Green Technologies: Plastic Ingenuity Leads the Way
Green technologies are at the forefront of many manufacturing processes today.
The founder of Plastic Ingenuity, Joe Kuehn, encapsulated this philosophy when he said in the original PI Mission Statement: “We will be ever mindful of our natural environment.” For 39 years, Plastic Ingenuity has been dedicated to providing the highest quality packaging solutions to our customers while maintaining a respectful and responsible attitude toward the environment.
At Plastic Ingenuity, we demonstrate our commitment to green packaging solutions in a number of ways.
First, our own manufacturing processes are constantly evaluated and monitored in order to minimize environmental impact from these ongoing operations. Our corporate headquarters in Wisconsin borders on Black Earth Creek, a Class I trout stream and a beautiful and unspoiled natural waterway. Plastic Ingenuity has taken steps to protect this precious natural resource from contamination by installing a number of protective barriers, including runoff filters, grassed swales, and rain gardens. A rock weeper dam installation allows clean water to cool before it reaches the stream, protecting the flora and fauna from potentially damaging temperature shifts. PI participates in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Green Tier program.
Renewable Energy and Conservation
Solar panels provide cheap renewable energy and produce no pollution, reducing the overall carbon footprint.
We currently boast fifty 200-watt photovoltaic solar panels. Additionally, we’ve replaced all HD and T12 lighting fixtures with T8 equivalents in order to further conserve energy. This lighting fixture change reduced the overall lighting costs throughout the company by 66%. Our company’s goal is to reduce its use of electricity from non-renewable sources by 10% every five years; our Environmental Management System allows us to monitor our energy usage to determine whether we are meeting this goal.
Wood Pulp Thermoforming
Wood is a renewable resource; as a result, the research team at Plastic Ingenuity has created new thermoforming methods that incorporate wood pulp into the mixture in order to produce packaging that is primarily composed of this renewable resource.
In some cases, PI can use 100% recycled materials in order to produce environmentally-friendly packaging solutions for our customers. This packaging method can help PI’s customers meet the requirements of their own strict green policies. PI recycles almost all of the plastic scrap materials that are produced during the course of our projects.
Redistribution of Dissipative Heat
The process of thermoforming produces significant heat that must be diffused in some way.
Our innovative solution to this problem was to redistribute the heat throughout the warehouse, minimizing its impact on the outside environment and providing much-needed heating during the winter months. This reduces our heating bills and ensures that our staff members are comfortable even during the coldest Wisconsin winters.
Polylactic Acid and Renewable Resources
In effort to improve our ability to produce environmentally friendly packaging products , PI has researched and developed new processes for corn-based polylactic acid (PLA) materials that can significantly improve PLA’s heat deflection capabilities.
As a result of our green packaging initiative, these new techniques provide even more utility for this advanced green manufacturing material. PLA products are biodegradable and offer outstanding promise for more environmentally friendly packaging techniques now and in the future. As always, Plastic Ingenuity will strive to lead the way in these advanced green technologies and processes for packaging and storage needs.