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Plastic Shopping Bags Banned

Bye, Bye Bag Lady, Reusable Bags for Me!

Challenge everyone in your family to take reusable bags whenever they go and avoid using plastic bags! This simple step to preserve natural resources really adds up when you think of all the plastic bags you might use in a year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 380 billion plastic shopping bags are used in the U.S. annually. Only a tiny fraction (0.6 percent) of the plastic bags are recycled. As many as 1 trillion plastic bags may be used globally each year, or about one million bags per minute.

It takes 1,000 years for plastic bags to degrade. In addition, plastic bags contain harmful chemical such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and diethylhexyl phthalate, which is a carcinogen (CANCER CAUSING). About 100,000 birds, marine mammals, whales, and sea turtles each year either choke to death on plastic bags, or die of an intestinal blockage after eating one.

Whole Foods Market announced in December 2007 that it will no longer offer plastic grocery bags at the checkouts in its two stores in Austin, Texas, where the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket is headquartered.

“Let’s face it, plastic bags fill landfills, harm our water systems and wildlife, and litter our roadsides and communities. We are discontinuing the use of these bags in support of our Core Value of ‘caring for our Communities and our Environment,’ which includes adopting wise environmental practices.” said Seth Stutzman, Whole Foods Market’s Southwest regional vice president. “By partnering with our shoppers, we can together bring the plastic bag issue to the forefront in Austin to help protect the environment in our hometown and our planet at large.”

Eliminating plastic grocery bags at its Austin checkout counters will be a test for the Company and will serves as the first step to ban such bags companywide by early next year. Paper bags made exclusively for Whole Foods Market from 100 percent recycled content will continue to be an option for shoppers.

Day by day, bag by bag, everyone can really make a difference by choosing alternatives to plastic at retail checkout counters.

Steps are being taken in many countries to curb plastic bag use. The Republic of Ireland has enacted a 15 cent tax on plastic shopping bags, which has curbed their use by 90 percent in that country. Bangladesh banned plastic shopping bag after finding that they were blocking drainage systems and causing floods. Taiwan, Singapore, South Africa, and several East African countries have also banned plastic shopping bags. The housewares chain IKEA is now charging five cents per plastic bag, and estimates the move will reduce plastic bag use in their U.S. stores by 50 percent.

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Should I Use a Metal Machining Company to Manufacture My Plastic Parts?

Engineers and buyers often reach out to metal machining companies to produce plastic machined parts. They assume that the metal machinists use the same processes as a plastic machining company, and therefore there is no significant difference. In reality, the two companies are worlds apart. This article reviews the three major reasons why a company that machines metal should not be used to make plastic machined components.

Cutting fluids for each material are crucial:
Equipment used to machine metal – even if only used for metal occasionally – can contaminate parts with oil-based cutting fluids. Many plastics are also very sensitive to petroleum based cutting fluids and will degrade if they come into contact with these fluids. Additionally, many plastics are hygroscopic and will absorb the cutting oils. If the parts are being manufactured for FDA-approved uses or medical applications, they will not meet standards.

Metal fragments contaminate plastic parts:
It is difficult to adequately clean a machine that has been working on metals, especially if it has been working on stainless steel. This can lead to another contamination problem. If the plastic material is soft, residual metal fragments can become embedded in the parts.

Metal shops are experts in metal, not plastic:
Metal machining companies rarely have any in-depth knowledge of plastic materials, or more specifically, which material to use in an application. Plastic machinists know what plastics are best for any function, and can produce the part you need without the “trial-and-error” processes a metal machinist would use. A good plastic machining firm will have the material knowledge and the right machining processes to consistently give you the highest quality parts.

Engineered Plastic Products Corporation is the premier supplier of plastic machined parts. EPP Corp has extensive experience manufacturing critical parts to the aerospace, military, fluid handling, instrumentation, and medical industries. Capabilities include: custom plastic milling, custom plastic turning, custom plastic screw machining, custom plastic manifolds, and assembly.

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Plastics: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

‘Plastic’ comes from the Greek word ‘plastikus’ which means anything moldable. Plastics account for 30% of the waste by volume and are a major threat to the environment. Highly toxic and non-biodegradable, they can be got rid of only by burning-which itself releases toxic fumes. Toxins from plastic bags leach against the soil making it barren. Dioxins released from plastic bags in garbage dumps and landfill sites contaminate water and may even lead to cancer.

Based on their long life, plastic products can be divided into three categories. 60% of plastic products have a long lifespan as they are in use for years. Used in radios, TV sets, cars, blood transfusion sets, plastic panels, pipes, furniture, boxes, crates, buckets, water tanks, crockery, suitcases, etc., these articles stay in use for decades and even lifetimes. This 60% can, in fact, be considered pro-environment as it saves forests and other natural resources. These plastics can be re-molded into new items that can last for decades more.

The second category of plastics(22%) needs monitoring as they last for a week to three months only. These are items like detergent and shampoo bottles, jars for cosmetics, oil and ghee, congestive tubes, etc.

However, the ugliest of all plastic products are the small, thin, colored plastic carry bags available at vegetable, fruit, meat, sweets and medical shops. They have zero re-usability. Most of them find their way into and block open sewers, adding to the proliferation of mosquitoes, flies, and bacteria. Since they have little recycling value and are very light, rag pickers tend to ignore them. As a result, cows and other animals that feed on garbage dumps often choke to death when they swallow plastic bags. Similarly, plastic bags disposed in the seas and on beaches are fatal to marine life. The indiscriminate use of plastic has even damaged the ecology of the Himalayas. Even the route to Mount Everest is degraded.

In Delhi, organizations like ‘Vatavaran’ have started community waste management schemes. Under the scheme, Vatavaran workers collect garbage from household in tri-cycle rickshaws. The garbage is then segregated into compost-able and recyclables. The compost-able waste is converted into manure and recyclable material like plastic is sent for recycling. Another Delhi based NGO, ‘Srishti’, has also undertaken similar initiatives while ‘Exnora’, a group in Chennai, has taken upon itself the task of raising awareness about cleanliness in slums. India is all set to introduce a color code for plastic carry bags and restrictions on recycling them beyond a certain limit. Also, hotels, catering houses and fast food outlets will have to ensure that the plastic used for packaging conforms to the specifications and standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

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Choose Your Plastic Products With Care

People of a certain generation remember when a neighbor whispered a hot tip into the Graduate’s ear, “Plastics.” That was a reflection of the 1960’s excitement over the material that promised to revolutionize manufacturing, industry and household living.

To a large part, that prediction came true. It’s hard to imagine daily life without plastic. I type on my Think Pad made of light and durable plastic; plastic medical instruments, building materials, automobile parts, cell phones, toys and tools make things in America affordable, convenient and portable. A world without plastic is almost unimaginable.

Environmental Impacts
As the cost of oil rises, it’s perhaps time to take a closer look at how and why we use plastic products – and what impact the disposal of plastic items has on an environment we now recognize is in peril. It is difficult to measure how much of oil drilled and shipped to refineries is used in the production of plastic. One estimate is a low as 4 percent and energy experts doubt that, should demand for plastic diminish, there would be less drilling and production of oil.

Once crude oil and natural gas are shipped to refineries, they are separated into many categories of petrochemicals. Some of the ethane and propane are siphoned off for use in the making of plastic pellets – the raw material that’s sent to manufacturers of plastic products. It appears that a significant environmental impact of the plastics industry is in production, transportation and disposal of products. In these activities, the use of gas is significant.

Despite outreach efforts by the EPA and many environmental groups, the recycling of plastic bottles – particularly those made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – is abysmal. Up to 80 percent of PET beverage bottles end up in landfills where they take 1,000 years to degrade. The same is true of the over-abundant plastic wrapping used on many products – from small toys and cosmetics entombed in many square inches of plastic to electronics and larger items.

More Product, Less Package
The EPA is a strong proponent of packaging that minimizes the use of plastic. Some industries have responded. For example, CD’s and DVD’s once came encased in lots of plastic packaging. Now, the outer packaging has been eliminated or is removed and reused after a sale.

Unfortunately, as one industry seems to get the message, another does not. The popularity of bottled and flavored waters in PET containers has taken the world by storm. We already know the majority of these plastic bottles are left to degrade and pollute natural environments for millennia. But, even when people are conscientious recyclers, the energy needed to transport and transform plastic into new materials takes its own toll on the environment.

Governments and municipalities have done their best to educate people about the benefits of recycling plastic containers – and suggested using alternatives to plastic. These environmental concerns have not been heard by an industry that makes billions from pouring water into plastic bottles or encasing tiny products in massive plastic packaging.

It seems up to the consumer to send a message by making smart choices about which plastic products to purchase and use. People can start by developing new habits – such as purchasing a personal water bottle that’s made of lightweight metal. Lots of bottled water is actually no more than tap water, some treated, some not. Households can be equipped with a variety of water filters if the tap water is unpalatable. Water filters cost a fraction of bottled water and is under EPA quality control.

Plastic Benefits Abound
Clearly, plastic contributes greatly to the convenience and efficiency of daily life. For example, massive water storage tanks – above and below ground – are often made of durable plastic that serve their purpose for decades when other materials crack and rust. Our cars are made from a variety of molded plastic parts that make them lighter and more fuel efficient. Since 1988, the average passenger car has lost about 145 pounds, saving about 21 million barrels of oil. Plastic components help us explore outer space and examine the microscopic building blocks of life.

Our households are switched on by plastic. It’s insulating and thermal properties keep electrical systems in our homes safe. The plastic interior of our refrigerators cover plastic insulating foam that saves up to 30% of energy costs.

Consumer Purchasing Power
It’s clear that plastic is an essential building block of modern life. But, it’s up to consumers to use this manmade resource wisely. On one hand, plastic creates efficiency and savings and can help preserve our natural environment while on the other it can be an instrument of destruction. Thoughtful people will discern the difference and choose alternatives to beverages in plastic bottles and items with more plastic packaging than product. They’ll use plastic products that are durable and not designed to be discarded.

Granted, kicking the plastic throw-away habit probably won’t impact the price at the gas pump. But, it will send a message to product manufacturers that Americans can, through purchasing power, support positive change that benefits the planet’s future.

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Plastic Signs – Practical and Practically Universal

Plastic signs may be made of acrylic, polyethylene, polypropylene, or polystyrene, to name just a few plastic materials. They are perfect for door signs, signs that go on fences, and security signs.

These types of signs look completely professional; and do professional sign printers have the knowledge and equipment to make them? They don’t take too much time to manufacture/print, nor are they overpriced. Best of all they are easy to customize. Imagine and create your ideal message using wondrously practical and universal plastic signs!

These signs are ideal for inside and for outside usage. Produced from 8-mm plastic, they are sturdy and easy to keep clean. All you need is a damp cloth to keep them looking fresh, bright and highly visible.

Types and Quality of Materials

There are many types of plastic signs. They may have engraved letters and be posted outside for a variety of usages. Because they are typically made of thick acrylic or other plastics such as melamines or other poly-type plastics, they are nearly weatherproof and color resistant. Plastic signs are the normal choice for professional office door headings. The look is amazingly professional considering that it is made from a piece of plastic instead of traditional wood.

The plastic signs of today are much more sophisticated than a few years ago. Nowadays, all colors are used, but the look is more discreet and subtle. Clear and muted colors like a light grey or tan are often chosen for professional purposes.

Common Uses

People post other personal messages on plastic too. Beware of Dog, or No Soliciting, are often made from engravable plastics like polypropylene or polyethylene. At every restaurant or public place you have visited, there must be a sign for the bathroom, right?

Words or symbols can be used to make the message clear. More often times than not, these are also a great example of plastic signs that do the job beautifully and efficiently. Welcome signs and business signs may also be made of plastic.

While outdoors, you may be surprised to notice how many plastic signs are in use. Most business illuminated signs on the street today are made from polycarbonate plastic. They may be mounted in a lit up display but the actual message is made of a vinyl piece making it essentially just another of those great plastic signs.

On the walls outside, it’s easy to identify plastic letters in public places. Plastic signs may show the name of the hospital, school, apartment building, sports club, social club, country club, and much more. The sign outside your favorite mall is may be made from plastic, too.

Around your home, apartment or dorm you will find many other plastic signs in use. There are garden signs, letter box signs, and house signs. There are usually warning signs like safety signs, or “slippery when wet” and prohibition signs like “”Residents only” “Employees Only,” “Do not enter,” and “Keep Out!” Store hours are often posted with plastic signs which can be easily viewed from the outside of the glass doors or windows at the front of your business.

Not Limited to Large Sizing

Plastic signs don’t have to be large in order to be useful. Small plastic tags, also known as name badges, are used everyday all over the world. Almost any public place gives its staff name badges.

When people serve the general public, guests are able to know an employee by name, because of their name tags. Many service employees – gas station attendants, hotel employees, restaurant staff members, nurses, medical personnel and even blue-collar workers often wear name badges which are made of these resilient plastics.

In Conclusion

If you are hard pressed to decide which material will service your needs the best, there are many options to choose from – wood, metal, plastic, aluminum and so on. In many if not most cases, plastic can both pull its own weight and meet budget requirements. These plastic signs are long-lasting, attractive and easily maintained.

LAST UPDATED ON: April 17, 2018

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn’t what he thought he’d do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

He has been marketing these products online since 1998, and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!

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Plastic Injection Molding: Past, Present and Future

Plastic injection molding is a process that forces liquid plastic into a mold to make custom plastic name plates, plaques, signs and product branding elements. Once the plastic cools and solidifies, it releases from the mold to form a variety of plastic parts for any industry. Popular uses of injection-molded include: appliance name plates, name plates for industrial equipment, car emblems, vehicle branding and license plate holders, as well as product identification for recreational products.

Injection-molded plastic name plates and other components are produced by a machine that consists of three basic components:

 

  1. A mold which can be made to manufacture any size and shape that is needed
  2. A clamping unit that clamps and holds the mold together throughout the whole process
  3. An injection unit will then inject molten plastic into the mold, where it will remain until it has sufficiently cooled and released

 

The molten plastic used for injection-molded products is produced by melting small plastic pellets, which are fed into an injection machine heating the pellets to a molten or liquid form.

Once the now molten plastic pellets reach a predetermined temperature the semi liquid is forcefully injected into a mold. The speed and pressure of this process is controlled by a hydraulic cylinder that, once engaged, forces the liquid plastic into the mold.

In “dwell” phase of the plastic injection molding process, the plastic is left in the mold to ensure that it completely fills the mold and then allowed to cool to the point where it solidifies and the desired object is produced. It is then ready for secondary processes as decoration, sub assembly, or shipment.

The injection-molded plastic process allows manufacturers to produce custom plastic name plates and components that would be too costly to make as intricately by utilizing traditional machining methods. Injection-molded plastics also saves time and money by allowing many pieces of the same component to be made at the same time, from the same mold; each copy identical to the one before it. This process also reduces labor costs by minimizing the need for manual labor from employees. There is also nearly no wasted material, as any unused or left over plastic can be re-cycled to be reused in the process

The History of Plastic Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding originated with chemists in Europe and The United States who were experimenting with plastics. Originally it was done by hand and pressed into a mold using Parkesine but it proved to be too brittle and flammable. John Wesley Hyatt is the official inventor of plastic injection molding and the process has a rich history with brilliant minds.

John Wesley Hyatt was a creative inventor and developed the processing of celluloid plastics. This was an amazing feat for a young printer from Illinois who took on the challenge from the New York Billiards Company to replace the ivory that was used in billiard balls.

So began his career in plastics engineering as he and his brother Isaiah started making several mixtures for checkers and other objects. After some time trying various mixtures, John mixed nitrocellulose, camphor and alcohol together. He pressed these ingredients into a circular steel mold that was heated and allowed it to cool. When the material was removed from the mold, he realized that he had successfully created a billiard ball composed of plastic. Thus began the process of plastic injection molding.

John and his brother Isaiah patented this process of producing celluloid in 1870 and continued by making dentures from their new material which replaced dentures made of rubber. Thus began the manufacturing process of celluloid plastics. John was quite like the Da Vinci of industrial invention because he also was credited with the invention of the sewing machine and roller bearings all of which contributed heavily to manufacturing.

Today, Celluloid and Cellulosic plastics can be found almost anywhere including screwdriver handles, tooth brushes and utensils. Celluloid can be found in Hollywood, California today and is used for production of your favorite films.

To further the processes of plastic injection molding another great inventor came into plastics actively in New York after traveling from Belgium on a fellowship. Leo Hendrick Baekeland began working with polymers and this lead to his invention for Kodak Eastman which was Velox. Velox is a photographic paper which could be developed in gaslight instead of sunlight.

As a chemist he made several developments in this field also going on to investigate how polymers were molecularly structured. These investigations lead too many inventions and discoveries beyond what chemists had discovered thus far about coatings and adhesives.

In 1926 Eckert and Ziegler invented the plastics molding machine in Germany which was the first successful machine used in manufacturing plastics. This brought injection plastic molding on the production line successfully.

Many more creative inventors have come through the process of plastic injection molding in history and it has come through an even finer process for production in today’s products such as appliances and name plates, signs and plaques.

The Injection Plastic Molding Process Today

Today’s version of the plastic injection molding equipment is computer controlled and plastic raw material is injected into steel and aluminum molds to produce the custom plastic name plates, plastic components and many of the plastic products we use every day. The molding equipment injects hot plastic into the mold and cools the plastic and extracts the parts. The molding equipment of today makes mass production of plastic components easy and cost effective.

Today, plastic injection molding manufacturers use vertical and horizontal presses, injection screw presses, electric presses and hydraulic presses for whatever rate of pressure is needed to complete the product pressure to form. This process produces everything from car parts to license plates and even toothbrushes.

The Future of Plastic Injection Molding Equipment

Plastic injection molding is a very innovative process which has created many useful products that we use every single day in our households. While the history of plastic injection molding is quite full of creativity and innovation, the future is filled with even greater possibility as more creative minds add new ways to improve plastic injection molding equipment and process.

While the improvements in the plastic injection machinery continue, the future of injection molding is now turning its attention to the molds and mold components. High tech plastic molds can be made of metal, epoxy or carbon fiber and can increase output through faster cooling times and cycle times.

The invention of 3D printing gives us a glimpse of how far plastic injection molding can travel into the future. 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. With the integration of 3D printing in the plastic injection molding process, concepts and samples can be produced with far less expense.

Some innovative minds have even been working with corn seed producers to replace traditional petroleum based plastic into corn starch based plastic. l Biodegradable material is currently being used on a limited scale and there are many uses this material could soon have that would astound the mind. All it would take would be the mold and the material to produce a new wave of the future for plastics engineering. Scientist are still researching polymers the way they did when plastic injection molding began and their research is unbelievable at this point with many possibilities to come.

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Money Lenders Meet the Interest of Both Borrowers and Investors?

Peer to Peer (P2P) lending serves as an online virtual marketplace that puts together lenders (people with savings) in touch with borrowers requiring funds (in the form of personal loans). This Fintech innovation is changing the way credit marketplaces works. By completely bypassing the bank, it enables quicker lending and borrowing. The investors get better risk-adjusted returns while borrowers get quick credit on low-interest rates. Since it is a platform where two parties interact, you can either register as a lender or a borrower.

Borrowers seeking personal loan register online. The P2P lending platform utilizes data and technology to assess the credit-worthiness of a borrower. You will be assigned a risk category and appropriate interest rate after your credit check. Credit-worthy borrowers get loan disbursed in minimum possible time. If you register as an investor/lender your account will be opened with the lending platform. You can start investing in consumer loans from an amount as low as 15K. You have the leverage to select loan in which you wish to invest. You can build your portfolio by choosing loans out of various risk categories.

As soon as borrower start paying the interest rates you will receive the returns in the form of EMIs (principal and interest). P2P lending offers inflation-beating returns several percentages higher than bank savings account or fixed deposits. You can either withdraw or reinvest to enjoy the compounding benefits.

What makes P2P lending unique?

1. Online Application Process: Money Lending Online is an instant way to avail capital in the form of personal loans. It’s entirely different from the traditional loan approval process of banks and credit unions; where you must manually apply by filling lengthy forms and visiting banks to review your loan status. In P2P lending, the entire loan application process is online. You just have to sign-up on the website to register as a borrower. Once you upload all the necessary documentation your loan will get approved depending upon your credit history and eligibility.

2. Easier loan approval: Banks and credit unions check your loan eligibility solely based on your credit history (CIBIL score). Online money lenders utilize alternative information to assess your credit-worthiness including your education, monthly income, credit-to-income ratio, and some other relevant financial parameter.

3. No collateral required: P2P lending offers uncollateralized personal loans. You don’t have to pledge collateral or any other security deposit to get the loan approved. Thus, in case you fail to repay an unsecured loan, then you will certainly face legal jurisdiction but there is no risk of losing your property.

4. Better rates: Lenders charge low-interest rate in comparison to institutional lenders such as banks. With P2P lending platforms, you can enjoy lower rates with nominal service fees (if any). P2P lending companies don’t have to maintain the same overhead as in the case of banks, which means they don’t face the similar regulatory costs. Ultimately, you get minimum interest rates on your personal loan.