Ultra-Poly Announces Bumper Recycling Initiative

August 16, 2023

3 Min Read

PORTLAND, Pa.-- Ultra-Poly, one of America's largest plastics recyclers, has announced a first-of-its-kind bumper recycling program, that involves the collection and reprocessing of damaged automotive bumpers into a new raw material.

Ultra-Poly collaborated with Tier 1 automotive supplier Autoneum North America, Inc. to develop a product that uses the recycled bumper material as a rigid backing substrate for a fibrous layer creating a composite used in vibration and noise attenuation in a chassis component. The material is listed in the International Material Data System (IMDS).

As a member of the PLASTICS Industry Association, the company was one of several who worked on the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) project, which sought to determine if the fascia material could be recovered for use back into new fascia. This was ultimately deemed not viable, primarily due to surface finish issues. However, Ultra-Poly saw the potential of the material in other polypropylene compounds as well as non-appearance applications in automotive and in other industrial markets.

Leveraging a strong history in developing novel reverse logistics strategies, Ultra-Poly collects the used bumper covers directly from autobody shops where they have been removed from vehicles and stripped of any usable connected components. The program offers a strong value to the shops, including;

  • Cost Avoidance – removes these large, bulky items from their waste roll-offs reducing the pull-frequency

  • Industry Integrity – The used fascia are completely destroyed in the process and cannot be repaired and make their way back into the supply stream which presents significant quality issues.

The resultant material offers strong value to converters and brand owners as well, including:

  • Consistent high-quality material with a great balance of stiffness and toughness

  • Certified 100% Post-Consumer content

"This is a groundbreaking program that will help advance the automotive industry closer to achieving the standards of a circular economy," said Kevin Cronin, Vice President of Sustainability and R&D. "Sustainability is in the DNA of Ultra-Poly. Our commitment and expertise in improving the sustainability of the plastics industry is evident throughout our business model and we look forward to all that we can achieve with this innovative program."

Autoneum North America, Inc. Vice President of Product Development and Engineering, Dan Moler, adds, "With the increasing challenge of OEM's to require more and more recycled content, this product delivers on that challenge, enabling us to become more sustainable as a company by reducing our carbon footprint and engineering a product from the ground up with End of Life recycling in mind to ultimately reach the end goal of a circular economy.  Everyone benefits – body shops, recyclers, Automotive part manufacturers, OEM's, and most importantly, the environment."

Ultra-Poly is committed to delivering the best in class recycled resin and compounds for customers to help them meet sustainability goals and increase efficiencies. The company supplies materials to injection molding, film and profile extrusion clients in various industries including: Building Products, Housewares, Automotive, Oil and Gas, and more. With five locations in Pennsylvania, Ultra-Poly produces custom compounded polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) resins from recycled plastics, and provides toll reprocessing services for plant-generated scrap in several different industries.

The recycled material is now available to be sampled and used by any automotive manufacturer or supplier for other potential programs.  For more information, please visit: www.ultra-poly.com or contact Kevin Cronin at [email protected] or (570) 897-2625.

Stay in the Know - Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Join a network of more than 90,000 waste and recycling industry professionals. Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox. Free.

You May Also Like