Green Printing and Plastic: No Longer Strange Bedfellows
GOEX promotes its “zero landfill” program as an opportunity for customers to recover and extract value from processed plastic (PVC and polystyrene) they previously regarded as useless waste. These materials can now be recycled back into a functional, printable plastic sheet that customers can reuse again and again.
According to Josh Gray, company president, “The value of a program like this is in enabling clients to reuse their processed scrap, rather than in selling scrap to a broker for 1-3 cents/pound or having it wind up in the landfill.”
Say the customer prints and processes a laminated PVC card job, collecting its makeready sheet scrap, card skeleton scrap and rejects. If that customer needs recycled material, it would send the card scrap to GOEX for reconditioning and reprocessing. GOEX inspects, grinds and washes the scrap, then extrudes it back into printable sheet that can be fully processed into a laminated card again. To ensure the scrap recycling process is sustainable, the manufacturer “sweetens” the recycled material with virgin raw material every time it is returned.
Environmental stewardship is the collective responsibility of all parties in the supply chain, from the press, substrate and consumables manufacturers, to the printer, to the consumer. When it comes to printing on plastic, the availability of recycled and biodegradable substrates, the widespread use of energy-curable technology, and the adoption of fresh approaches to waste-free processing strongly suggest that doing the right thing and turning a profit can be one in the same. PI