Responsible materials are those that don't harm the planet or any of its precious life. Using responsible materials is a choice. New plastic is not responsible, while recycled plastic is. In its new life, recycled plastic holds the same qualities and sturdiness as it did before.
There are two ways to source these: recycling and sustainable planning. These work together. In the case of recycled materials, we look to the goods of the past as a source of primary materials that can be put to use in new products. With sustainable planning, we look to the entire life cycle of products. Is there an ongoing waste stream that can be diverted directly to reuse? What type of mining techniques can help? Which other organizations are working on this who we can partner with? What are alternative sources of materials to meet the same or similar needs? Can we source them, make them, or grow them without damaging ecosystems? Are they made, found, or grown nearby? Is everyone involved fairly treated? What do pre-plastic practices have to teach us? What do cutting-edge design and materials chemistry have to teach us? In short, being responsible is an ongoing conversation and a step by step choice.
Why is Recycled Plastic Dark?
Recycled plastics are made from a variety of different plastics. Even to this day, the sorting of recycled materials remains a very complicated process. That's why many inventors who deal with the recycling chain are seeking ways to standardize. After sorting, methods exist to return these plastics to a white or base colour, but they are intensive and expensive. As of yet, we don't have such facilities in Quebec for locally made circular plastics. Circular goods and materials, like recycled plastics, are those that are repurposed after use rather than being discarded. At Polyaula, we use mixed-source plastics that are less processed which explains why we have shades of navy blue, grey, and charcoal. We're proud to offer these colours because their colour is a sign of their ecological value.
What is a Circular Economy?
We all know materials are often wasted, but just because they're discarded doesn't mean they are lost to the world. That's why progressing towards a circular economy is so important. In a circular economy, materials are made to be used and reused, and the waste from one process is the source material for another.
The purpose of a circular economy is to support a dignified quality of life for people, for today, and for the future. Everyone in a circular economy is invited to imagine ways in which the discarded material of one process can be made into the source for the next one. An example of this is the use of sawdust and wood chips in a wide variety of other products, applications, and composites. Circularity to keep resources is a key feature of stable systems, like trees leaves falling to create mulch and compost, or the water cycle. When waste can’t be reused, then people can look at how to do things differently.
Our factory uses 100% recycled, post-consumer and post-industrial, stable plastics in our products. Additionally, we process 100% of our production cut-offs for reuse. We actively work with regional partners to recognize and support the recycling industry in our community.
In our labs, we work with many circular materials. Some are recycled, while others are bio-sourced from agricultural waste. Some come from innovative, plant-based, projects like hemp and mushrooms, and some even represent the most complex composites ever created. We test and use machines such as giant 3d printers, extruders and granulators, responsible coloration, and other robotic and mechanical means of making use of what we have to make what we think people might need.
Because a circular economy is meant to be of use to people, our factory makes it a priority to create and protect a work atmosphere of harmony and respect. We engage in a system of self-management where our teams can thrive. You can look forward to more details on this and much more soon!