Day 7: Oct. 18, 2009

January 29, 2010

Happy Friday! I just got word that there is a plastics recycling conference in Texas in March; I hope I can go!

After receiving the email from Robert that explained that he would contact Dennis about me contacting him, I did a little research on NAPCOR, just in case he agreed to talk with me about recycling thermoforms. NAPCOR stands for the National Association for PET Container Resources, which is the trade association for the PET plastic industry. As stated on their website, NAPCOR’s platform is to “promote the introduction and use of PET packaging, facilitate the recycling of PET packaging, and communicate the success of the PET container as an environmentally sustainable package” (

Splendid, I remember thinking upon finding this organization; that is just what I want to do—facilitate the recycling of PET thermoforms. This should be good.

Later that day, I received the following email from Robert:


As you can see below, your timing is perfect!!  Dennis is the Executive Director at NAPCOR and it looks like he’d be happy to chat with you about your efforts.


From: Dennis Sabourin

To: Carlson, Robert

Subject: RE: Long Time


Thanks for reaching out; it is great to hear from you.

I am happy to hear all is going well with you despite the challenges we all face in California.  Keep your positive spirit.

Your points on the recycling of thermoformed packaging is timely; this is a major work plan for NAPCOR.  Since expanding our membership to include PET sheet and thermoformer manufactures we now have 10 NAPCOR members from this industry segment.  I would be delighted to discuss what we are doing with your Midwest contact.  By all means pass my contact information on to her.

Let’s stay in touch!!!


Executive Director

National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR)

Groovy! Time to call Dennis.

Dennis and I chatted for close to an hour that day; he explained to me the history of NAPCOR and its main goals and approaches to actualizing said goals. He also sent me a presentation from their last meeting in October, 2009, which provided much insight. What I learned was that while NAPCOR focuses specifically on the recycling of PET beverage bottles, it does have a thermoform division, which looks to find a way to recycle PET thermoforms.

This is awesome, I remember thinking as a flipped through the presentation. It is so funny (is that the right word?) when you have an idea that you think is original only to discover that in fact it is not original; not even close. Clearly my brainchild of spear-heading an industry led thermoform recycling initiative has also been the brainchild of NAPCOR, who have invested a considerable amount of time and money into exploring the potential of this idea. NAPCOR is defiantly someone that I should be working with.

Let’s suggest joining the thermoform division of NAPCOR to my Superior!

Tune in Monday to see what happens next in the crazy world of recycling in America.

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