Low-density polyethylene is a material that is increasingly sought after by all manner of industries. Its strengths are its great versatility and certain characteristics that ensure it can be used in a wide variety of ways. This accounts for its increasing presence in the manufacture of a wide range of components.
There is daily evidence of the way its use in everyday objects has become widespread. For example, it is found in freezer bags, in the cling film used to wrap food, etc.
What follows is a summary of its chief characteristics, setting out the sustainable advantages of the low-density polyethylene we work with at FORTAPS.
What is low-density polyethylene and what are its properties?
Low-density polyethylene, or LDPE, belongs to the family of olefinic polymers, and is composed of repeat units of ethylene.
Its characteristics differ from those of high-density polyethylene, also in high demand, and make it the preferred material for manufacturing bottles, bags, food packaging, etc.
It is a material with high thermal and chemical resistance, and is also highly flexible and mouldable. It is therefore easy to manipulate using the processes generally used with thermoplastics: injection moulding (such as the components in the FORTAPS catalogue) and extrusion.
In short, it is a shiny, malleable and resistant plastic. But to this definition it is crucial to add that it is the most-used plastic in the world and also, and very importantly, the most recycled.
Low-density polyethylene at FORTAPS
Low-density polyethylene is present in all FORTAPS output. This is the material we use in the injection process for our components, with the exception of the flanges and threaded inserts, where we use high-density polyethylene as it is more hard wearing.
Our work, involving the creation of our own moulds, requires a material that imparts flexibility to the injection process. But this material must also be highly resistant to both temperature and chemical contact. We have found the answer to these requirements in LDPE.
The sustainability advantages of FORTAPS polyethylene derive from two different but complementary factors.
First, there are the working processes. In this context, latest-generation machinery with minimal energy consumption underlines our philosophy of seeking continuous and sustainable growth.
Secondly, there is the material itself.
We explain this in more detail below.
Why highlight the sustainability of our LDPE?
There are three fundamental keys to understanding what we mean when we refer to the sustainability of this material within the framework of our production:
Virgin raw material
Our commitment to sustainability and environmentally-friendly innovation prompts us to look for extra quality in the material we use. This is why we start with virgin raw material in order to facilitate recycling.
It’s worth pointing out that all types of LDPE are recyclable. The containers made of this material are numerically classified with a 4 in the middle of a triangle made up of arrows.
While it is the responsibility of companies and individuals to manage their obligations appropriately in this regard, providing the necessary mechanisms to carry out recycling is also the responsibility of the competent authorities in the area.
Use of recycled polyethylene
The volume of injected parts at the FORTAPS plant results in the existence of a large amount of leftover material.
Within our manufacturing philosophy, geared towards increasingly green practices, we have incorporated the concept of the circular economy. This means that the surplus material is collected to be used again to produce other components.
It has already been mentioned above that LDPE is a fully-recyclable material. But the truth is that there are often certain inconveniences in this process that make it difficult.
Sometimes, people are the problem. Once the element made of polyethylene has been used, whether or not its useful life is over, we discard it in an inappropriate way. In other words, we fail to classify it correctly in the recycling bins or throw it away in the wrong place. Thus, the only thing attained is that the opportunity for sustainability offered by polyethylene is squandered, and it turns into a problem that grows with each passing day.
On other occasions, the responsibility falls at the door of governments. Sometimes they lack the mechanisms to process it, the waste is not correctly separated, or the processing facilities do not fulfil their role appropriately.
At FORTAPS we have decided to take control of managing the waste we generate. Thus, we take responsibility for recycling all leftover materials.
We work ceaselessly to ensure our output is ever more environmentally friendly. Our customers’ satisfaction and our commitment to sustainable growth are the twin engines that drive us forward. Contact us and tell us about your requirem