US Businesses Pushes to Boost the Use of Recycled Plastic Packaging
01 Jun 2015
Across the pallet industry, wooden pallets have been reused and recycled for a number of years. Customers have become used to returning their wooden pallets once they come to the end of their life, and they can then either be recycled or used for another purpose. However, this process very rarely happens with plastic forms of packaging, including pallets and containers. Now one business in the US is solely concentrating on the manufacture of reusable plastic packaging and wants to expand their operation.
Orbis Corporation uses recycled materials in all of their products, but they now want to increase the recycled content. They currently manufacture a range of plastic packaging options, including pallets, totes, containers, cases and trays.
Sustainability has always been a key element of their business, and they want to be seen as one of the leading companies in their field. They see the use of recycled content as a way of reducing the amount of raw materials that are necessary in the manufacturing processes.
This method is also a way of helping to keep the costs to the customer lower. A container that is partly manufactured from recycled plastic will cost considerably less to produce than one that solely relies on raw materials. Therefore, as the supplier, Orbis can sell this at a lower price.
Recycling Plastic Pallets
When the company buys back the unused containers and pallets from their customers or brings in used plastic from other sources, they can test the recycled material that is produced. This ensures that they can check the properties of the material and then decide how it can best be reused.
They have certain standards that must be maintained before the recycled plastic can be sold on to their customers. This ensures the integrity of their products and shows that they are fit for purpose. The products that they manufacture have to perform to the same standards as ones that are manufactured from new materials. This helps to maintain the strength and durability of the products, which can be an issue with some recycled packaging.
Considerations with Recycled Plastic
The use of recycled plastic pallets is growing across the globe. However, before you begin using them, you should consider how the pallet will be utilised. It’s important that you understand any weaknesses that might be present with a recycled model and assess if this is a suitable option for your business. Rather than just factoring in the cost element, think about the strength and durability that you require, and assess whether a recycled pallet can meet this.
Benefits and Risks
There are benefits of using recycled plastic packaging, both to the supplier and the end user. Companies that use plastic pallets and containers are able to make some money back on their investment by selling the products back to their original supplier when they no longer need them. The recycled products also cost less to purchase, reducing the initial cost of buying plastic packaging.
However, using recycled packaging does not come without its risks. The more times plastic is heated up and put under pressure in order to make it malleable enough to work with, the less durable it will become. This can eventually begin to impact on the overall structure and integrity of the container.
As the technology surrounding recycled plastic continues to develop, we will undoubtedly see more companies moving into this area, with demand also increasing from end users.