eligibility: This Competition is open to any corporation, partnership, or other business entity located within or outside of the United States, except that companies whose employees, officers, or directors are Competition judges, or are or were involved in the organization and development of this Competition or provision of the Award, and any of their affiliates or subsidiaries are not eligible to enter. You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and an authorized representative of the company identified in your entry form to submit an entry. 
  2. Competition Period: The Award nomination period opens on September 13, 2018 and will close on January 18, 2019.  Award winners will be contacted in January, and a formal announcement of the winners will be made in February.  
  3. How to Enter: During the Competition Period, complete and sign the awards entry form, and return it to Patricia Lovell at plovell@plasticsindustry.org. Entries sent via e-mail must be transmitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on January 18, 2019. You may submit multiple entries for different innovation categories, in which case each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form. 
  4. Entry Requirements: The Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards will recognize outstanding innovation in plastics manufacturing that advance environmental advantages in design, materials, and end of life management. All applicants must complete and submit the entry form as described in Section 3 above. All entries must address the Entry Details described in the entry form. All entries must be original, must not have previously won, must not contain any confidential or proprietary business information, and must not violate the rights (including intellectual property rights) of any third party. 

    Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to make determinations of eligibility and disqualify any entries that are incomplete, illegible, or do not comply with the Entry Details and/or these Official Rules.

  5. Award Selection: A panel of judges composed of authoritative sources in the plastics manufacturing, materials and recycling who are qualified to determine what truly represents the state of the art innovation will select one Award winner for each of the three categories.

    The Leadership in Innovation and People's Choice Awards will be announced on-site at Re|focus during the reception on May 21, 2019. Award applicants that did not receive one of the category awards are encouraged to attend Re|focus in person so they can receive their awards in person in the event they are selected for recognition. 

We are no longer accepting entries for the 2019 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards. Please check back in the coming weeks for spotlights on our finalists! 

2018 Event Photos