Recycled Materials: An Overview

At USA Sign Frame and Stake, we manufacture all our products using recycled materials. "Recycled" is a broad term applied in the plastics industry to any material that is not newly manufactured. These can range from minimal amounts of recycled material paired with virgin (brand new) material to fully recycled materials. While medical grade, automotive, and technological sectors need to produce products with virgin material, many companies can produce with recycled material, including USASFS.

Many people are familiar with post-consumer recyclable material, meaning items that are recycled after use by a consumer/end buyer. Post-consumer recycled material can include plastic pop bottles, bags, milk jugs, and more, all sorted and processed at recycling plants. However, many individuals are less aware of post-industrial recycled materials. Many large processing plants that produce products with virgin material are left with extra parts that are not complete or have blemishes. These products are then sent to recycling plants and ground/shredded into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are what ultimately make up our product line: post-industrial recycled plastic.

Being located in West Michigan near a wide variety of car manufacturing plants, most of our resources come from the auto industry. These can include bumpers, dashboards, fenders, etc. However, we do not process these parts, rather receive them from recycling facilities that supply us with a consistent stream of reground material that has been inspected to meet certain qualifications.

After reground material is fed into our machines, we are left with the molded product and a "runner." A runner is excess plastic piece that works as a connection from the entry point of the mold to the actual molded part. These runners are not usable parts, however this extra piece is still useful. We take runners and feed them into our in-house grinder. This machine grinds up runners and rejected parts and returns them back into useful plastic; thus, all plastic that comes into our facility is used to its fullest potential. 




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