Kenosha plastics molder develops sustainability guide for customers

As recycling and sustainability continue to gain prominence, more manufacturers and assemblers are looking to boost the number of recyclable or sustainable products in their supply chain. However, sustainability and recyclability do not necessarily go hand in hand, especially when it comes to plastic components.

To help its customers select the right materials from which to make their components from, Kenosha-based Xten Industries has developed its material ecological options chart. The chart helps customers select the right base material for product’s end use, as well as give the customer the desired recyclability or sustainability.

“We’re trying to help our customers as much as possible,” said Mark Dirr, director of engineering with the company. “We talk about their goals first, what market sector they’re in, what they want to accomplish and how they want to present the product to the customer.”

For example, plastics made from bio-based materials that are designed to be biodegradable are not generally suitable for outdoors use, Dirr said. However, those same materials might be suitable packaging used in a retail setting.

“We look at what is the end use? What is the life cycle of the product,” Dirr said. “When we work through those things, it can point us to a specific material. It’s helped us when we’re sitting down with customers and they’ve wanted to pursue ecological options, we can help them understand what the differences are. A lot of the new bio-based materials have different characteristics.”


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