alplas and the environment

 

Sustainability and the conservation of resources is a global issue that is now having a profound effect on Point of Sale industry. Multiple factors from material sourcing, design and manufacturing techniques, life cycle analysis, recycling and waste management, can influence sustainability and our attitude towards the environment.

Alplas is committed to environmental responsibility and minimising environmental impact. We have a published Environmental Policy which heads up our whole approach to the environment and the help we can give you to help your customers and the public care for the environment.

In 2010 we became certified to UKAS accredited ISO 14001 the international environmental standard which gives a systematic way to discover, control and reduce the impact on the environment.

The most significant impact any manufacturing company can have on the environment is in the products it places to the market. Alplas is therefore researching new materials and manufacturing techniques to reduce the carbon footprint. Injection moulded and extruded products can be made from different plastics as follows:

Conventional Plastics

Most general purpose plastics include materials such as polypropylene, PVC and styrene. Although these are recyclable they will not biodegrade in the environment and therefore have the potential to reside in the ground with long term implications.

Degradable or Biodegradable Plastics

These are plastics which will degrade or biodegrade with micro organisms, over time. Additives can be used in conventional plastics to help this process but to our knowledge there is no certification for biodegradable products and residue substances can still occur.

Bio Compostable Products

These are products which are made from natural plant material, most of which is corn based and fully compostable from plastic into carbon dioxide, water and biomass, leaving no toxic residue. Such products are classified as 'renewable carbon'. The Polylactic Acid (PLA) products used by Alplas meet the European Standard EN13432 of compostability related to packaging, subject to maximum layer thickness criteria. The material uses 50% less non-renewable energy and produces 60% less greenhouse gas than prational polymers.