Production and office waste ultimately affect the bottom line of a company. Waste should be minimized by looking back up stream to where it is generated and identifying ways to reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place.
Recycling should be a secondary solution to waste management. Although recycling diverts materials from the landfills and reduces the use of virgin resources, it still costs the company and the environment.
The goal should be to eliminate the waste in the first place. Good quality systems, equipment modifications (roll widths, die layouts, equipment maintenance, etc.) and other pollution prevention measures will help increase profitability through waste minimization.
Wastes that cannot be completely eliminated through engineering and controls should be recycled in-house if possible. If this is not possible, the material should be recycled off-site.
Best Management Practices & Pollution Prevention
Unprinted Trim & Outdated Stock Because it has not been contaminated with ink, film can be melted down to form new pellets that can then be blown into new film.
Printed Trim & Waste
Film substrate waste that has been printed on can also be melted down and remanufactured into pellets. Because the ink components have not been removed, this material can not be printed on, but can be sold to be used in the manufacture of a variety of products, including flower pots, garden edging, park benches and flexible plastic pipe. Some facilities direct film scrap to a central location, compress it and ship it to a local recycler.
During press operation, product rejects can be minimized by automated monitoring technologies that monitor press performance and detect tears in web. Video web inspection devices detect flaws in the print job and reduce the amount of unacceptable print. Video web inspection devices detect spotting, streaking, misregistration and inconsistent ink coverage, among myriad other on-press mishaps. These systems allow presses to run expensive and challenging flexible substrates -- such as plastics, transparent films and foils -- at high speeds, thus helping the printer meet the productivity requirements necessary to ensure customer satisfaction, while minimizing waste.
For access to vendors who may supply alternative materials and equipment, see the PNEAC Vendor Directory.