When it comes to sustainability, we’re shredding it.
We get it - when you think “sustainable packaging materials,” foam is usually last on your mind. The recyclability of paper and metals is well-known and adapted by consumers. However, foam remains a challenge - while it can be recycled by end users, it’s not widely adapted in the same way.
That’s why we want to educate the public about the sustainable power of foam packaging.
It seems obvious - if you want to be sustainable, then you choose easily-recycled materials like paper. But is it? What if your products need foam protection to arrive safely?
Choosing the wrong material can result in damaged items, which then creates more environmental toll as products need to be re-made, re-packaged, and re-shipped.
Did you know that each damaged product, on average, adds 40.4 pounds of carbon dioxide gas emissions into the atmosphere?
Did you also know that producing polyethylene foam takes less energy than non-plastic alternatives?
That’s one of the reasons why we focus on choosing the right packaging material the first time. We can see through research that the environmental cost of reshipping products is much more catastrophic - not to mention the financial cost associated as well.
Want to learn more? Our friends at Pregis have created the EcoGauge Online Calculator to calculate the environmental impact of damaged products.
It’s true that foam doesn’t biodegrade as fast as paper - which is why it’s critical that we all do what we can to make sure foam and plastics end up getting recycled!
Did you know that some packaging foam can be recycled by consumers? Here’s how to ensure your foam ends up in the right place when it’s no longer needed.
All of the XLPE that we fabricate is 100% circular, which means none of it gets incinerated or land-filled. We are able to send it out to get reprocessed into a regrind material to provide cushioning for sports applications. We are partnering with Schmitz Foam to reprocess all of the material. We are adding another 15,000 pounds annually to the raw material loop!
Drop it in the bin or mail it back - In some metro areas, foam can be placed directly into the recycling bin. To see if this applies to your area, the FPI has an interactive map you can use. For EPS foam, it can also be mailed back to the EPS Industry Alliance via USPS or other carriers. Find your mail back location here.
Partner with us to create a plan - Contact us and ask! We know the ins and outs of foam recycling and can tell you what to do. If you’re not sure if you can recycle the foam you have, where to put it, etc. - we can help figure that out for you.
Educate end users - Include this notice with your customers’ invoices and/or shipping emails:
Please help us (and the environment) by recycling the foam pieces that came with your package whenever possible. To find out if your county accepts packaging foam in curbside recycling, use this interactive map: Find Where to Recycle Foam. Thank you!
The packaging process can produce a lot of excess from cutting. That’s why we created Hydro-Bricks to repurpose unused materials. We also offer them for sale!
Hydro-Bricks are made with polypropylene plastic and bound together with dipped nails to ensure the tightest bond. They can be used for a variety of applications - but we’ve found great success in using them as a level cutting surface for 5-axis waterjet cutting.
Hydro-Bricks are made with the same High Density Polyethylene that you know and love, except the plastic is being repurposed. That's right, the same waterjet that carves your custom parts can use Hydro-Bricks for a second-to-none cutting surface.
What are the benefits of using Hydro-Bricks? Well, for starters they're eco-friendly. They're also easier on your tools and machines, and they provide a precision surface for whatever you're working on. Not to mention, they're much cheaper than traditional cutting surfaces.
If you're looking to cut smaller or more detailed parts, Hydro-Bricks are the answer. The tight cell structure reduces splash back and part chatter, and the smooth surface helps to prevent nickeling.
So why not give Hydro-Bricks a try? You'll be glad you did.
So next time you're water jetting, don't forget the Hydro-Bricks!