Scrap Plastic Toys Needed for Plastics-to-Energy Pilot Project

December 18, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Environmental Sustainability Committee has approved TIA’s participation in a plastics-to-energy pilot project with Agilyx, an alternative energy company that uses patented technology to convert difficult-to-recycle waste plastics into synthetic crude oil. In order to participate in this project, TIA is looking for 2,500 lbs of plastic toys of mixed types (including defective or scrap products or components); these plastics must be submitted by mid-January.

The Agilyx process is an environmentally preferable alternative to landfill disposal or incineration. Through this process, the entire product is shredded and undergoes a high-temperature hydrolysis/fractionation process, resulting in an end product much like synthetic crude oil. The crude oil can be used to synthesize new plastics or other petrochemicals; it recovers a portion of the carbon and energy content of the plastic

While the recycling of plastics used in toys is preferred, in many cases, recycling is not locally available for certain plastics commonly used in toys. In other cases, the recyclable plastic components are assembled into an item with plastics that cannot be recycled locally or with other materials (e.g. metals), which cannot be separated from the rest of the toy in an economically feasible manner.

“The purpose of our pilot project with Agilyx is to get an idea of the crude oil yield from an ‘average’ mix of toys to assess the financial feasibility of this process,” explained Alan Kaufman, TIA SVP of technical affairs.

Companies wishing to learn more or to donate defective plastic toys or scrap plastics to the pilot project may contact Alan Kaufman (646.520.4868 or akaufman@toyassociation.org).