In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on how the plastic injection molding world has expanded to include recycled plastics in recent years. While previous generations of injection molders did not work with recycled plastic due to concerns about quality and consistency, modern processes make this an easily achievable benchmark today – and one that holds several distinct benefits for manufacturers and clients alike.
At EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders, we’re happy to explain the capability and use of recycled plastics in any of our custom molded products, which range from pump components and pipe fittings to filtration materials, electrochemical components and many others. In today’s part two, we’ll go over the perception value in using recycled plastics, plus some of the various plastic types you may find and the sorts of products they tend to do best with.
Recycled Plastics and Perception
While the direct environmental and quality benefits we went over in part one of this series are the most important factors for both manufacturers and clients alike, both also benefit from the perception side of this coin as well. Any brand using recycled plastic is making a statement by doing so, one that will be noted by others in their industry and will increase the perception of an environmentally-conscious company. This sort of thing can never hurt, especially when it reflects your true commitment to reducing carbon footprint.
Recycled Plastic Types
There are a variety of potential recycled plastic types that might be used within a given injection molding process. Each of these types will be characterized by a number within the well-known recycling triangle symbol, plus an acronym. Here’s a list of these plastic types, including their symbol number, acronym and the kinds of products they’re often used for:
- (Symbol) 1, (Abbreviation) PET: This refers to polyethylene terephthalate, which is most commonly used to produce products like water and other drink bottles, oven trays, tubs, pots and various jars.
- 2, HDPE: Short for high-density polyethylene, this plastic is often found in chemical drums, cable insulation, food wrapping materials and various child toys.
- 3, PVC: Polyvinyl chloride is a well-known plastic often used in plumbing materials like drainage pipes, but also found in flooring, stationary, automotive seat coverings, packaging and even synthetic leather areas.
- 4, LDPE: Items like squeeze bottles, chemical tank linings and gas or water pipes are often made from low-density polyethylene.
- 5, PP: Short for polypropylene, this plastic is utilized for items like crates, buckets, washing machine drums and battery cases.
- 6, PS: Polystyrene is a rigid plastic used in packaging, refrigerator trays, cosmetic packs and various toys or novelties.
- 7, Other: There are various other plastics that do not fit into any of these categories.
For more on the kinds of recycled plastics used in injection molding, or to learn about any of our custom injection molding services, speak to the staff at EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders today.