Imagine if all of America’s commercial recycling gurus joined forces to form one, huge recycling powerhouse. Well, it’s real, folks, and it’s called the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, also known as ISRI. ISRI represents more than 1,300 companies dedicated to recycling materials like paper, rubber, electronics and metals.

ISRI began in 1987, and after five years, they implemented the Design for Recycling initiative, which encourages companies to consider recycling when designing and developing new products. ISRI even offers an annual award for the most outstanding sustainable model: the Design for Recycling Award. Previous recipients include visionaries like Samsung, Dell and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Conscientious Design

Ideal contenders for the award must design a product or process that:

  • Contains the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable
  • Is easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures
  • Is cost-effective to recycle
  • Minimizes the time and cost involved to recycle the product
  • Has a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment
  • Reduces the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components

It’s safe to say 2017’s winner meets — and exceeds — all of these expectations.

And the Award Goes to…

EcoStrate! If you haven’t heard of these guys, here’s your chance to learn about a revolutionary company doing big things in the recycling world.

EcoStrate won thanks to their developments in composite material recycling. So, let’s boil this down: EcoStrate takes post-consumer, difficult-to-recycle materials and efficiently salvages them, in turn producing composite plastic products like flooring, textiles and traffic signs. Plus, these products are recyclable themselves. They’re giving new life to presumably unusable industrial scraps.

“The revolutionary process developed by EcoStrate has the potential to open new markets not just for plastics recyclers, but for those who handle electronics, textiles and other commodities,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a statement. “It is a prime example of how manufacturers and [the] recycling industry can work together to expand sustainable manufacturing and recycling.”

EcoStrate’s composite products are changing the way we think about post-consumer materials that were previously deemed useless. With the recognition of the Design for Recycling Award, we hope EcoStrate can continue to innovate — and that more companies will join them on this sustainable journey.

Read More:
How Product Design Affects Future Recycling Rates
LG Electronics Wins Coveted Design for Recycling Award
How You Can Support Sustainable Product Design

By Lauren Murphy

Lauren has a B.S. in environmental science, a crafting addiction, and a love for all things Pacific Northwest. She writes from her cozy downtown apartment tucked in the very northwestern corner of the continental U.S. Lauren spends her time writing and focusing on a healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.