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KODAN OZ PP & THE ENVIRONMENT

As a responsible consumer, the effects that plastics and other materials have on the environment need to be considered. Many factors must be taken into account in the attempt to reduce the environmental burden on our planet. All too often, the recyclability of the finished product is seen as the most important issue; however the total environmental impact from manufacture to recycling, is much more relevant and advantageous. This includes the complete life cycle of a product – from production to disposal. Whole of Life environmental impact. It is known that the environmental effect of disposal plays only a small part, whereas the majority of the effect to the environment is caused during the manufacture of the product in the use of energy and the production of toxins. Recycling is important, but only an outcome – we first need to reduce the energy in production, then reuse before we recycle. So, what characteristics are important for an environmentally sound material? Firstly, the most lightweight product will deliver the least impact and consume the least amount of energy – KoDan Oz products are all lightweight – in fact they have a specific gravity of less than 1 – a small decrease in material weight per unit has a practical overall impact when dealing in large quantities. Due to the physical characteristics of polypropylene, a thinner, lightweight container, folder, binder or box, can be produced with excellent strength and rigidity. Compare that to say heavy cardboard – our materials use less energy to produce and certainly less energy to recycle than a heavy cardboard product. A decrease in material weight, also directly relates to the transportation cost. The higher the cost to ship, the more impact on the environment – that is logic. For example, glass is readily recyclable and made from recyclable materials; however the weight of a sheet of glass increases the environmental effect. As noted earlier, KoDan Oz PP is a lightweight material, with a specific gravity of less than 1. Also importantly, the manufacturing processes of materials can cause the greatest environmental burden. Originally by-products from oil, such as propylene and ethylene were burnt off into the environment 1

now propylene is converted to polypropylene. Polypropylene is made up from carbon and hydrogen and is manufactured without any dangerous emissions. There are no halogenated compounds, chlorine or heavy metals involved. This is in direct contrast to other plastics such as PVC, which is generally considered to have little environmental integrity due to the difficulty inherent in its recycling; and of course its heavy metals content. Consider that it is simply not possible to recycle a PVC ring binder – to give the PVC rigidity, it is wrapped around a heavy cardboard insert – this process makes recycling impossible! An environmentally sound material must have a long working life. KoDan Oz PP products are resistant to water and most oils, greases and chemical products. It is extremely tough and durable. So, KoDan Oz PP is not only lightweight, but it has an exceptionally long life. The longer the life of the product, will again have a positive impact on its environmental integrity. The handling of waste by recycling, incinerating or land filling is an important environmental issue. Our KDZ PP can be reused and recycled. Polypropylene is 100% recyclable. During recycling, polypropylene retains its strength. Recycled polypropylene does not down grade the inherent characteristics of the substrate. Further, most PP products can be quite easily granulated or crushed and put back through the thermoforming process. We have available PP material made from post industrial waste that is 100% recycled – samples available on request. In other words we can manufacture a stationery binder or folder made from 100% recycled materials! (Even during incineration, no hazardous gases are emitted – only water vapour and carbon dioxide, which is readily converted by photosynthesis). Here at KoDan Oz we encourage the return to us, of our products for recycling. It also should be noted, that our PP products can be disposed of in the standard blue recycle bins along with other recyclable plastics. There is a national recycling code (a triangle with the number 5 inside and the letters “PP” underneath) which should be used whenever possible. It is worth noting here that Planet Ark Direct – an organisation committed to the health of our planet, sells recyclable polypropylene bags.

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