Recycled PP adventure

Posted On: 2014-07-15 08:40:11 ;

Recycle plastic and its numerous advantages

Eversince having children, I have debated with myself on numerous occassions on what is the best decision for them. These constant decision making is now tenfold when you are running your own business, and selecting the correct materials has no shortcuts.

We wanted to reduce landfills by using recycled plastic. We also want to minimise using natural resources such as hardwood, softwood, plywood, veneer, MDF and finally OIL. It is the first step to many actions that will undertake as it is important that once we decide, we have to follow it through.

The advantageous of using recycled plastic is as follow:
1. Reuse plastic waste and reduse landfill.
2. Reduce extraction of oil to make new plastic (virgin plastic) as we preserve our natural resources.
3. Greener manufacturing process as we use less water, less energy and NO OIL.
4. Omit less carbon during manufacturing. It has been calculated that recycling and manufacturing plastic waste uses up to 70% less energy.

We contacted several Plastic Engineers from Hong Kong and even Shenzhen, and we have decided to choose the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) 

During our contract with HKPC - Plastic Department, Miss Angie Cheng Ka Lai has been very helpful in acquiring recycled plastic suppliers for us ranging from ABS, PP to TPE. Having previously met with many challenges (which led us to hire an external consultant), we were hopeful when we recieved a list of eight suppliers! Unfortunately, half of these are recommended ones for virgin plastic, in case the other four turned awry.

As we are determined to carry on with recycled plastic, we dismissed the irrelevant half and concentrated on now our limited chance of finding a supplier. 

We contacted all four as this is what came back: So we held on to the two companies left appearing so desperate and so keen. We do however have to force ourselves to appear somewhat smart. 

After we have made our introductions and presentation of our company and our vision, we asked for price quotation and minimum order of quantity (MOQ) to enable us to make our decision. 

Both companies came close to the quotation of price, although with slight adjustment to the pricing. 

We had no qualms to go with the cheapest....only to face another challenge, the Melt Index Flowrate!!!

It turnsout that the company we preferred couldn't product the right MI Index, and luckily the other competitor could!

We were back on our knees, and are happy to say that it was a blessing in disguise as we are now in very good relationship with our current supplier. 

If you wish for an introduction please do not hesitate to use our contact form with subject matter 'Recycled Supplier Introduction'.

We now have used our supplier for our second batch of production run. The supplies have passed heavy metal testing in accordance to EN71-3:2013.

Before purchasing our valuable recycled PP, we had to do a little bit of investigating, never in our life did we think we could become a designer, a researcher, a negotiator and sometimes a charmer, it is almost as if we are in the making of an international spy! 

We requested a small sample of the batch of PP to test on heavy metal testing. Our consultant from Hong Kong Safety Testing Center (HKSTC), Mr John Wong has advised us to do the following after reviewing the given paperwork from the supplier;

This report is for RoHS standard on the 4 heavy metals' total content done by XRF, it would be better to have the report on 8 heavy metal test based on EN71 Part 3 or ASTM F963 done by "wet chemical" test instead of XRF which is screening test only.

And so we were obliged to carry out this testing in order for our children be safe! 

After two weeks we were happy to received a PASS result and were able to purchase 250kg to make colour sampling for our Emi the elephant. The colour sampling were not cheap, and will use about 100kg plastic, which meant that it will amount to about RMB 3k. After using about 100kg, we found out that the recycled plastic purchased has dirt residue and was affecting the extrusion process. We then had to get a replacement and this meant that we had to do another heavy metal testing with HKSTC. 

We are on a steep learning curve, and by sharing you with this, you'd understand what we've been through. It was a tough process to beat, and we managed to beat it and able to provide you with our product using 100% recycled PP, trialled and tested!



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