One of the great advantages of plastic materials is their durability. Inexpensive and long-lasting, plastics have had enormous impact on consumption habits around the world. The flip side? That same durability and sheer pervasiveness of these materials translate into a waste problem of gigantic proportions. For Axion International, a company that develops high-performance composites from recovered polyolefins, waste is not a problem, but a feedstock. Recognizing that the waste discarded with such gusto could be transformed into a valuable resource, the company saw an opportunity.
Today, Axion is a major recycling company producing structural products such as girders, pilings and railroad ties from recycled consumer and industrial plastics. And people are starting to sit up and take notice; Axion currently has a demand for more than 100,000 pounds of materials daily. Clients using Axion's Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) materials include the U.S. Department of Defense and numerous railroad companies, who have chosen Axion's sleeper over those manufactured from conventional materials such as concrete or wood. The company is also supplying the materials for a bridge made of recycled plastic in Scotland, the first of its kind to be built outside the USA.