TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Sept. 14, 2016 the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) announced the winners of the 2016 Plastics Industry Leadership Awards at its annual Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Dinner. CPIA awards recognize outstanding individuals and businesses for their commitment and dedication to the growth and sustainability of the Canadian plastics industry.
"We are delighted to recognize and celebrate individuals and companies who have demonstrated leadership and excellence, contributing immensely to the plastics industry in the areas of innovation, sustainability and more." said Carol Hochu, President and CEO of CPIA.
For decades the Leader of the Year Award has been given to individuals that are recognized as having made important contributions to the Canadian plastics industry and continually use their knowledge and influence to improve the competitive, innovative and environmental performance of the industry. In addition, they contribute their time and resources to community and other organizations dedicated to society building.
The 2016 Leader of the Year Award recipient is Amir Karim, Chief Operating Officer of Polykar.  Karim has lead the corporate strategic development and sustainability arm of Polykar Industries for the last sixteen years.
Amir passionately champions the plastics industry, driving initiatives to increase awareness of positive plastic messages for the general public. He is an advocate of environmental sustainability in plastics recycling, and recently completed a two-year term of office as Chairman of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.
Outside of plastics, Amir gives a large portion of his time to voluntarily engage with several civil society institutions which promote higher education, international development and philanthropy.
CPIA's Lifetime Achievement Award honours five individuals who have made outstanding achievements and contributed enduring legacies to Canada's plastics industry.
After 40-plus years of working in the plastics industry, Tom Rose has built a company with over 14 locations in Canada and beyond employing more than 350 talented people.  Rose's passion and commitment to the plastics industry continues and his achievements will carry-on as he continues to work with a highly talented Layfield team of employees.
Robert Torokvei, whose career at Scepter Corporation spanned over 42 years, became president of Scepter in 1992 and grew the company to become the largest manufacturer of portable fuel containers in North America, the leader in portable OEM fuel containers for the marine industry and the largest manufacturer of plastic packaging for heavy caliber ammunition.
Mirek Planeta founded Macro Engineering Co. Ltd. in 1978, which later became Macro Engineering & Technology Inc.  Macro was presented with an award for excellence in exports from the Canadian government in 1995 and today, Macro exports their systems to a worldwide customer base, thanks to Mirek's passion for innovation.
Over 36 years, Sajjad Ebrahim painstakingly built Par Pak into a major player, with 900 employees and over $200 million in revenue.  Through philanthropic undertakings, Ebrahim has made significant contributions to the wellbeing of whole neighbourhoods, and benefited countless Canadians.
The final Lifetime Achievement award winner is Grantland M. Cameron. Cameron has been involved with design, operation and policy at more than 75 Alberta landfills, transfer stations and recycling depots and was a pioneer in the collection of multi-material, post-consumer recyclables in rural Alberta.
The Plastics Innovator Award is for those companies or individuals that have contributed to the expansion of the Canadian plastics industry, through advancement of the Canadian plastics industry in the areas of materials, products, process/technology, or marketing/communications.  

This year there are two winners in this awards category, the first being Professor Chul B. Park of University of Toronto.  Dr. Chul Park is Distinguished Professor of Microcellular Engineered Plastics at University of Toronto. He is the founder and Director of the Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory (MPML) and the Centre for Industrial Application of Microcellular Plastics (CIAMP), which are both world-leading research facilities in microcellular plastics foaming technologies.

The second winner in this category is Polytainers.  Polytainers is a leading supplier of plastic containers to the food and dairy industry.  They are focused on providing commercially-proven innovation with industry-leading sustainability.

The Plastics Sustainability Award recognizes Individuals or organizations who have contributed to the sustainability of the Canadian plastics industry in an environmental, social or economic manner, including post-use plastics recovery.   Nominee's contributions could be for efforts related to sustainability in recycling or for products or packaging that has been produced in Canada and contains at least 20% post-use plastics collected for recycling.

The first Sustainability award winner is Lafarge Canada Inc., a member of LafargeHolcim, Canada's largest provider of solutions to the construction and development industry. Over the past five years Lafarge has been working towards its goal of reducing fuel based carbon emissions by 30% in the cement manufacturing process, with this project one of the most comprehensive lower carbon fuel programs in the world.  The work has led to a growing focus on the potential role of non-recycled plastics and related mixed plastic/fibre composites in the manufacture of cement.

Urban Polymers, an affiliate of Canada Fibers Ltd., is recognized for their commitment to divert valuable, usable plastic away from landfill and assist their customers in achieving more sustainable manufacturing practices.  Their high performance polymers are sold to plastic goods manufacturers in packaging, construction and film extrusion industries.

The CanPlast Award honours individuals who have contributed their time, energy and expertise to improving the competitive and environmental performance of Canada's plastics industry.

The sole recipient this year is Marc Robitaille, of Omniplast.  Robitaille has contributed an immeasurable amount of time, energy, expertise and resources to improving the competitive and environmental performance of the Canadian plastics industry including an active involvement in CPIA's Bag Ban Task Force.
New this year is the Plastics Industry Young Leader Award Category. This award recognized four inspirational and dedicated young leaders who demonstrate leadership in plastics businesses, innovation or technical leadership and/or sustainability efforts.  Recipients serve as a positive role model for young professionals thinking of entering the plastics industry.  
Geoff B. Woolley, president of EcoSafe® Zero Waste of BC is recognized for his efforts to design and implement cradle-to-cradle solutions for source separation of organics and recyclables.

Krista Friesen, Vice President Sustainability of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), has more than 15 years' experience in designing and developing programs to manage end-of-life materials including plastics.  Since mid-2014, Friesen has been ably leading the development and execution of CPIA's sustainability, advocacy and partnership programs to promote solutions that increase the recovery of plastics at their end-of-life.
Domenic Di Mondo of GreenMantra™ Technologies, is an inorganic synthetic chemist, with a specialization in high temperature and pressure catalysis. Currently as Technical Director, his focus is on development of new intellectual property, introducing new products and applications, and growing GreenMantra™ Technologies.

Solenne Brouard Gaillot is CEO and founder of Polystyvert Inc. Brouard Gaillot is a pioneer for polystyrene recycling and creator of a disruptive technology that is revolutionizing the PS market.   She started her company from the ground up putting together a dynamic team of young experts dedicated to sustainable development.   

CPIA would like to congratulate all the award winners and commend them for their contributions to the plastics industry.  
The awards were presented at CPIA's Plastics Industry Leadership Awards Celebration on Sept. 14, 2016 at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ontario.
More award winner details are available at:
Since 1943, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has served as the national voice and leader for plastics industry sustainability across Canada and beyond, representing the interests of plastics value chain including resin and raw material suppliers, processors/converters, equipment suppliers, recyclers and brand owners.

CONTACT:Darlene Gray
         Canadian Plastics Industry Association
         905.678.7748 ext. 239