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A GUIDE TO PLASTIC MATERIALS

We understand the need to try our best to help improve the impact of plastics on the environment. We think this begins with educating our customers and the public as to what, and how readily certain plastics can be recycled.

The use of these materials has reduced in recent years but, there will always be a need for certain products and applications to continue to be produced on plastic because of how durable and versatile the material is.

Plastic manufacturers have been working hard to make their materials more recyclable, sustainable, and as environmentally friendly as possible, meaning that we can now offer some plastics that are made from 100% recycled materials.

As always, we will be pushing the material suppliers for more sustainable products to be held as stock items at reasonable prices. Currently if you were looking to produce a job on 100% recycled material, we would need to place a special making order with a minimum order requirement which would impact the cost of the job as well as increasing the amount of time it would take to produce due to the additional time required to make the material.

Please see below a list of the plastics that we regularly print on, which points out the strengths and weaknesses of each material in relation to their environmental impact.

 

SYMBOL 1: PETG OR PETE

PETE or PETG stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate and is appropriately marked by the number 1.

PET is commonly used for soft drink bottles, mineral water containers and food packaging.

We commonly use this material for POS display items. It is a completely clear material which makes it ideal for this purpose.
This material is not available in white.

We stock 2 weights of material in Clear

  • 200 microns
  • 400 microns

Our stock material is made from 40% recycled bottle waste.

We can purchase both 70% and 100% recycled waste material, but we must get this specially made so timings are subject to order.

With this product the clarity is affected with the increased amount of recycled content. 40% content is still very clear, 70% is still good but with 100% we would recommend viewing the material before ordering as the clarity is very different. This would still be fine for many applications, but it is visibly different to the 40% recycled stock.

PET is easily recyclable. It is downcycled through mechanical recycling and upcycled through the chemical recycling process. It is regularly reused to make containers, carpets, and furniture.

 

 

SYMBOL 3: PVC

PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride and is appropriately marked by the number 3.

PVC is commonly used through a wide range of our materials: Semi Rigid PVC sheets, Banner Grade Limp PVC, Self-Adhesive Vinyl & Self-Cling PVC.

Available in both white, and clear, PVC is extremely cost-effective as well as versatile.

Whether you need a rigid shape, semi rigid or the flexible, banner grade, we can advise and guide you. Its opacity makes it good for double-sided work with limited show-through. The mark-resistant varieties are ideal for floor decals and mouse mats.

We stock 3 weights of Semi Rigid material in both Clear and White

  • 200 microns
  • 400 microns
  • 600 microns

We also stock Clear and White Self-Adhesive Vinyl which is available in various adhesions – Super Tac, Permanent, Removable and Ultra-Removable.

Our Clear and White Self-Cling material is also made from a PVC based plastic.

PVC is rarely recycled from households and usually needs a bulk collection to make it viable. Uses for the recycled material tend to be in building products such as speed bumps, guttering and cables.

 

 

 

SYMBOL 5: PP

PP stands for Polypropylene and is appropriately marked by the number 5.

This is a highly durable, and versatile plastic sheet that is available in a wide range of options. There are different colours, opacities, weights and textures available making it ideal for a variety of presentation materials, packaging and bespoke items.

We stock a wide range of different polypropylene materials. Our stock weights are below and available in white and clear frosted. We can readily get other weights and colours if necessary.

  • 330 microns
  • 450 microns
  • 650 microns
  • 750 microns

All our stock white polypropylene sheets are currently made from 50% recycled material making them a multi-use product. We can get higher reused percentages but these are all based on material makings so there are minimum order requirements and longer lead times.

We also stock Polypropylene Self Adhesive sheet, known as Greenline vinyl, in both removable and permanent adhesive which is a lot more readily recyclable than its PVC based Self Adhesive Vinyl counterpart.

Polypropylene is one of the safer types of plastic making it ideal for sauce bottles and medicine bottles. It is also increasingly being accepted in household recycling programs.

 

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SPECIALIST MATERIALS

We also use several specialist materials, such as our Stafix range.

STAFIX®STATIC is an adhesive-free statically charged sticker ideal for temporary indoor advertising.
The film, which comes in clear or white, adheres to almost any clean surface and is easily removable without leaving residue. Find out a little more here.

STAFIX®GRIP is a removable and reusable sticker that is easily applied to clean and smooth surfaces.
The film has a silicone-based low-tack adhesion which leaves no residue when removed and comes in clear and white. Find out a little more here.

We also print onto a number of foil and board materials that can give amazing creative results.
 

If you need any more information about specific materials, for instance what they are made of, or their recycling properties, please contact us for more information.

 

NEED A QUOTATION? GIVE US A CALL

01892 752 888

Reflex Printed Plastics
Bells Yew Green
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN3 9BQ

Tel: 01892 752 888
Email: sales@reflex-print.co.uk
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