Plastikos Medical Develops 100% Resin Reuse, Recycling and Sustainability Program
Plastikos Medical facility.
Plastikos Medical has developed a 100% resin reuse, recycling and sustainability program. The company has focused on setting high standards in terms of environmental impact for the manufacturing of precision molded products for Class II and Class III medical devices.
One of those standards was to develop a method of reusing and/or reycling 100% of the waste material that may result from the runner system(s). Furthermore, Plastikos Medical’s facility was designed up-front to highly automate the means to segregate, reprocess, and store any regrind that it generated to minimize material handling and direct labor.
Since opening last year, Plastikos Medical has doubled their press capacity and consumed approximately 160,000 lbs of raw material in 2020. Of that total raw material consumption, approximately 100,000 lbs. was utilized to produce the finished, molded medical part. Then the remaining ~60,000 lbs. are entirely reused and/or recycled through multiple partnerships that Plastikos Medical has established.
Ryan Katen, General Manager of Plastikos Medical says “Our first goal is always to reduce raw material consumption. We work hand-in-hand with our clients up-front to utilize full hot runner systems where viable. However, there are times when the customer’s product design and corresponding part geometry does not allow for that type of runnerless system. In those unique cases, we often need to build a small cold runner or a hybrid hot-to-cold [runner] system. Even with a hybrid system, the waste from small, partial cold runners can really add up when the volume is extremely high, as we see in many single-use medical devices. Nearly 99% of the reusable regrind material that we produce at Plastikos Medical is generated via a hot-to-cold runner system.”
Katen further comments: “We have several key recycling business partners that will either purchase or take our high-quality regrind material, which in turn can then be used for other non-medical applications where regrind usage is permitted.”
Plastikos Medical says it continues to explore other methods to further reduce its overall raw material consumption. By the end of 2022, Plastikos Medical expects to further reduce material consumption by more than 100,000 lbs. through multiple re-tool and mold retrofit engineering efforts.