Member Spotlight: Robert Render

Photograph of Robert Render

1. What is your role at your organization?

I am the Commercial Manager at Ravago Recycling Group. My role is mostly business development and supporting sellers in all Ravago businesses on recycling projects. If a customer needs recycled content or has scrap they wish to sell, I work with the customer on that. I also research and present new recycling technologies to senior management and represent Ravago in organizations like the Plastics Industry Association and HPRC.

2. How does your organization fit into the recycling value chain?

We manufacture and supply recycled content compounds to customers and manage their scrap materials. We help customers re-use their materials by reprocessing them and supplying additives that help restore properties. We provide feedstocks to non-mechanical polymer recovery processors like PureCycle who filter PP and others who de-polymerize resins like PET, Styrene, and nylon.

3. What do you see at the biggest challenges/opportunities related to recycling healthcare plastics?

Collection of materials from healthcare settings is the biggest challenge. Materials cannot be efficiently collected through single stream recycling. Collection is best done in partnership with other vendors who regularly make pickups or deliveries such as laundry services, medical supplies, document shredders, and cleaning services. Creating this part of the supply chain is more challenging than finding homes for the materials.

4. What do you see as the future of healthcare plastics?

Plastics play a key role in keeping us healthy. I can’t see people being wheeled into the operating room asking medical professionals not to use plastics in packaging or devices. Like every industry, we need to continue to find ways to be more sustainable by using the most recyclable materials, trying to avoid contaminating good plastic with paper labels or other plastics, and working with our customers to reduce landfill and increase recycling. Between industry effort and new technologies I believe we will make significant progress in the coming years.

5. What is your favorite thing about HPRC? What benefits have you received by being a member?

I enjoy working with my colleagues and learning from them. I find the focus and drive amazing, as well as the passion for their work. As a company, Ravago benefits from being part of cutting-edge research and trials as well as the opportunity to build new relationships and support existing ones.

6. What HPRC projects are you currently involved with?

Recycler Guidance is an in-progress project that I am leading to provide information to recyclers on the plastics found in healthcare settings and what processes/ markets will provide the maximum value. I also support a project to fully map the value chain, help recruit new members, and represent HPRC at conferences and meetings.

7. What do you do for fun outside of work?

I love to ski, bike, and hike. I read a book a week and love reading about history and politics. I have a granddaughter who keeps me on my toes.

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