Elka Garbage Bags Just Got A Whole Lot Better

Elka garbage bags are now manufactured from 100% virgin material making them even more strong, durable and tear resistant.

We have now added some new product lines which include the following:

* EK82XHD – Elka 82 litre extra heavy duty garbage bags (25 um thick)
* EK120XHD – Elka 120 litre extra heavy duty garbage bags (25 um thick)
* EK120UXHD – Elka 120 litre ultra extra heavy duty garbage bags (35 um thick)
* EK240XHD – Elka 240 litre extra heavy duty garbage bags (25 um thick)
* EK240UXHD – Elka 240 litre ultra extra heavy duty garbage bags (35 um thick)

Click here to see the entire range.

How Are Garbage Bags Made?

The humble garbage bag doesn’t get given much thought, but it is used daily in every human inhabited building across the globe. Schools, hotels, office blocks, commercial facilities, homes, apartments, hospitals, you name it; a garbage bag or bin liner will be found!

Who invented the garbage bag?
A Canadian gentleman named Harry Wasylyk from Ontario, Canada, and his mate and fellow inventor Larry Hanse designed the garbage bag in 1950. Initially, the bags were intended to be only used in hospitals to protect from bacteria, germs and the breakout of Polio. However, soon enough they were found in households across Canada and the business was bought out by a corporation and sold under the brand name GLAD in the 1960’s. GLAD is now one of the largest global distributors of plastic bags of all shapes and sizes and one of the most recognisable household brands in the world.

Since then has served as a loyal servant, keeping our rubbish together, sealed, protected from smelly garbage juice leaks and heading to landfill sites across the globe. They are generally made with polyethylene in different densities, sizes, colours and styles depending on the required need. Anything from your white office bin liner to industrial strength bags for building sites or factories

The manufacturing process of a garbage bag
Garbage bags start life as a bunch of thousands of hard plastic pellets. These polyethylene pellets are measured out and the heated at a sweltering temperature of between 180-240 degrees. Once the pellets begin to melt, it’s mixed with other active agents and desired colours to create a flexible liquid plastic.

Once the correct consistency is achieved the liquid plastic material is blown into a machine designed to mould the plastic into a large tube shape. This process stretches the material to the desired thickness and density required. As the cold air hits and stretches the plastic into a tube shape, the material starts to cool and become plastic. This is where the liquid formula begins to look like a common garbage bag product that we recognise today.

When the material has cooled sufficiently, specialised machinery then flattens the bag shape, and long ‘tubes’ of plastic are put on large rollers. From there, the plastic tubes are put on to another machine, which cuts the tubes to the desired size, and perforations are punched. The ends of each bag are sealed, optional drawstrings are added and voila! You have your garbage bag!

So there it is, the humble garbage bag has an interesting story behind its invention and a fascinating production process. Take a moment to think about how your garbage bag reached your home, the next time you line your bin!

What is the most environmentally friendly type of garbage bags?

Did you know that according to Cleanup.org.au Australians are the second highest producers of waste per person in the world? They use over 3.92 billion plastic bags a year which all hit landfills and end up in our seas and river systems causing severe damage to the environment.

Australian’s however, are becoming more environmentally aware, and ‘green’ choices in all aspects of our lives are increasing as we search to understand how our products are made and how we dispose of them. More and more Australians find it second nature to separate garbage and put plastics, paper and cardboard in recycling bins, but what about our garbage bags?

Most garbage bags are made from high or low-density polyethylene depending on the strength and quality. These garbage bags head to landfill and stay there, as they are not biodegradable.

So what’s the most environmentally friendly choice?
Ideally, no bag at all is preferable. However, this simply isn’t practical depending on your refuse collection service and for apartments, commercial buildings and offices, not to mention the smell of unwashed bins! So the next best thing is to choose and option which minimises landfill.

The thinner the bag, the less material will hit the landfill, so avoid super thick, industrial bags if you are only using them for your general household garbage. Try and compost food waste and recycle your plastics and paper where possible to maximise the space in your garbage bag too. It’s beneficial to train staff in offices to be more eco-minded too as recycling is far less common in the average office bin.

You may think you are making the right choice by recycling your plastic shopping bags. However, these cause significant damage to the environment, hit landfills and do not breakdown. Recycle these, or take them back to your local supermarket.

Look at the packing of your garbage bags. Some terms may seem eco-friendly, but in fact, they are little more than marketing buzzwords, used to lure you into thinking you are making a greener choice:-

How to understand garbage bag packaging labels

Terms such as biodegradable, compostable and home compostable are a greener choice. Biodegradable means the bag will break down in about a year in landfill and compostable means the bag can break down into organic waste. Home compostable means you can use the bags in your home composting set up.

Ignore terms such as degradable and bio-plastic. Degradable just means the bag breaks into smaller pieces, which cause harm to the environment, and Bio-Plastic is a meaningless term.

Also look for garbage bags that are manufactured with bio, or plant-based materials, this means they were made without using fossil fuels.

The next time you are buying garbage bags, take a few minutes to understand the packaging and make a greener choice! The environment will thank you for it!

The Differences Between Virgin and Recycled Garbage Bags?

As it’s pretty apparent from its name, the virgin material is new and has not been used before. Recycled material is something that has been used before and is recycled now to make garbage bags. As the social trend shifts towards eco-consciousness, more people want to use recycled materials instead of virgin plastics.

What are the properties of these two types of materials and which one should you use? We’ll discuss it here.


The strength of a recycled material depends on the type of re-processing it goes through. Since these materials have been used before, they do not have the same strength as virgin materials. Strength has a direct impact on the safety factor, so virgin materials are safer than recycled ones. But that doesn’t mean that recycled material shouldn’t be used. If safety is not a major concern (such as for garbage bags), recycled materials can be as effective as virgin materials.


It’s a common thinking that recycled material would cost less than virgin material. But as oil prices have dropped, recycling isn’t as lucrative as it used to be. With higher strength and marginal price differences, many people source garbage bags made from virgin materials. Recycled materials aren’t selling as fast as they used to.


The main reason behind the switch to the recycled material is because of its sustainability. As the general thinking goes, recycled things are eco-friendlier than things made from virgin materials. However, when sustainability is calculated, not all factors are taken into consideration. For example, the energy spent in picking the old materials for recycling is not counted. Also, there are cleaning and grinding processes along with extra resin that is added to give the material some strength.

It doesn’t mean that virgin materials are eco-friendlier. It depends on many factors. For example, if you’re ordering recycled garbage bags from China, there is a lot of energy being consumed in the shipping part. However, if you order virgin garbage bags from the local industry, that energy would be saved. Besides, you can’t be sure if the Chinese bags are actually recycled.

As a garbage bag manufacturer, you need to weigh all variables and then decide what would be the best for you – recycled bags or virgin bags. There are some materials such as Geo membranes that are 100% recycled, and there are others such as tree root barriers that have a mix of recycled materials. There are some materials such as Silva Cell that are completely virgin. When you manufacture garbage bags, you need to think about sustainability as well as quality. If you want to manufacture tough bags that can carry heavy loads, then virgin is a better option, else recycled.

Which one is better?

While it’s tempting to think that recycled garbage bags are better, it’s not always true. When you buy recycled bags, make sure you keep their strength in mind. Garbage bags come in various thicknesses, and bigger bags need more strength as they have to carry more load. Also, consider the shipping costs of the bags before calculating the price. If the shipping cost and energy of delivering recycled materials overshadows the savings, it’s best to get virgin materials.

Virgin LDPE granules

Fig 1. Virgin LDPE granules

Recycled LDPE granules

Fig 2. Recycled LDPE granules

Garbage Bag Terminology

Below is a list of common garbage bag terminology.


A diverse group of speciality chemicals incorporated into plastic formulations before or during processing, or to the surfaces of finished products after processing. Their primary purpose is to modify the behaviour of plastics during processing or to impart useful properties to fabricated plastic articles. (Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995).


Biodegradable is defined as “Capable of undergoing decomposition into carbon dioxide, methane, water, inorganic compounds, or biomass in which the predominant mechanism is the enzymatic action of microorganisms, that can be measured by standardized tests, in a specified period of time, reflecting available disposal condition.” For practical purposes claims about biodegradability of plastic should specify a time frame.

Blown Films

Plastic films produced from synthetic resins (such as polyethylene) by the blown process. In this process, the molten resin is extruded through a circular die into a tube. This tube is expanded (“blown”) by internal air pressure into a larger bubble with a much reduced wall thickness and cooled with external air quenching.

Bottom Seal

Term used to describe the bottom seal of a garbage bags.

The three types of bottom seals are:

FLAT SEAL – Straight seal along bottom of a can liner (looks like a pillow case). The flat seal is used to create the strongest possible seal for heavy weight bags.

STAR SEAL – The star seal is the most common type of seal in the market. Designed without gussets, the star seal eliminates gaps along the seal where leaks can occur. This allows the bag to easily conform to the shape of the container and distribute the weight of the contents evenly inside the bag. This type of seal maximizes the bag’s carrying capacity while minimizing the likelihood of leakage.

GUSSET SEAL – A flat-style bag manufactured with both sides tucked in to form gussets. Also refers to the distance across the open face of the folded side or pleat: can also refer to the tuck or pleat itself.

Cast Film

Plastic film produced from synthetic resins (such as polyethylene) by the cast process. In this process, the molten resin is extruded through a slot die onto an internally cooled chill roll.


The simultaneous extrusion of two or more different thermoplastic resins into a sandwich-like film with clearly distinguishable individual layers.


Compostable materials are capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site, to the extent that they are not visually distinguishable and break down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials.


The term used to indicate converting plastic bags from a continuous roll to separate bags in a given configuration.

Cored Rolls

Bags or tubing is rolled on cardboard cylinders (looks similar to a roll of paper towels).

Coreless Rolls

Bags are rolled with perforations or are interleaved in a roll configuration.


Degradable materials break down, by bacterial (biodegradable), thermal (oxidative) or ultraviolet (photodegradable) action. When degradation is caused by biological activity, especially by the enzymatic action of microorganisms, it is called ‘bio-degradation’.


The tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed.

Film Strength

This term refers to the physical strength of the garbage bag. Some resins have higher film strength than others. Our bin  liners are made from highest quality resins, giving them the highest quality film in the market place.

Various types of strength testing are:

Dart Drop Test – ASTM test used to determine the resistance of a bag to local failure or puncturing.
Elmendorf Tear Test – ASTM test used to measure the resistance to tearing.
Wet Load Capacity – Measurement of how much wet weight a can liner will hold.
Dry Load Capacity – Measurement of how much dry weight a can liner will hold.


Term used to describe thickness of a plastic sheet, measured in mil’s or microns. Mil (One thousandths of an inch)


Gussets are indented folds on the sides or bottom of a garbage bag that allow the bag to expand up to the limits of the fold in order to comfortably accommodate variable volume or shaped contents. Gusseted bags have three dimension measurements; Side Seal = W X Gusset X Length; Bottom Gusset = W X L + BG.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)

This is the acronym for High density, (0.95-0.965) polyethylene. It has much higher stiffness, higher temperature resistance and much better water vapour barrier properties than LDPE, but it is considerably hazier.

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

This resin was used with older garbage bag technology. The resin has good clarity but weak film strength. Today it is used primarily for Food and Utility bags. A plastic used predominantly in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency. LDPE has a low melting point, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary. Typically, LDPE is used to manufacture flexible films such as those used for plastic retail bags and garment dry cleaning and grocery bags. LDPE is also used to manufacture some flexible lids and bottles, and it is widely used in wire and cable applications for its stable electrical properties and processing characteristics.

Plastic Film

Is a very thin piece of thermoplastic resin that is considerably longer than it is wide with a thicknesses of 10 mils (1 mil = 0.001 inch) or less (averaging 0.7 mils to 1.5 mils).


A lightweight thermoplastic used especially in packaging. Polyethylene (PE) molecules have two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom in a chain. This structure gives polyethylene it’s tough, flexible and chemical resistant characteristics.


This is a short term for Polyethylene (PE) resin. The three types of PE resins are LDPE, LLDPE and HMW-HDPE

Virgin Resin

This is a term that refers to pure and clean (no recycled material is included) resins.

Elka Garbage Bags

When it comes to rubbish ELKA is the name that distributors, businesses and cleaning professionals trust. The reason for this is the advanced high-density and low-density virgin plastic films make our bags extremely tough and durable, even at low gauges.

ELKA bin liners and ELKA garbage bags are also extremely competitively priced.The thinner, stronger plastic virgin films used to make ELKA garbage bags means less waste going into landfills making them a solid environmental choice.

ELKA bin liners and garbage bags are manufactured to suit a wide variety of environments from small waste bins in offices, kitchens and schools to heavy weight operations in restaurants, clubs, hotels and councils. ELKA plastic bags are manufactured from 100% virgin material making them strong & durable yet extremely economical.

Below is summary of features

  • Superior strength
  • Resists punctures and tears
  • Star bottom seal eliminates leaks and odours
  • Flat bottom seal for thicker gauge bags
  • Conveniently packaged on perforated rolls for easy use and storage
  • Full range of sizes (20 litre – 240 litre) and gauges (9 micron – 35 micron)
  • Contributes to environmental source reduction — reduces plastic waste up to 25%

Most ELKA garbage bags feature a star seal because it is the strongest seal and it virtually eliminates seal failure and leaks. With our thicker micron bags a star seal isn’t possible, so a flat seal is used to create the strongest seal for our heavier duty garbage bags.

Star Seal: This is the most common seal that optimizes a bag’s carrying capacity, eliminates leaks, and distributes weight evenly throughout the bag. This seal is created by folding the liner several times before sealing.

Flat Seal: A strong seal that is straight and constant across the bottom of the liner. Flat seals do not compromise the length of the bag.

Below is a product list of all ELKA garbage bags that are star seal

  • EK510B – 510 x 510 Black Tidy Liners Carton Of 1000
  • EK27TB – 27L Black Tidy Liners Carton Of 1000
  • EK27TW – 27L White Tidy Liners Carton Of 1000
  • EK36TB – 36L Black Tidy Liners Carton Of 1000
  • EK36TW – 36L White Tidy Liners Carton Of 1000
  • EK54HD – 54 Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK75BLK – 75L Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK75BLU – 75L Blue Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK75HD – 75L Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK82BLK – 82L Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK82BLU – 82L Blue Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK82XHDC – 82L Extra Heavy Duty Clear Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK120HD – 120L Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK120XHD – 120L Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK120UXHD – 120L Ultra Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK120XHDC – 120L Extra Heavy Duty Clear Garbage Bags Carton Of 250
  • EK140HD – 140L Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK240HD 240L Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 100
  • EK240XHD – 240L Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 100
  • EK240UXHD – 240L Ultra Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 100
  • EK240XHDC – 240L Extra Heavy Duty Clear Garbage Bags Carton Of 100

These products below are all flat seal

  • EK82HD –  82L Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK82XHD – 82L Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200
  • EK82UXHD – 82L Ultra Extra Heavy Duty Black Garbage Bags Carton Of 200

Removing Dog Poop from Yard – The Art And Science Behind

It,Let’s discuss dog poop. For normal people, it’s a disgusting thing. But for long time dog owners, it can be an everyday discussion topic. Proud dog owners have more than a passing interest in this topic. Long-time dog owners will most certainly have invented their own poop disposal systems, and they are unlikely to be in the need of a tutorial. But if you are a new owner, and you don’t understand what to do with the poop, we have explained simple dog waste disposal solutions below.

These days, there are plenty of supplies that help people dispose of dog poop in a convenient manner. However, figuring out what to buy or how to use it can still be difficult.

If you have a dog, you need a pickup plan. Otherwise, things will easily get messy. If you are always around the dog, it is not all that hard to pick up the poop each time your dog goes. If this is not possible, you will need to prepare some kind of schedule. You can, for example, pick up the poop every evening or in the morning. If you are lucky enough to have a big yard, you will probably only need one or two pickup days each week.

Delegate if you just can’t do it

Who wouldn’t like to delegate an icky task like this one? If you have a grown up child, you could perhaps make this a chore for them or you could ask your partner. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing it yourself or getting it done by somebody else, you need an effective plan in place.

Now about HOW to pick it up

Dog poop bags and pooper-scoopers can be used to pick up dog waste from the yard. Bags are good – you only have to replenish your supplies from time to time. Scoops are good too. They will stay in your yard and you can use them whenever you want to without having to worry about running out of supplies. The only disadvantage to this method is that sometimes poo remnants can stay on the scoops and attract flies. Dunk the scoops in a disinfectant solution or hose them down to prevent this from becoming an issue But removing dog poop from yard – the art and science behind it.

More Options

If you would rather use dog waste bags, there are many different kinds of them available today. Many of them work reasonably well. Scented dog garbage bags are a good option. Choose models with handles that tie. They will mask the odour, and the pleasant smell coming out of them will make this unpleasant task more enjoyable!

If your dog’s poo is mushy, some remnants can get stuck on the concrete or grass. A nice spray with a hose should solve this problem. You should also consider using an odour neutraliser for the yard. If you don’t want the poop to end up in your trash cans, get a Doggie Dooley installed. It is a septic system for dog poop.

Don’t want to install a Doggie Dooley? No worries. Haven’t you got a great poop disposal solution inside the house? Yes, we are talking about the toilet here. Pick up the poop from the yard and put it in a dog poop bag. Dump the poop into the toilet and flush. Don’t flush the poop bag unless of course you want the plumber to come calling every other day but removing dog poop from yard – the art and science behind it.

Doggy Poo – What to Do?

Although taking your dog out is a bonding activity, it would be wise to carry dog poo bags along. This prevents your dogs from dirtying the streets. You might have heard about the phrase, “curb your dog”. It means taking care of your dog business once he is done with it. And how do you do that? Let us help you.

Bag it

The easiest way to curb your dog is to collect the poo in a bag and throw it away. There are two main points to take care while bagging your dog’s poop: the right sized bag and the right technique. Make sure you don’t carry a tiny sandwich sized bag, because although it’s enough to contain the poop, there are chances that you’ll get your hands dirty. Once you’ve got a large enough bag, wear it like a glove. Pick up the poop with it, and use your other hand to pull over the bag on it. The bag shouldn’t have a hole, otherwise the poop can drop out. Knot the bag and throw it in a trash can.

Scoop it

If you don’t like the feel of dog poo bags (who does?), you can use a pooper scooper. It is a shovel-type tool that will help you scoop up the dog poo without. The problem is that they are big, and thus difficult to carry. They are basically used by people who want to pick up dog poop from their yards. While the curbing laws don’t apply on your own private property, but it’s best to clean it up to avoid stepping on it. If you’re walking your dog in the streets, a scooper won’t help you, because holding poo in it until you find a bin could be difficult.

Digest it

A waste digester system might be helpful to you if you don’t want to throw away the dog poo bags in a trash can. Waste digester systems are embedded in the ground and are similar to septic tanks. They liquefy the dog poop and send it to mix in the soil. If you have a pooper scooper in your yard, you might want to install a digester to dispose of the doggy doo. To install a digester, find a convenient spot that is out of the way. It has a lid on it, so when you bring poop to it, take off the lid, drop the poop inside, add digester mix and water, and then close the lid.

Out of all these methods, bags are the cheapest, but you need to throw one away with each picking and buy a new batch after some time. A scooper can be used for many years. The bottom line is that if you have a dog, you need to take care of their business. Whether you use a Garbage Bags or a scooper, the poop needs to be thrown away. Whenever you take your furry friend outside, he will take care of his business, and you’ll have to take care of the remains. So select the method that suits you the most and curb your dog.

Top 12 Survival Tips Using Garbage Bags

They are easily available and can be seen in all homes and offices. They hold your garbage together so that you can dispose it of later. But did you know that a garbage bag can solve many other purposes as well? In fact, when it comes to survival, garbage bags are among the most important tools that you can have. Let’s see these top 12 survival tips using garbage bags uses:

1. Poncho: When you’re out in the wild and it starts raining, your garbage bag will come to the rescue. Cut a hole in the bag for your head, and two on the sides for arms (if you want), and your own homemade poncho is ready. It will keep you warm and dry in wet weather.

2. Emergency life jacket: Tie the closed ends of the garbage bag together, and blow air in it to inflate. Now close the open ends and tape them tightly so that the air does not escape. Now tape this inflated bag to your body to stay afloat.

3. Pillow: Inflate the garbage bag and you will have a pillow to rest your head when you are camping outdoors.

4. Water Container: You can store water in the garbage bag. However, make sure you don’t try to store too much water in one bag, or the bag will tear.

5. Duvet: The polyethylene of the garbage bag will not let the cold wind pass through and you can sleep peacefully inside. Slide in the can liner like a sleeping bag. But before you sleep in it, make sure that the liner isn’t moist from the inside.

6. Rope: A garbage bag can be twisted to form a strong (but short) rope. The bigger the bag, the longer will the rope.

7. Food container: Don’t want to attract bears while camping? Store all your food in a garbage bag (to hide the odours) and hang it on a branch away from your sleeping place.

9. Signalling: Hang brightly coloured garbage bags or wear them to help the search teams find you. You can also use the garbage bag as a flag to direct the teams towards you.

10. Shelter: A big drum liner can be used with a rope to make a working tent. Just tie a rope from one end to the other, and let it run through the length of the bag. Now you can sleep in it, and it will act like a tent.

11. Warm shower: If you want to take a shower, but the water is too cold, just store it in a bag and hang it on a branch. After some time, it will get warm (especially in a black bag). Poke a hole in the bag and enjoy a warm shower.

12. Fish trap: It’s not the best way to catch fish, but it will work much better than trying to catch them with bare hands.

There are not many tools that can be as useful as a garbage bag, so the next time you go camping or trekking, make sure you will use these top 12 survival tips using garbage bags to make your trip easier.

Virgin Plastic, Recycled Plastic, and Everything In Between

In an era when there is a tremendous amount of focus on sustainability and renewable resources, it is hard to understand why any product might be made with virgin plastics.

Today I want to write about recycling and re-use, and explain why for certain products  and applications virgin material can be the better choice.

What do the different terms mean?

In order to make sense why a company would choose one resin over the other, it is helpful to understand  of the terms “virgin” and “recycled.” Virgin, of course, is the resin produced directly from the petrochemical feedstock, such as natural gas or crude oil, which has never been used or processed before. Recycled can mean many different things, however.

Post-consumer is exactly what it sounds like – material that has been reclaimed after it has left the hands of the consumer. For example, a plastic milk carton that is recycled is taken to a facility where it is washed, re-ground, and pelletized into a new post-consumer material.

Post-Industrial, in contrast, is recycled plastic that never left the manufacturing floor (and therefore never made it to the consumer). For efficiency and to keep costs low, manufacturers try to achieve zero waste during the production process. So they will recycle short shots, extra material, scrap pieces, or anything that is isn’t yet appropriate to go to the consumer.

Which process is the cleanest?

Depending on how the materials are re-processed, post-consumer is the least “clean” of the three materials listed above because of the variability of the feedstock. Even with blending, which adds overall strength, neither post-consumer nor post-industrial recycled materials can ever achieve 100% of mechanical properties of virgin materials. The degredation of these properties has a direct effect on safety factors and long term performance measure such as fatigue.

This is not to say recycled plastics cannot be used in various applications, but does explain why recycled materials often have lower safety ratings. It also explains why manufacturers have made a lot of headway using recycled materials for things like plastic bags and disposable packaging but are still figuring out the most effective way to use it for larger structural and infrastructure items. Often, if the product is structural, it may have to have a lower safety or strength rating if recycled materials are being used.

The sustainability equation

It is tempting to assume that if something is recycled it is more sustainable than something made from virgin material. Sometimes this is true, but not in all cases. Sustainability is the sum of all it parts, of which there can be many. For example, though small, there are ecological impacts from the energy used to drive around to pick the post-consumer materials, from the actual re-processing (cleaning and grinding), and from added resin weight that is necessary to reach the same mechanical properties.

Obviously, there are many impacts from harvesting the petrochemical feedstock needed for virgin, too. An example of this would be toilet paper. One can sit in front of the wall of toilet paper mulling over which product to buy. Most everyone wants buy the one made from recycled pulp, but it is manufactured in China and then shipped to the States. But the one made in the States isn’t made from recycled materials. The conundrum – what trees are being cut down to make this toilet paper, is it farmed, or we contributing to deforestation? Is the material in China really recycled? Where is the material coming from? Is it coming from the US to be made in China only to be shipped back to the US? Unfortunately, few consumers are in a position to make the decision about the most sustainable product without a great deal of research and industry knowledge. There is more about sustainability than just the word “recycled.”

Every manufacturer must weigh many variables when choosing whether to use recycled or virgin materials. Whenever possible – to design the best product efficiently and safely – we use re-processed materials in our manufacturing. Some items, such as our geomembranes, are made of 100% post-consumer material.  Other products, such as the Tree Root Barriers, have a mix of re-processed (which may have a mix of post-consumer and post-industrial) and virgin. Still other products, such as the Silva Cell, are made with virgin material only due to the need to meet safe engineering and loading standards. When a recycled resin that can achieve the same safety factor becomes available – and we hope that will happen soon – we’ll be first in line. Until then, we choose the right resin for the product based on how it will be used and to achieve the most minimal and elegant design with the least amount of material. Sustainability and quality are the keys to bringing these products to market.