What do you do with the scrap material you create during your process?
Do you throw it in the garbage? Do you recycle it? Do you stick under your neighbor's newly installed turf lawn and hope they don't notice? If you answered yes to any of these, you're in the majority. Raw material conversion processes are very rarely 100% waste-efficient, meaning they almost always produce some amount of waste. We've decided to take that waste and turn it into product instead - Zero-Waste blocks!
How do we make these Zero-Waste blocks you ask? Let's take a brief look at our molding process. Put simply, the molding process involves melting plastic resin and injecting it into a mold where it cools and forms into the desired shape. During this molding process, the plastic can pick up impurities and contaminants that can cause defects in the final product. These impurities can be leftover plastic from the previous batch, colorants, or other foreign materials that have made their way into the machine. That is why we purge.
Purging occurs during the transition from one material compound to another. This transition can be as similar as the addition or removal of an additive such as colorant, or as complex as the complete changeover of a material such as from HDPE to ABS. Purging is required to ensure all the parts of a molding machine that come into contact with the material such as barrel, screw, and nozzle are free of any residual contaminants that can ultimately lead to unintended contamination of the next run of material. Without proper purging, plastic products can have visible defects such as discoloration, streaks, and/or black specks among others.
Predominantly, purged material is discarded as it serves no functional purpose. This mentality can lead to wasting large quantities of valuable material. We decided this wasn't in line with our ethos of sustainability and decided to make Zero-Waste blocks! Instead of discarding our purged material, we let it flow into a mold and keep whatever cool creation results!
We decided to call them Zero-Waste blocks because that what they are. All plastic within our molding process is converted into product. The Zero-Waste blocks will be available in a variety of mixed colors, each with their own unique look. We are not currently selling them but we will be in the near future and are excited to share our new product with everyone!