For us at Plastex, the environment and sustainability are a natural part of our core business and strategy. We are constantly working to develop, produce and market various types of more sustainable plastic products, to reduce the company’s environmental impact and to use energy and resources as efficiently as possible. It contributes to our increasing our long-term competitiveness and to creating long-term value for Plastex as well as for our customers, suppliers, employees, owners and other stakeholders.
Plastex's sustainability work
Plastex increases the proportion of recycled material
Our focus areas within sustainability are waste and recycling of materials. The goal is to greatly increase the proportion of recycled material in production and create the conditions for this. It is pleasing that in 2022 we have reused more material than ever before. The work to further increase the proportion of recycled material and to reduce our waste continues.
Renewable electricity from Skellefteå Kraft
We only buy completely renewable electricity from Skellefteå Kraft and we have our own closed water system that circulates in the factory, which means that water consumption is very moderate.
Development of “Green materials” with a fossil-free part
In 2022, we have also invested a lot of time and resources in tests of “green materials” which in some cases have a fossil-free portion of more than 90%. In 2023, the hope is that we will be able to replace other thermoplastics with green alternatives in certain applications. The material that we have come up with the most is based on sugar cane.
Quality work ISO 9001:15
We have a certified management system for quality ISO9001. The environmental management work is applied with the help of a process-oriented operating system. We have a quality coordinator at the company, in addition to the business managers, who works daily to improve our processes. The purpose of this approach is to continuously reduce and monitor the company’s environmental impact.
Plastic from an environmental and sustainability point of view
Plastic as a collective term is really under scrutiny from an environmental and sustainability point of view. The arguments for the opposite, for the advantages of thermoplastics, are many, but let’s instead focus on the enormous opportunity we have to recycle our materials.
Pretty much all thermoplastics we use can be ground down and reused without the material having to leave our factory. From a sustainability point of view, there are not many materials that have that huge advantage.
In all our production, we exclusively use thermoplastics. Thermoplastic is a type of plastic that can be shaped and then reshaped many times without affecting the properties of the material. In this way Thermoplastic can be recycled, unlike thermoplastics which cannot be melted down without destroying the properties of the material. We grind down and reuse a large part of the waste we get during the production process. We always review the possibility of using recycled material to a certain extent or to 100% when manufacturing new products.
Development of biomaterials
The development of biomaterials is proceeding at a very high speed. Today, there are biomaterials that can directly replace traditional fossil materials such as ABS and PVC. We participate in several projects where we develop and test materials together with customers and material suppliers. In these cases, the materials are 75-90% fossil-free.
Development of completely fossil-free materials is also underway globally. Processes based on methanol being extracted by reacting carbon dioxide with hydrogen. Subsequently, this methanol can replace oil and other fossil materials in the plastic materials.
Reduce the load on the earth –
use plastic more resource-efficiently
The role of plastics in society
Not all plastic is bad. We have to make sure that it is used in the right place, i.e. where it provides benefits and that it can be recycled as much as possible. We need to see plastic as a resource that can be used several times rather than seeing it as a disposable material.
Food waste is food that was produced to be eaten or drunk, but which is thrown in the garbage instead. Plastic packaging makes food last longer and reduces food waste. If we throw food away due to insufficient protection or uncertainty about the food, it is often many times worse for the environment than the impact that the packaging itself has. Food production contributes approximately 35% of greenhouse gases in terms of the Earth’s total CO2 emissions, while the production of plastics accounts for only 4%.
Heavy packaging produces a higher climate impact during long transports. A glass bottle weighs 327 grams, a plastic bottle containing the same amount of liquid weighs 27 grams. For the same transport weight, more liquid can therefore be transported in plastic bottles compared to glass bottles. This reduces the number of transports, which means that energy consumption and emissions of carbon dioxide are reduced.
Using plastic in the construction of cars, planes and boats makes them lighter and does not consume as much fuel or emit as much carbon dioxide as they would if they were heavier. It results in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons per year compared to if we had used other materials when constructing cars/during the construction of a car. This makes the plastic significantly more resource efficient.