Plastic Material SourcingResin and Polymer Sourcing
Recycled plastics material sourcing for manufacturing sounds easy. Procurement team searches on internet, finds and researches vendor, buys recycled plastics, manufactures goods.
However, there are a number of considerations to make when sourcing recycled plastics (aka recycled resins or recycled polymers) for manufacturing. Are the materials from a post-consumer or post-industrial source? Are they easily recyclable? Are they available close to your manufacturing facility to reduce transportation costs? How durable are they? How color safe? Will they leech any chemicals into your product? Is the recycled plastics material consistent, or does contamination exist in your recycled plastics from time-to-time? Where was the plastic sourced from initially (i.e., overseas?), and are there any tax consequences?
Recycled plastics sourcing can be complex. Add to the mix the potential for compounding additives into what you need, and you have an almost infinite number of options. It is imperative to look past price-per-pound when recycled plastic material sourcing.
Topics to Consider when Sourcing Plastic Materials:
- Repro pellets or regrind: Should I source recycled plastic materials as a finished repro pellet… or as regrind and blend… or compound along with additives/colorant into exactly what I need? There are a number of cost and logistics considerations in this matter, some of which can save — or cost you — significantly.
- Do they meet my needs? It’s important to see if a sourced polymer meets your needs in terms of rigidity, durability, colorfastness, thermal stability, leaching, resilience, density, and of course recyclability.
- Manufacturing process: Does this recycled plastic material work with the required method of production, such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding, extrusion, compression molding, etc?
- Contents: Most plastics now are polymers made from crude oil. However, plastics can be naturally sourced and made form plants, trees, animals, and even insects. Each source affects the characteristics of the plastic, as well as your marketing claims related to it.
- Leaching: While BPA has been removed from most plastics to eliminate leaching, still recent studies claim that most plastics leach hormone-like chemicals. Your recycled plastic material sourcing should consider the various types of polymers, what they contain, and what they might leach into your product.
- Contract pricing: Can I get contract pricing discounts on volume? Or does that lock us into a poor supplier or cost structure? Consider market trends and the vendor’s history.
- Supply chain: Where does the recycled plastics vendor fit into my supply chain? Does their logistics abilities and location(s) meet our needs for speed and transportation cost?
- Recyclability: Is the recycled plastic you’re sourcing suitable for further recycling? Sometimes a relatively simple change – such as a colorant or additive – can make a plastic vastly more difficult to reuse, and these can often be planned for in the design and sourcing stages of production.
At Greenpath, we leverage our experience and knowledge of a vast array of materials to help you source plastic materials for manufacturing – from design assistance through supply chain analysis and into your manufacturing and recapture/recycle process, we are there to support your commercial plastics and polymer needs.
In our 25+ years, we have found significant efficiencies can be achieved when using a “one stop shop.” This in particular applies to plastic material sourcing. For example, we can work with your raw material sourcing and manufacturing personnel to incorporate recycled materials – from other waste products at your facility! — into your production lines. This reduces costs, and increases efficiency and profits. We can work with our nationwide partners and find ways to best add value to your manufacturing, while at the same time assuring you can maximize recovery and minimize waste.
Greenpath Enterprises is a full-service recycler, processor, and manufacturer. We are vertically integrated with over 25 years of experience in commercial recycling. Whether we are helping you with plastic material sourcing, or are recycling industrial scraps, we will keep your commercial recycling in-house, domestic, and creating US jobs – all while supporting not just your corporate sustainability goals, but also your profitability.
Contact us today for your commercial recycling needs.