GOEX Zero-Landfill Process Offers Customers An Opportunity To Profit by Going Green
Press release from the issuing company
Janesville, Wis., Nov. 5, 2007 – GOEX Corp., a leading manufacturer of printable custom plastic sheet, has developed a sustainable alternative approach to plastic recycling that helps avoid the landfill and returns a saleable product to its customers.
Virtually all plastics created from nonrenewable resources such as oil, coal or natural gas, together with colorants and other performance-enhancing ingredients, represent a final product that is increasingly visible in this environmentally conscious era. Biodegradable plastics made from renewable resources represent one focus of an emerging industry intent on making products that allow users to control when and how plastic material degrades, while insuring the product remains viable while still in use.
While acknowledging the time, energy and marketing dollars being spent in the effort to develop so-called "green" plastics, "We thought it might be a worthy idea to have a conversation with our customers about reusing their processed scrap," says GOEX President Josh Gray. "That's where the value is, not in selling scrap to a broker for 1-3 cents per pound or having it wind up in the landfill."
Years ago, most plastic sheet suppliers did not consider taking material back from the customer's waste stream. However, says Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bob Waddell, "In light of the growing emphasis on green manufacturing and sustainable business practices, we realized GOEX had access to a tremendous untapped, unfocused resource in the form of materials that previously were considered scrap."
Waste Not, Want Not
The result of this realization is a policy GOEX terms "zero landfill," which the company promotes as an opportunity for customers to extract value from processed plastics they previously regarded as waste.
"GOEX has recycled its internal scrap for 25 years, so the concept isn't new for us," says Gray. "What is new is our ability to pull back plastic sheet materials that have non-plastic components. For example, returned scrap from a card manufacturer may have been printed, but may also have magnetic tape, over-lamination film, signature panels and more. These materials now can be recycled back into a functional/printable plastic sheet that our customers can use again and again."
Here's an example of how it works: The customer prints and processes a laminated PVC card job, collecting its make-ready sheet scrap, card skeleton scrap and finished card scrap. If that customer needs "recycled" material, they would then send their PVC card scrap to GOEX so that it can be "conditioned" and reprocessed. To ensure the scrap recycling process is sustainable, GOEX "sweetens" the recycled material with virgin raw material every time it is returned. "You have to have the effect of adding virgin material to get an affordable product that performs well," Gray explains.
Handle with Care
The GOEX material return system is a tightly controlled, customer-to-customer process. "To establish lot control and traceability, returned customer scrap is specifically assigned for use only in that customer's recycled sheet order," Gray says. "Our closed-loop process uses only plastic from customers that are trained to handle it" with the kind of respect that will render it recyclable and saleable. "There's more value to the customer in being able to expand a product line that has true recycled content," Gray says. "It's a process of educating the customer to elevate what he may have previously considered to be trash into a recycled plastic sheet that has value and is useful," Gray says. "The value to the customer becomes having the ability to market recycled product.
GOEX scrap recycling is a high-volume process, aimed at customers that purchase large amounts of plastic sheet. "The economics of our reclamation process are not currently scaled to customers that need small quantities," Gray says, "but truckload orders are well suited to the process." The company's zero-landfill initiative can also include returning and reusing product packaging materials like boxes, skids, edge protectors, etc.
At present, GOEX is the only plastics manufacturer able to recycle PVC plastic. The company's CAROM 45r recycled sheet is extruded from PVC that has only ink applied. Recycled CAROM 88 PVC is targeted specifically to card manufacturers, whose waste stream contains not only plastic and ink, but also the magnetic stripe, signature panel, lamination film and other ornamentation typical of traditional card manufacturing. "PVC with ink (CAROM 45r) is simply an easier material to convert to recycled sheet. It doesn't present the same processing challenges of CAROM 88," Waddell says. GOEX Recycled PVC was a Finalist in the 2007 International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) Élan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence.
CAROM 45r can be produced with 1-side Gloss / 1-side Matte or with 2-side Matte finish. CAROM 88 is available in a Matte / Matte finish and can be printed and processed into laminated cards exactly like virgin PVC sheet. Best of all, the process is endlessly sustainable, due to the constant addition of virgin material to the recycled content. In addition to PVC, GOEX extrudes a variety of polymers that offer the opportunity for recycling, including Polystyrene and PETG. Interested parties should contact their GOEX sales representative for the best all-around system solution for their needs.
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