The restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) became effective July 2006 in many countries. In addition, concerns for global warming and meeting the Kyoto Protocol, energy conservation concerns and other environmental awareness efforts have challenged the materials sector. In response, several industry organizations have taken a proactive approach to ensure the continued success of their members and act responsibly to avoid violating government regulations and being in the crosshairs of environment advocate groups.
Some organizations have been active in the environmental efforts for many years. For example, the North American Die Casting Assn. NADCA has been part of the EPA's Sector Strategies Program since the 1990s. The EPA effort addresses performance improvement and burden reduction in 13 important sectors.
NADCA boasts that more than 95 percent of the aluminum die castings produced in North America are made of post-consumer recycled aluminum. This provides considerable energy reduction, since the production of recycled aluminum alloy requires less energy than producing alloy directly from ore or other methods.
However, NADCA is not alone in its environmental efforts. For the plastic industry, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) organizes the Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC). The 2007 conference, Environmental Innovation: Plastics Recycling & Sustainability, focused on reclamation, recycling, landfill reduction and more.