Go Green… Understanding Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

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Organic Cotton.

cotton bagOn many traditional cotton farms, the soil is most often sterile because of the depletion of nutrients and pesticides. As a result, farmers must rely on additives, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plus vast quantities of water to keep their crops growing. In contrast, organic farming restores and builds up the soil, increasing its organic content which, in turn, increases its water-sustaining ability. The rich, moist earth results in stronger plants, which improves the soil even more. Far less water runs off organic fields, and what does run off is not polluted with pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic cotton must be processed separately from conventional cotton and machines must be cleaned to avoid contamination. For 100% organic products, only environmentally friendly chemicals that meet organic fiber processing standards are used. Cotton is a natural fiber and therefore is also biodegradable.

Recycled Fabrics.

recycled penRecycling begins with discarded materials (such as water bottles and yogurt containers) which are stripped of their labels and lids, crushed, baled, washed and smashed. They are turned into pellets, which are then made into PET fibers that are then spun into yarn, woven or knit into fabrics and made into finished products.

Corn Plastics.

corn plasticCorn plastics are made from PLA (polylactide/polylactic acid). PLA is made from corn. Corn plastic products look and feel just like regular plastic, but they are 100% biodegradable and compostable. In commercial composting conditions, PLA will compost in approximately 30-45 days. Most landfills are not designed to allow biodegrading of their contents. With that being said, PLA will react in landfills like other organic waste such as food. Since PLA is made from a renewable resource – corn – instead of regular plastic that is made from oil, our dependence on foreign petroleum is reduced, benefiting the U.S. farm economy.

Enhanced Biodegradability.

biodegradable jojoAn additive added to products that extends the polymer chain of plastic and allows the microorganisms to enhance the breakdown of the plastic. Products with this additive breakdown in a landfill or compost heap in just 1-5 years. Products with enhanced biodegradability have the same shelf life and other properties of products without the additive and are not affected differently by heat, air or sunlight. This additive contains no heavy metals and is recognized as safe by the FDA for food contact.

More Earth-Friendly Definitions & Explanations

  • What is PET? PET = poly ethylene terepthalate (virgin Poly) If RECYCLED PET – It is a re-grind of plastic bottle (i.e.: water bottles, soda bottles) transforming into yarn.
  • What is PEVA? Polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), a chlorine free substitute for PVC.
  • What is PVC? Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic as used in a range of products from flooring to siding to wall covering.
  • Are polypropylene (non woven) bags recyclable? The short answer is yes – polypropylene as a material is recyclable. However acceptance of this material in bag form (with dies and thread etc…) may or may not be acceptable at some community recycling centers. It is best to check with your local recycling center on their guidelines. A positive feature of polypropylene bags is that they are reusable.

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