Monthly Archives: September 2017

Thermoform Plastic: 14 Items Made From Recycled Plastic

Recycle. Renew. Reuse. These are the three R’s of sustainability and it might surprise you to learn that this environmental mantra dates back to the early 1970s. The first Earth Day was held in April, 1970, and it was around this time that this phrase first was uttered. Here at Indepak, we work with one of the world’s most easily recyclable materials – thermoform plastics. Once it’s recycled, companies around the world can transform this used material into the following products.

1. New Packaging
Many of our clients ask us to make their packaging using recycled plastics, and this is often an excellent option. Post-consumer and pre-consumer plastics can be recycled to make many different types of packaging as well as thermoform trays.

2. Playground Equipment
In the past, playground equipment was crated out of metal and wood, which could rust and warp. Using recycled plastics, such as detergent containers or milk bottles, these materials can be transformed into slides, playhouses and much more.

3. Clothing
Did you know that just about one dozen plastic water bottles can be transformed into enough plastic fiber to make a t-shirt? If you think plastic clothing sounds odd, consider fabrics such as Nylon, Dacron and Spandex, all of which are synthetic fibers.

4. Furniture
Plastic lawn furniture, park benches, picnic tables and other pieces of furniture can be created using recycled thermoform plastic. In fact, there are several companies that specialize in creating attractive outdoor furniture from thermoform plastics such as HDPE milk jugs. Unlike wood, which can splinter and warp, and metal, which can rust, these plastic furnishings have a far longer life.

5. Tote Bags
There are several companies out there that transform plastic grocery bags and plastic bottles into cute re-usable totes and lunch bags.

6. Purses & Wallets
In addition to basic totes, several companies also create stylish purses and wallets using recycled thermoform plastic, such as plastic grocery bags.

7. Pens
If you head to an office supply store, you are sure to notice that some of the pens that you can buy are made out of recycled plastic bottles.

8. Sports Uniforms
Nike, which produces the uniforms for the United States’ national soccer team, created these uniforms using fibers from recycled plastic bottles. According to Nike, using these bottles has ensured that more than three million bottles were reused rather than ending up in landfills.

9. Toys
There are a few companies out there that are now producing toys using recycled milk jugs and other types of thermoform plastics.

10. Buckets
Several types of plastic can be recycled and then used to make all types and sizes of buckets, for holding paint, water and whatever else you might need to carry.

11. Carpeting
Many brands of carpet are created using plastic fibers, and there are some companies out there that are now using recycled thermoform plastic to create these fibers for both carpet and rugs.

12. Sleeping Bag Insulation
If you’ve ever camped out in cold weather, but stayed toasty warm in your sleeping bag, you may have thermoform plastic to thank for that good night’s sleep. While using synthetics to make sleeping bags is very common, several companies are now making sleeping bags with insulation made from recycled plastic.

13. Doormats
If you search for recycled doormats, you will find a variety of highly attractive mats that anyone would be happy to place at their front door to welcome guests. These mats are made from everything from old flip flops to plastic bottles.

14. Crafts
If you do a quick internet search, you can find hundreds of clever craft projects that help consumers reuse their thermoform plastics. We’ve seen everything from lamps to planters to bird feeders and much more.

These are just a few of the products that can be created using recycled thermoform plastics. If you do need thermoform plastic packaging, give us a call today. We have many sustainable options that might fit your needs and budget.

Thermoform Packaging: 4 Facts About HDPE

At Indepak, our thermoforming equipment is capable of processing a wide range of materials. If you are searching for a cost-effective, sustainable thermoform packaging, one material you might consider is high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. Here are a few helpful facts about HDPE and why it might be a good fit for your packaging needs.

1. HDPE Can Be Recycled
Many of our clients ask about sustainability as soon as we sit down and discuss a packaging project. We have many sustainable options, and this includes providing our clients with thermoform packaging materials that can be recycled. Most of the materials we use are recyclable and HDPE is no exception.

2. HDPE Is Easy To Recycle
Not only is HDPE recyclable, of all the many thermoform plastics available for packaging, HDPE is one of the easiest to recycle. Each plastic is designated with a special resin identification code, and HDPE’s code is the number two. You can find this code on plastic bottles and packages surrounded by a triangle. Virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States accept HDPE, making it easy for consumers to recycle by simply tossing a used HDPE package into their recycling bin. While most thermoform plastics can be recycled, HDPE and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the two materials that are nearly always accepted at recycling centers.

3. HDPE Is Durable & Lightweight
One of the reasons why many of our customers select HDPE is the durability factor. HDPE is extremely impact-resistant, protecting your product if it is jostled around during transport or dropped off a shelf. For instance, HDPE is often used to make pipes because it is more durable than PVC and much lighter than concrete or metal pipes. Additionally, HDPE is moisture resistant and stain resistant, which also protects your products.

While HDPE is highly durable, it’s also very lightweight, which helps reduce your shipping and transportation costs. We can design HDPE packaging that fits around your product exactly with little extra material. This allows you to pack more units into each shipping box or container, further reduces your transportation and handling costs.

4. HDPE Can Be Used For Many Products
In addition to thermoform packaging and products such as food storage containers and plastic bottles, HDPE is used to create many other products. Plastic furniture and 3-D printer filament are two examples, and borated HDPE can be used in nuclear power plants, on nuclear submarines and in cancer treatment centers as it blocks harmful radiation. While your product probably doesn’t need thermoform packaging that can withstand nuclear radiation, this simply exemplifies the durability and chemical-resistance of HDPE. HDPE also has been approved by the FDA for direct-contact use with food products and beverages. For instance, plastic milk bottles often are crafted out of HDPE, as well as bottle caps for soda, water and other beverages.

While HDPE can be a good choice for some types of thermoform packaging, we also use many other materials, including PET, PETG, PVC, ABS and even starch-based bioplastics. Our team of designers will study your product carefully and determine which type of plastic best suits your needs and budget. If you are in the market for any type of thermoform packaging, contact us today and we will get started designing a custom packaging solution just for you.