This past July, the plastics industry lost a pioneer in the field of recycling plastic waste when Dr. Richard Schwarz (“Dick” to those who knew him well) passed away.

But, to me, Dick was so much more than somebody who devoted his life to helping companies as a research chemist, polymer engineer and business developer.

He was the embodiment of collaboration and innovation – two ideas we take very seriously here at Brightmark – to the point where he lived and breathed it every single day, and he made all of us better people because of his very existence.

For somebody who owned degrees in chemistry from MIT and Duke University, you wouldn’t peg him as a man who held his education above your head. In fact, he was caring to a fault, showing off a sweet soul and nurturing nature you wouldn’t expect to find in someone of Dick’s stature. But he did it anyway.

The last time I saw him, he was so excited we were about to get our plastics renewal technology – of which he played a huge role – off the ground. Both of us knew this was going to be big, so you should’ve seen the excitement in his eyes when we talked about expanding globally.

It was quite something to behold and something I will never forget for as long as I live. Everything about the process thrilled him and I hope he’s looking down on us just as thrilled now as he was when he got to see it in person.

When I think of Dick, there’s one thing that embodies everything about this man, and it’s a poem he knew by heart he shared whenever he had a chance. I’ll leave you with this because it’s the perfect representation of a smart man who didn’t take life too seriously, but made a huge impact. We called it “Dick’s Diddy.”

RIP Dr. Dick Schwarz

Bob Powell
Founder and CEO

Dick’s Diddy

Starkle, starke little twink
Who the hell are you I think
I’m not under what you call
The alcofluence of incohol
I’m just a little slort of sheep
I’m not drunk like thinkle peep
I don’t know who is me yet
But the drunker I stand here
The longer I get.
So give me one more fink to dill my cup
‘cause I get all day sober to Sunday up