Posted on behalf of a colleague:
Greetings P2 Techies:
We need your assistance. This one is pretty tough. A very proactive company recently reached out to us for some assistance in helping them to further reduce their already small environmental footprint. They are a leading national firm providing display solutions, from in-house graphics design and production, to a broad line of display hardware to turn-key project and program management solutions.
They are currently interested in testing alternative printable and manufacturable materials. Specifically, they are looking for a board with properties similar to Sintra (Komacell) expanded PVC. These are:
1) Relatively dense to cut drill and router cleanly;
2) Non-hydrophyllic; and
3) Provides a clean surface to accept printing without absorbing ink dramatically.
Right now, they have a 35% post-consumer waste cardboard, which is excellent for “disposable” printing, but is not good for exterior or long-term/abusive use. They also have a 35% post-industrial recycled waste styrene which works well for in-store signage or for projects where the graphic can flex or can be supported on 4 sides. They use a wood/PVC blended product (Gatorfom) which is rigid and resists impact, but is not good for unsupported lengths over 40' and it’s highly hydrophyllic. Additionally, they already use a composite aluminum/PVC sheet, virgin steel sheet, and virgin aluminum sheet .
Apparently, they are looking for a source of recycled Sintra or a similar product. They are very interested in getting away from PVC products, but they require the properties listed above. We've checked - they already know about the "Eco-Flexx" product. Per the company, "It prints beautifully for outdoor banners. It is OK for indoors, but not good enough for display-grade and museum-grade applications.
FYI -- they are already members of the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association. Basically what their industry says is “Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is recycled." We are told that Medium Density Fiberboard is sawdust, so it absorbs moisture and apparently prints poorly, etc. Great for cabinets, lousy for graphics. They are also members of PINE - Printing Industries of New England. They got some useful information there on highly-recycled card stock. They don't appear to be up on the latest for plastics as a printed product. The silk-screen industry hasn't been particularly helpful as a resource for alternatives.
See -- This is the problem with working with a proactive company -- they've basically taken the wind out of our P2 sails! Any and all assistance and leads are greatly appreciated.
Pollution Prevention Program
NH Department of Environmental Services