Why PLASTIC Core Tray!
Why do we at Westernex insist on partnering with a QA approved manufacturer making a product using Virgin plastic, whilst claiming to care about the environment?
We concentrate on sustainability, renewable energy and resources nowadays, so we understand that this makes it challenging to understand why we still condone a product being made entirely of virgin plastic materials.
For sure, choosing the right material, design, and manufacturing strong and long-lasting products plays a big role in reducing the amount of material waste we contribute to the environment - but first, we need to know the differences between these materials:
Virgin polymer (PA, PC, PP, HDPE; PS, and ABS)
Is the direct resin produced from a petrochemical feedstock, such as natural gas or crude oil, which has never been used or processed before. Keeping in perspective that delivering high-quality goods to the customer is absolute, it is imperative to qualify this concern with the realities of how materials are actually applied and used in their specific role.
Recycled polymer (PS, ABS, PA, and PC)
Post-consumer is a material that has been reclaimed after it has left the hands of the consumer. Such as a plastic milk container, detergent or oil bottle. Once used, they are taken to a facility to be washed, reground and pelletised into new post-consumer material. Post-Industrial is recycled plastic that never left the manufacturing floor. For efficiency, manufacturers try to achieve zero waste during the production process.
It is tempting to believe that if something is recycled it is more sustainable than something made from virgin material.
Sometimes – we agree, this is true, but not in all cases. We need to think about how the products and materials are actually applied and used in their specific applications. Do they need to hold up in plus 50 and negative 20 degrees temperatures and ensure the product being held stays secure? How do we find a balance of quality, reliability, and sustainability? Is the saving real or only perceived?
Unfortunately, using recycled core trays helps neither the environment nor the humans who work with them. The scrap core tray may end up in a landfill as its suitability for further re-cycling use due to the nature of a core tray, at best suspect. When we talk about saving the environment, we should think about being fair to labor and how to use their time and energy. In the long run, it is expensive in any aspect to use a material that would break down and mix with the soil in a couple of years, which would ultimately result in manufacturing more of these recycled products and repeating the whole process. This creates unnecessary work and is considered an occupational health and safety risk. In conclusion, if something is made out of plastic it cannot be eco-friendly. Notably, if it is not “fit for purpose” it will fail prematurely and result to be replaced in a relatively short space of time, both the cost and environmental savings are not genuine only perceived! for sure plant-based products are eco-friendly.
Westernex encourages everyone to use recycled products when it is possible, we currently supply Stack & Nest Black Crates Enviro Range, Universal Flush Pointed End Cap, Plastic Pallets and Insert Pallets, Hole Plugs, OctoPlugs and Survey Stakes.
We have been busy researching and testing better options over the years to find the perfect solution, but we will never rush this process and would not feel comfortable launching a product until it is 100% perfect and suitable to be used in the field. This applies to all of our new Biodegradable products: Clean Green Cleaner and Degreaser, Green Gloves, Safe-T-Mark™,Ground Water Sampling, HydroMARK®, Bio Flagging Tape, Alcolizer Alcohol tester unwrapped and Biodegradable, Nature's Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner, Mini Fire Fighter, the whole range of Northfork Biodegradable cleaner and Degreasers and our new compostable Plant-based Green Bio Bags, which are manufactured from sustainable corn-starch, a unique blend that provides the mechanical properties required for mining bags both in toughness and strength.
We are looking forward to new solutions and technologies such as C-ZYME® or Cat-HTR™.
C-ZYME® technology, which is developed by the French company Carbios. They have invented an enzymatic recycling process after 10 years of researching and testing and hoping to finish the project by end of 2022. This technology uses an enzyme capable of depolymerizing PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is found in a variety of plastic and textile items and would be purified before being re-polymerised. Unlike traditional methods, Carbios’ breakthrough enables unlimited recycling of all sorts of PET waste such as clear, coloured, opaque, complex plastics, polyester textiles as well as the production of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable PET goods that maintain their virgin quality.
Cat-HTR™ technology is under development by an Australian based company Licella. 13 years of testing and researching to turn the plastic back to oil using the enormous amount of biomass and waste plastic, that go to landfill each year, melting it and mixing it with water then purify it with Cat-HTR Reactors™ and separate them as a high-value, low-carbon products that reduce our reliance on fossil resources.
“There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it's not really there.” Bill McKibben
References and General info about Plastic