INDUSTRIAL PLASTIC RECYCLING
Learn about how Traco’s recycling and sustainability programs and what they mean for you and our planet.
TRACO PLASTIC RECYCLING FACTS
Here at Traco, the majority of the industrial plastics that we use are recyclable.
As well as the plastics listed above, we take great strides in recycling our wooden pallets used in the delivery of plastic stock.
Yearly, Traco Manufacturing recycles around 500,000 pounds of plastic waste.
HOW IS INDUSTRIAL PLASTIC RECYCLED?
To responsibly recycle plastic waste, we must first make sure that the plastic grinds are clean. Therefore, we group all of the plastic waste that we accumulate by plastic-type. For example, we do not mix Polycarbonate plastic waste with UHMW waste or any other type of plastic. We never allow floor debris or any other debris from the shop to contaminate our recyclable material. Because of these measures, we have an excellent reputation for consistently delivering clean recycled waste that can be quickly processed and reground when it arrives at the recycling facility. Building relationships with our plastic recyclers are critical to us at Traco as a vital part of our green initiatives.
Next, we ship our plastic waste in loads of 40,000-45,000 pounds to our preferred recycler, B&B Plastics. We recycle most types of plastic waste domestically. The plastic scrap is reground and shipped to plastic manufacturers and reformed into sheets, tubes, or other shapes. However, polycarbonate and acrylic take a slightly different path. Acrylic and polycarbonate scrap materials typically have a plastic masking on them and must be removed prior to the grinding process by hand labor. For this reason, these materials are typically shipped offshore to be recycled elsewhere, usually Asia. Once protective masking is removed, it then follows the normal grinding process and shipped worldwide. During this process, the materials are carefully handled to ensure none of it reaches our oceans. Large machines grind the scrap material. The ground material can be shipped back to the US to be sent to plastic manufacturers and are used to make injection molded parts or extruded parts and finally into sheets.
ADDITIONAL GREEN INITIATIVES
Traco is engaged in a multi-year program with different entities in NY state for the reduction of electrical usage by purchasing machines using variable drive motors and updating machine tool software to allow for faster machining speeds and more efficient programs.
USING RECYCLED PLASTIC SHEET STOCK
We purchase recycled plastic sheet stock to use in projects for our customers as often as we can. When we buy plastic sheet stock with recycled components, these recycled sheets contain roughly 30% recycled material and 70% virgin material. As you can see, this puts a considerable dent in the overall footprint of these plastics.
As far as the quality of the material with 30% recycled material, these sheets perform better in many cases! These sheets contain less plasticizer than 100% virgin sheet stock. Particularly in the vacuum forming process, recycled sheets are slightly more stable, there’s less stress to the sheet involved as we work with it, and they tend to be flatter from end to end.
PLASTIC RECYCLING PAST TO PRESENT, AND BEYOND
Reprocessed plastic sheet stock barely existed even 20 years ago, and it was of inferior quality. Now all manufacturers have a complete line of reproduction material typically offering cost savings.
We’ve seen many advancements made within the plastics recycling industry. No doubt that within the next decade alone, there will be continuing developments to increase the green initiatives for plastics.
At Traco, we’re proud that we have been able to pass down to the next generation that recycling will be integral not only to our future success but also to leave a better America for generations to come.
We hope to see one day, that all forms of plastic are biodegradable , further decreasing the footprint of industrialized plastics. Until that time, we here at Traco will continue making plastic recycling a priority for our company.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the information in this article. To speak to us further about your plastic manufacturing needs, please contact us here.
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