2018 Session descriptions


Tuesday, February 20

Plenary Session I: Pinning Down Shifting Markets
8:30  – 10:00 A.M. I Presidential Ballroom AB

The ongoing effects of Chinese import actions have grabbed the attention of the plastics recycling industry, but National Sword is far from the only global factor having a profound impact on the demand and pricing of recovered resins. Join three IHS Markit analysts for an inside look at how shifts in China, the U.S. Gulf and the global market as a whole are shaping the future of industry profitability.

– Moderator: Craig Cookson, American Chemistry Council

Updates on China's Unpredictability
– Kailin Fu,  IHS Chemical

Down the PET Pipeline
– Tison Keel, IHS Chemical

Influences on PE and PP
– Joel Morales, IHS Markit


Plenary Session II: China's Impact – The Ban and Beyond
10:45 – 12:15 P.M. I Presidential Ballroom AB

China's recent import policies amount to one of the largest market disruptions to ever hit the recycling industry. This panel offers a variety of informed perspectives to help attendees get the basics on the impacts being felt and to learn how different key companies and organizations are responding to the situation.

– Moderator: Patty Moore, Sustainable Materials Management of California

– Brent Bell, Waste Management

– Dylan de Thomas, The Recycling Partnership

– Pablo Leon, Fosimpe SL

– Hamilton Wen, Newport CH International


Concurrent Session A: Building Everyday Demand, organized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers
1:30 – 3:00 P.M.  | Presidential Ballroom A

The APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign, launched in October 2017, is designed to expand reliable markets for recycled resins. Companies that sign on agree to purchase items to use in their facilities that are manufactured with PP or PE post-consumer resin (PCR). These include everyday industrial applications such as trash cans, pallets and crates. In this session, a variety of stakeholders who are directly involved in the campaign detail the key roles they play to push overall growth in usage of recovered material.

– Moderator/Speaker: Liz Bedard, Association of Plastic Recyclers

Finding a Home for Sorted Streams
– Greg Janson, QRS

A Vendor’s Take
– Jean-Marc van Maren, CABKA

In the Grand Scheme of Packaging
– Kim Carswell, Target

Concurrent Session B: Chinese Companies Seek Investment in the U.S., organized by the China Scrap Plastics Association 
1:30 – 3:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom B

With the Chinese government banning importation of some types of recyclables and limiting permits for others, some stakeholders from China have looked into the possibility of establishing operations in North America and other parts of Asia. A group of industry leaders from China offers details on how this potentially industry-bending trend is unfolding early on. 

– Moderator/Speaker: Jason Wang, China Scrap Plastics Association

Insight from Asia  
– Steve Wong, Fukutomi Company Limited

Weighing in on U.S. Investment
– Howard Wei, Arch Polymers

New Investment Opportunities Stateside
–  Adina Renee Adler, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries


Concurrent Session C: Closing in on Circularity for Harder-to-Recover Plastics, organized by the American Chemistry Council
1:30 – 3:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom D

Over the past year, a number of companies have worked hard to develop technologies that hold significant promise in enabling recovery of post-consumer plastics that have been problematic for the traditional plastics recycling chain. Leaders from four companies pushing the edges of the sector take part in a panel discussion about efforts to convert some types of plastics to petroleum products as well as strategies to commercialize unique chemical recycling processes.

– Moderator: Nina Goodrich, GreenBlue

– Mike Dungan, RES Polyflow

– Priyanka Bakaya, Renewlogy

– Brian Moe, Agilyx

– Bill Ullom, Vadxx


Concurrent Session D: Solving for Quality and Quantity, organized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom A

Successful plastics recycling is essentially a balanced equation: A number of important components – including quality feedstock, design for recycling and demand for processed materials – all need to add up. This session explores how the private sector is working with innovative programs to make sure that the right products with the right design and labeling are being put on store shelves and all captured at the curb to go back into the recycling system.

– Moderator: Martha Marrapese, Wiley Rein LLP

Cleaning Up What Goes in the Cart
– Kelly Cramer, Sustainable Packaging Coalition

The Process of Bolstering Demand
– Kara Pochiro, The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Harnessing Data to Find More Material
– Dylan de Thomas The Recycling Partnership

Keeping Product Design in Mind
– Walter Peterson, Nestlé


Concurrent Session E: The Business of Plastics Recycling
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom B

Recycling isn’t just a matter of efficiently processing material – success in the sector is also reliant on a number of economic factors, many of which are out of the control of individual companies. Experts in a range of critical topics weigh in on how realities in the worlds of investment, politics, transportation logistics and more are affecting the profit potential of plastics recovery.

– Moderator: Robert Flores, Berry Global

Insights on Mergers and Acquisitions
– Phillip Karig, Mathelin Bay Associates

Critical Shifts in Trucking and Freight
– Charles Clowdis, Trans-Logistics Group, Inc. 

What Federal Tax Reform Means for Plastics Recycling
– Billy Johnson, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

The Expansive Economic Impact of Recycling
– Scott Pasternak, Burns & McDonnell


Concurrent Session F: A New Auto-Plastic Avenue, organized by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom D

Through research, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the Plastics Industry Association developed an auto bumper recycling project to showcase the value of this feedstock for plastic recycling companies. Leaders from the initiative lay out key information on the quality of bumper plastic as well as the steps being considered to push ahead scalability and connections with end markets.

 – Moderator: Jonathan Levy, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

The Phases of Vehicle Recovery
– Kim Holmes, Plastics Industry Association

Processing Realities and Opportunities
– Sanjay Dutta, Geo-Tech Polymers

The Environmental Impact
– David Wagger, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries


Wednesday, February 21

Plenary Session III: Brand Owner Perspectives on PCR
8:30 – 10:00 A.M. | Presidential Ballroom AB

Large brand owners can play a key role in strengthening domestic demand by consistently purchasing significant volumes of post-consumer resin. This session offers perspective from several major companies that have made PCR a priority. These corporate leaders lay out how pricing, sustainability goals, industry relationships and innovation in product design are all influencing their decision-making – and they discuss how recycling companies can help them further boost recycled content levels. 

– Moderator: John Layman, Procter and Gamble

A Sustainability Expert Weighs In
– Pam Oksiuta, SC Johnson

A Guide to Better Packaging 
– Kelly Murosky, Seventh Generation

New Solutions for the Industry
– Sarah Dearman, Coca-Cola North America

Concurrent Session G: Plastics Recycling Market Development, organized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom A

Market development is a process, one that requires implementation of policies and legislation. But it can be difficult to stay abreast of all the current guidelines and what they mean for the industry. In this session, attendees hear from a consultant who will walk through the very latest in critical California regulations and two government officials who are deeply experienced using policy levers to open fresh opportunities materials demand. You'll walk away with a heightened understanding of how a range of governmental initiatives are shaping the future of plastics recycling.

– Moderator: Darrell Kendall, RIOS

Dissecting California’s New Regulations
– Bruce Magnani, Houston Magnani and Associates

Exploring Various Policy Approaches
– Anne Johnson, Resource Recycling Systems

Making the Economic Argument
– Chantal Fryer, South Carolina Department of Commerce

Concurrent Session H: Innovative Tech in a Flash
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom B

In this lightning round session, attendees hear short presentations from a number of companies that are pushing forward on the edge of plastics recycling technology. Some of the efforts are coming from tech-focused startups, others are being developed by established brands and manufacturers that see fresh paths to profitability in processing. Come take an exciting, in-depth look at the future of the sector.

– Moderator: Sergio Firpo, Azure Technologies, Inc. 

Skipping a Step: Flake to Preform
– Martin Baumann, Erema

Improving Processability With Performance Polymers
– Timothy Dean, ExxonMobil Chemical Company

 Innovations in UP-cycling Waste Polyolefins & Polystyrene
– Domenic Di Mondo, GreenMantra

An Essential-Oil Solution for EPS
– Solenne Brouard Gaillot, Polystyvert Inc.

Particles for Better Products and Processing
– William Johnson, Ecopuro

Concurrent Session I: Optimizing our plastic recovery ecosystem, organized by More Recycling
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom D

There has been a need for MRFs to increase their sorting capabilities in response to declining export demand, but low scrap prices driven by low virgin resin prices makes new investments a challenging proposition. Some large MRFs have expanded sorting capabilities and a secondary MRF is helping extract more recyclables from the stream.  In this session, experienced individuals from  the recovery chain will have an open discussion about the possible benefits from strategic secondary processing, vertical integration, and promotion of the environmental benefits of PCR in end products. Attendees will gain insights about working towards an optimized recovery ecosystem and driving demand for recycled plastics.

– Moderator/Speaker: Nina Bellucci Butler, More Recycling

Views from a Secondary Processor
– Mike Centers, Titus MRF Services

An Inside Look at Improving Feedstock
– Eddie Ingle, Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. 

Adjusting to a Changing Stream
– Tom Outerbridge, Sims Municipal Recycling

Plenary Session IV: Tangible Steps on Ocean Plastics
1:00 – 2:30 P.M. | Presidential Ballroom AB

The problem of plastic waste ending up in waterways around the world is now a major talking point in mainstream media and in boardrooms everywhere. With the issue clearly articulated, stakeholders in plastics recycling and sustainability are pushing forward initiatives to help drive demand for recovered marine debris and build out systems to slow the leakage of material into oceans. In the conference closing session, attendees hear from representatives of a resin producer, an investment group and a nonprofit organization to get updates on their results-driven projects. 

– Moderator: Eric DesRoberts, The Ocean Conservancy

An Incubator's Influence
– Dune Ives, Lonely Whale

Financing Solutions
– Bridget Croke, Closed Loop Partners

The OceanBound Plastic Project
– Tamsin Ettefagh, Envision Plastics