Promotional products exist in a huge variety of types – from free clothing such as t-shirts and hats to the more extravagant promotional items given to the rich and famous – watches, perfume, luxury hampers. There is no limit to what can be given as a promotional product, and thanks to recycling, it is also true that there is no limit to what these promotional products can be made from. This article will detail how these recycled items are made.
The waste that is collected is delivered to the recycling center and unloaded from the truck. The driver will check that there are no overly large items in there that cannot be recycled.
The mechanical claw then picks up a load of material and puts it into a spinning drum feeder, which then evenly distributes the materials onto a conveyor belt.
Items that won’t fit through the sorter, like coat hangers, for example, are removed by hand to avoid clogging up the machine.
A series of offset star-shaped discs called star screens remove corrugated cardboard. Smaller items pass through onto the conveyor belt.
At this stage, smaller contaminants are removed, such as valuables like wallets, or items that cannot be recycled that might still slip through on the conveyor belt.
Glass is sorted by colour to ensure that it can be repurposed correctly – it is cleaned, crushed and mixed with sand and limestone before being heated, liquidised and turned into new products.
Paper is pulped when it is delivered to the recycling centre – pulping is achieved by soaking the paper and then heating it, while the chemicals in the soaking liquid help separate the ink from the paper. The pulp is then screened so the glue can be removed, as well as any remaining ink or other materials, before being refined and beaten to prepare it. Once refined, the pulp is placed on a flat screen that shapes it into sheets, where it is then dried and rolled, ready to be used again.
The first action after the plastic has been delivered to the recycling centre is to wash it and inspect it. It is then cut into flakes, which are then separated, dried and melted into a liquid. The liquid undergoes a cleaning process that requires it to be fed through a screen, at which point it comes out in long strands. These strands are cooled and cut into pellets, and then distributed to manufacturers to be made into new items.
When cans are delivered to a recycling centre, they are shredded, melted, then cooled and shaped into a block, called an ingot. The block is then made into sheets, and the new products are made from this. All in all, this is the quickest recycling process – an aluminum can is typically recycled in a 2 month period.
So next time you receive a plastic keyring or a glass, it is highly likely that it once lived a life as something else, so you can enjoy the knowledge that your promotional item is as eco-friendly as possible.
At Banaman, we are proud to provide promotional materials of all kinds to businesses of all sizes. If you would like to know more, please feel free to get in touch with us today.