Inspiration is free, sustainability the goal
Every day we at Alligator Plastics look at ways to make our own business operations more sustainable. However, real success is achieved when the whole chain is involved. We are therefore happy to discuss the possibilities of generating more sustainable impact with your product. How? We are happy to inspire you with some examples on this page.
In the quest for sustainability, the consumption of materials, and thus indirectly raw materials, is an important theme. With regard to the consumption of material, we, as an injection molding company, focus on the loss in the process. An example of this is the use of a hotrunner in the mold. This saves the material of the ‘branch’ and allows us to make more products from the same amount of raw material. If we are unable to use a hot-runner, we like to look for possibilities to regrind the branch and mix it with the new material. In this way we recycle within our own factory and also use less raw materials. In addition, we like to produce your products in as few separate production runs as possible per year, in order to save the fixed start-up losses and material in the screw (waste). In addition to the use of a hotrunner, the use of regrind, ecological stock management also ensures sustainable use of materials. Naturally, we also involve toolmakers and material suppliers in this search.
One of the most discussed elements is the use of ‘second-hand’ materials, or so-called recyclates. The possibilities of these materials are developing rapidly and the applications for your products are becoming more and more realistic. Alligator Plastics experiment with its raw material suppliers and looks at the possibilities of using recyclates. Depending on the application and requirements we see a positive trend in the possibilities. This goes hand in hand with the development of the waste streams that are getting more and more attention. Would you be interested in looking at these possibilities? We invite you to join us in this conversation.
Our engineers are always ready to help you look at the total product design and especially the recyclability of the whole. Even though Alligator Plastics usually produces a semi-finished product for its customers, we like to look at how our parts can be easily disassembled. In the design for disassembly principle products are designed in such a way that materials can be easily separated after their life cycle and each can be included in its own waste stream for reuse. In an informative session, our technical team will be happy to help you on your way to a sustainable design.
As a material, plastic is one of the most sustainable options for manufacturing products, because it can change shape at “low” temperatures. Especially in comparison with, for example, steel or aluminum, the application of plastics is a good starting point. However, it is inevitable that we need energy for the production process. At Alligator Plastics we do this with 100% green generated electricity. In addition, we intensively search for ways to generate, collect and reuse energy and reduce consumption. For example we insulate the cylinders of our machines. This prevents energy leakage through heat loss. Producing long production runs is often an improvement in this area as well, reducing the total energy consumption per 100 products.
Transport & packaging
An important element in overall sustainability is the method of packaging, reusing packaging and limiting transport movements and transport weight. Alligator Plastics works closely together with a packaging supplier to use packaging more efficiently, without affecting the recyclability. In some examples we no longer work with disposable packaging but with re-usable options from within the chain. We also look at the number of products per package, the number of packages per pallet and the number of delivery moments to our customers. Our ambition here is to transport as little air as possible and thus save on transport movements. Let’s challenge each other and see how we can make improvements together. Naturally, business economics and risk management will be part of the discussion. Did you know that Alligator Plastics has the possibility to assemble in house? This also contributes to less transport movements because of the one-stop-shop principle.