November 14, 2014 | News

Cope Plastics Awarded for Recycling, Education and Design Efforts

Cope Plastics, Inc. – Alton, IL recently attended the 58th Annual International Association of Plastics Distribution Convention & Plastics Showcase in Chicago, IL. During the convention, Cope was recognized for their efforts in recycling, education, government relations and more.

IAPD awarded Cope with the Environmental Excellence Award for Best Recycling Program. Cope has expanded its recycling program to include 36 different grades of plastic, which make up nearly 90 percent of the material distributed through or consumed by the company. This increase resulted from opening a supply scrap channel for five different polyvinyl chloride (PVC) types. This new PVC outlet is forecasted to keep an additional 200,000 pounds of PVC scrap out of landfills annually. In 2012, Cope began a concentrated effort to regain scrap from customers. The past 12 months have begun to show the fruits of those efforts. Cope received 141,575 pounds in the 12-month period from July 2012 through June 2013. From July 2013 to June 2014 that number increased to 604,053 pounds and the number of participating customers increased by 129 percent increase.

In July of last year, Cope added a single-stream recycling program for employees to recycle cardboard, post-consumer plastic, steel and aluminum cans and glass and paper containers. This program offers recycling to more than 100 Cope employees who live in communities too small to offer curbside recycling. This program is responsible for an additional 200,000 pounds of post-consumer waste being diverted from area landfills.

Cope has continued its programs to recycle scrap metal, electronics, bulk paper files, oil and coolant, batteries and light bulbs generated through industrial processes. It has also begun recycling old or broken wood pallets through a local pallet manufacturer that takes these unwanted and unusable pallets and turns them into mulch. This program diverts about 9,000 pounds each month from being burned and creates about 100,000 pounds of mulch annually.

Cope was also awarded the Education Circle of Champions Award during this year’s expo. The IAPD Education Committee established the Education Circle of Champions in 2009 to acknowledge the innovative and exemplary educational initiatives by member firms. It is a special recognition for companies that emphasize continuing plastics education within their organization through the use of IAPD’s training and educational resources.

New to this year’s Expo was the Marketing Excellence Program. Cope was awarded the Silver Award for: contributing educational articles to IAPD publications as well as other industry magazines, creating a NetWorth television spot shown on stations nationwide, engaging in social and environmentally responsible activities, being active on social media, issuing press releases and engaging in many more marketing activities.

Additionally, as a finalist in the IAPD Plastics Application Design Competition, Cope presented their application to a Design Review Board in Chicago this October. This competition presents a unique opportunity for companies, individuals and universities to showcase their innovative use of plastics in different applications and tell their stories on a scale that may not otherwise be available. Cope’s design demonstrates an application for a control panel used on trucks that are exposed to extreme weather conditions. The plastic material of the control panels can hold up in these harsh conditions, decreasing the amount of warranty claims awarded by this particular customer. This design won Cope 2nd place in the competition.

Finally, Cope’s Vice President of Finance, John Theen received the Pacesetter Award for his efforts in government relations. His contributions have included participating in the 2013 and 2014 Plastics Industry Fly-in events in Washington, D.C., meeting with local and national lawmakers and telling the stories of IAPD members to ensure the well-being of the plastics industry and businesses.

Cope Plastics is the premier distributor and fabricator of plastic sheet, rod and tube across the Midwest delivering solutions to our valued customers since 1946. The company is proud to be a certified Women Owned Business by the NWBOC since 2012. Visit us at

The International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD), established in 1956, brings together distributors, fabricators, manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, recyclers and service providers in an environment which encourages a free flow of ideas and information that help members build their businesses. Visit us at

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