Plastic injection molding has become one of the most popular manufacturing techniques, which should come as no surprise. Due to its durability, affordability, and multifaceted capabilities, plastic has become a commonly chosen material for industries and the consumer populous. Today, high-end plastics can offer exceptional strength, luxurious feel, and compose products ranging from car exterior to beverage lids.
There are still some lingering concerns about the plastic injection molding trend, however, such as recycling and human environmental responsibilities. To be clear, there are solutions to these challenges but manufacturers must be conscious of the potential risks in order to address them.
Fortunately, plastic molding offers techniques to produce high-quality products while being environmentally conscious. The closed industrial loop is highly efficient, and when adequately incorporated, waste production is minimal.
On top of being environmentally conscious, plastic injection manufacturing processes are cost-effective, can produce product quickly, and the manufacturing process is highly flexible while also being extremely precise.
Let’s dig into plastic injecting molding and why it’s one of the friendliest production processes in regards to the environment.
Plastic Injection Molding and Recycled Plastics
More and more people are practicing recycling and becoming more aware of our footprint on Earth. Local governments, non-profits, activists, and others are actively trying to reduce landfill waste, and plastic manufacturing companies are helping reach that goal.
Plastic is a recyclable material meaning it can be reprocessed and reused. Today, plastic manufacturers can recycle materials that would otherwise be destined to the landfill, or worse, the environment. This helps reduce the negative impact plastics have on the world around us.
Recycling parts due to error or extra material can ultimately reduce ground pollution, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and eliminate waste production for landfills. The plastic production process is often dependent on fossil fuels, such as petroleum (although some bio-plastics are now in use). The production process itself is resource intensive, and while recycled materials go through the same process and use the same manufacturing resources, their environmental impact is much smaller.
Not only can plastic manufacturers recycle waste once destined for the dump, but polypropylene-rich materials can be recovered from the environment, in areas such as streams and rivers, and further cleaned and reused. Believe it or not, plastic injection molding can be a valuable component in efforts to clean up nature. Plastic manufacturing recycling has extensive applications in resource-intensive industries as well, such as agriculture, packaging, and automotive.
For the record, recycled plastics are often just as high-quality and durable as plastics made from scratch!
Recycling Can Be Used to “Close the Loop”
A closed industrial loop is one that eliminates inputs from the outside world. It’s hard to close an industrial loop entirely — or eliminate usage of outside resources. However, recycling plastics and other materials can significantly reduce the amounts of external inputs needed. Instead of sending old parts to the landfill they are directed back into the loop. There they can be recycled, reused, and turned into new products.
You don’t have to sacrifice or cut corners to recycle; its easy to produce recycled plastics with high degrees of tensile strength, accurate form, and low weight. In other words, you can continue to produce the same high-quality products via plastic injection molding.
Rapid Prototyping Ensures You Get The Large Scale Right
Prototyping can be fantastic for the environment. By refining and improving a design before full production, you can mitigate the risk of design error while reducing potential scrap that would be generated from the initial production runs of an imperfect design. In a best-case scenario, you can recycle those products, but waste will be inevitable, and production costs will spike temporarily.
Rapid prototyping reduces these risks dramatically. Once you get to running a large production run for your plastic injected products you can be confident that they meet your needs. Along the way, rapid prototyping can often use recyclable plastics and otherwise be friendly towards the environment.
Recycling Can Produce Cost Reduction
Recycled plastics are often cheaper to produce than raw resin, and can benefit an organization’s bottom line along with the environment.
Further, recycled plastics are much more predictable when it comes to costs. Scratch plastics are heavily influenced by petroleum prices, while recycled plastics are more stable and can be immensely useful when creating financial projections.
Upgrade Your Reputation
By recycling your waste, extra material, and faulty products in the injection molding industry, you can protect and improve your brand.
Because consumers are becoming environmentally conscious, and eco-friendly organizations are putting pressure on company waste, embracing recycled plastic through injection molding can benefit your company brand and the environment simultaneously. Product quality will remain among the best in plastic manufacturing, and many consumers will appreciate your green conscious.
Conclusion: Help Your Company and the Environment
Injection molding is a cost-effective, high-value, and volume-effective opportunity for many manufacturers. Recycling plastics throughout the process can make it even more beneficial. With a chance for plastic industries to help close the industrial loop, without changing materials or resources, high-quality production can coincide with the evolving green revolution.
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