Whats New in the World of Plastics

Plastic after being biodegraded by 10 worms

Plastic after being biodegraded by 10 worms for 30 minutes (Photo By CSIC Communications Department)

If you think of the plastics industry as established, staid and stationary, you might be surprised to learn that the field is constantly growing and changing. To many, plastic is simply a mat, a molded bottle or the keys on your computer keyboard, but behind every physical piece of plastic there’s a wealth of scientific knowledge and progress. So, as scientists across the globe work to make better and safer plastics, we turn to the most important question of all:

How does this nonstop effort benefit you? Consider the wax worm caterpillar (really a baby moth), which seems to have very little to do with, say, plastic bags. People use approximately a trillion polyethylene bags (including our Minigrip® Reclosable Bags) every year. While many people make the effort to recycle these bags after use, not everyone has that option.

This is where the wax worm caterpillar becomes important, because this type of creepy crawly can actually eat discarded plastic. Researchers at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC) in Spain are conducting experiments to evaluate the efficacy of using the wax worm caterpillar to do what comes naturally – eating holes in plastic bags. And there are no worries for bug lovers, since the caterpillars suffer no ill effects and are safe and sound at the end of the day. Plastic just turns out to be their new favorite food, and that promises to help us reduce the amount of plastic waste that goes into landfills or the world’s oceans.

A very promising scientific development, caterpillar recycling is still a ways off, but there are many other plastics innovations that could impact us right now. Closer to home, we at Consolidated Plastics have been improving mat technology, as evidenced by our Executive Comfort Mat. Ideal for both workplace and home due to its lightweight, durable polyurethane composition, this high-quality, anti-fatigue mat pleases your feet and your wallet equally, since it’s engineered to last a lifetime. Our innovative research has resulted in an easy-to-clean mat with a smoothly beveled edge to prevent trips and falls. We know it beats the top gel mat on the market, and we invite you to request a sample and give us your opinion, too!

Using science enables Consolidated Plastics to continue to improve our product quality, our value and our utility. At the same time, we welcome your feedback, since we value your input as much today as we did when we started. Please continue sending us your ideas for new applications, comments on current products, or any other thoughts on how we can do more. The plastics industry is a dynamic industry, and we look forward to every new discovery as an opportunity to make our products better for you.

Posted in Eco-friendly Mats, News

Our Commitment to Recycling & Sustainability

recycled tire playground

Recycled Tire Playground – Photo By Javacon117*

Recycling can seem like a daunting topic, reading about the amount of trash that goes into the ocean, or seeing video about the deterioration of our environment. In the last 50 years alone, humanity has used more of our finite resources than in all our past history combined, some studies indicate! That’s why it’s important to support companies that remain dedicated to innovative ecology, like Consolidated Plastics, which has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and recycling. We see increased sustainability as part the circle of life for all plastics, but especially for our own. Here are a few examples of our green products, with a specific highlight on our mats.

Our Berber mats, for example, are perfect for entryways with high foot traffic. With 30 colors in three different materials (wool, nylon and olefin), it’s safe to say this mat could suit any building. But our Berber mats have a secret you’d never guess from looking at them: Beneath this stain-resistant, polypropylene fabric is a heart made from 20% recycled plastic. In fact, they’re so eco-efficient that they’re endorsed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a subset of The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and recommended for “the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green offices”. Whether you favor the looped style, the patterned loop, or the California Berber, all our Berber mats come with the option of imprinting your logo, along with a standard stamp of approval from the environment.

Recycling efforts can also be found in our United Mat Brush Scrape Mat, made of 15% recycled material. This outdoor mat is composed of rough nylon to keep your shoes safe from mud, just as we help to protect the mud itself. EPA statistics from 2007 show that 5 million tons of tire waste were generated in that year alone, with only 35 percent of the rubber recycled. This is important because, when tires biodegrade, they release toxins that can contaminate groundwater and the soil around them. The rubber backing of our United Mat™ Brush Scrape Mat is made from these recycled tires, which helps to preserve our environment and health.

At Consolidated Plastics, we track each of our products, from their start as base components to the finish line at your doorstep, because we’ve learned that an environmentally conscious start benefits us all. And conserving native raw materials leaves more natural ecosystems intact and saves more finite resources, helping yet again. With a little forethought, Consolidated Plastics is trying to make the world a better place, and we thank you for making these types of better choices, too!

Posted in Eco-friendly Mats

Consolidated Plastics – Making Commercial Mat & Plastic Product Buying Easy

Industries & Commercial Mat Usage Guide

Industries & Commercial Mat Usage Guide

In this dynamic world, is seems like the only constant is change itself, particularly in regards to technology. You sit down with a cup of coffee, and up pops a notice of a system update. Favorite websites turn into confusing labyrinths of links. We know the tech world can be daunting, which is why we keep the Consolidated Plastics website intuitive and easy to use. Become – and stay – the person who knows where to find the plastic products that your company needs, through the convenience of the easy-to-use Consolidated Plastics website. Here’s what we mean:

Say, for a moment, you’re looking for the perfect plastic bag. An important item, since the ideal bag can literally make or break your product. You’ve done your research, sifted through your search engine results and landed, happily, here on the Consolidated Plastics site. Now, you’re bracing yourself for more research.

Instead, take a look at our plastic bag guide. The handy Consolidated Plastics product directory can be found by selecting our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) tab at the top of the screen. From there, scroll down to find the section entitled “Buying Guides”. The Plastic Bags Buying Guide is the page for you. Our step-by-step guide not only provides links to every category of bag offered by Consolidated Plastics, but also clearly explains how to identify each bag type.

But what if, instead of a bag, you’re looking for the best mat? Of course, we have mat-seekers covered as well. Looking at our website, simply click on the “Industries & Mat Usage” link, located on the left side of every screen under the general heading of “Shop Floor Mats”. This will lead you to a list of possible industries your business may fall under. (If your specific business is not listed, simply choose a close alternative. Imagine you’re a cozy bookstore with an attached coffee shop. There may not be a specific listing for that exact combination, but you can choose another retail business that seems sympatico.) Using our wide variety of mat options, you can then determine if the retail section could be the best fit or if, perhaps, you might consider the ‘school’ category with its close ties to libraries and readers.

Not looking for bags or mats? Scroll down to the blue button on the bottom left-hand corner of each page. This will allow you to talk in real time with our friendly Live Chat customer service. There are a multitude of products offered by Consolidated Plastics, and our LiveChat representatives can help you sort through them all to find exactly what you need. If you get stuck or have a question, they’re always happy to help.

Now you know at least some of the tips and tricks that our own professional researchers suggested to help you in your search. With our wide inventory, you can now find virtually every type of bag and mat your business needs today, and you know where to look for more tomorrow. As a fellow plastics insider, welcome to the Consolidated Plastics team!

Posted in Tips & Ideas Tagged with:

Recommended Workstation Floor Mats and Their Benefits

As the seasons turn for the better, we turn to the worsened state of our floors. It’s easy to wish that mud and scuff marks aren’t really there, or that they haven’t built up over time, ruining tile, scratching wood, and clumping in carpet. Look closely and you can see the impact of every person who walks across your foyer.

This is where Consolidated Plastics steps up to help you, with premium mats for some of the most demanding workplaces.

One of our premier outdoor mats is the United Mat™ Brush Scrape Mat, designed to address people stepping in from the dirty world outside. Imagine, for example, that you manage a school, or that your business clientele includes children. This mat is composed of high-performance nylon fibers that scrape off every trace of the outside world (or playground) from each little sneaker. Now, let’s switch gears and think about how tired you are when you arrive at a hotel on a rainy night. The United Mat Brush Scrape Mat has a rubber backing that prevents slipping in damp shoes, while the turf pile fabric construction whisks away water and keeps grit from settling into the fibers. In another application, picture the front door to your own office with this mat in front, available in the traditional colors of charcoal, brown, navy and burgundy – colors that never fade with sunlight. And since they’re composed of 15% recycled material, you can be assured you’re helping the environment as you make a wonderful first impression on your customers and visitors. The United Mat Brush Scrape Mat is one of our favorites and we’re proud to recommend it for your outdoor needs.

However, even the best outside mat needs a companion backup for inside. For that, we created our Custom Logo Berber Mats. When dealing with high-traffic areas, or in industries where spills are common – food service, anyone? – this mat, composed of stain-resistant polypropylene, makes cleanup a breeze. In a restaurant, hotel or busy retail shop, hundreds of people can walk through an entryway every day. Our Custom Logo Berber Mats are made to fit just where they’re needed, with sizes that range up to 13′ x 101′, and custom dimensions to the nearest half-inch. And when thinking of your own office, the Custom Logo Berber Mat can show off your company logo with 30 different colors and classic edging in either black or brown, to promote an elegant ambiance.

In just these few examples, you can see how Consolidated Plastics’ mats make your work environment safer, cleaner and more attractive. To see the full range of colors and textures for yourself, explore the various ‘Mats’ sections of our website and see which ones are ideal for your business – and how we make it a point to put your best foot forward on your office floors!

Posted in Accident Prevention, Commercial Matting Tagged with:

Premises Liability – Understanding Commercial Property Owner Liability

Let’s talk for a minute about promoting safety in your workspace. Sometimes we forget that workplace injuries not only harm people, but can also hurt your bottom line. The National Safety Council noted in 2003 that almost $70 billion – with a ‘b’ – is paid out in compensation and doctors’ bills every year due to employee slips and falls, and that number has grown significantly since then. In fact, employee injuries of this type have become such a popular problem that you can calculate how much a workers’ compensation claim is worth simply by typing those words into a search engine. (There’s a link within the first few results on both Google and Yahoo.) And workplace safety is a key consideration for customers, too. In one recent safety case, a customer at a grocery store was awarded $2.3 million in damages after a spinal injury.

That’s why we’ve developed a series of mats to help protect people from slips, trips and falls.

At Consolidated Plastics, our commercial matting cannot be beat. We offer an array of curated floor mats, which include entryway mats, logo mats and our anti-fatigue matting. Standing work areas can seem difficult to keep safe, but just look at our Softstep & Ultra Sponge Mats. Not only does these fully beveled mats reduce the risk of tripping, but our 100% closed-cell PVC sponge is proven to help alleviate the pain caused by tired and stressed muscles. And as we all know, a well-rested employee is more aware of their surroundings and less likely to trip.

In another example, wet floors can be a potential danger zone, leading to a slippery work area. Our Aquasorb mats were designed for such areas, providing additional grip to the floor, and traction for your shoes even while damp.

At Consolidated Plastics, we know preventing a fall isn’t a one-person – or one-mat – job. So we offer our grip strips and non-slip safety track tape, to help our mats to do their best work. Our grip strips stop mats from rolling up at the corners. These easily installed strips can be used on any type of floor surface, making your workplace safer every day. Request a sample today and witness how our grip strips make your mats even safer. And our non-slip safety track tape is a long-lasting roughened tape that you unroll, cut to the desired length, place on the floor and press wherever mats cannot fit. This tape works even on individual stairs or narrow work areas.

But there’s more we do for you. At the Consolidated Plastics website, we have a secret weapon to combat the slip, trip and fall accidents. Whether you’re at work, at home or in a safety meeting, just type in consolidatedplastics.com and select “Industries & Mat Usage” on the left side of our home page. Here we list every type of mat available, presorted for your industry. No more wondering and worrying if your mats are right for the job, because our experts have made your mat shopping and purchasing a streamlined process destined for success.

So don’t be left at risk with flimsy mats, curling corners and potential damages, both physical and financial. With high quality mats from Consolidated Plastics, you can sleep easier at night, knowing your risk is being mitigated every day.

Posted in Accident Prevention Tagged with: ,

Different Types of Plastics, Their Properties & Uses

PVC Pipe

Photo By Dennis Hill

Today we’re looking at the types of different plastics, along with their properties and uses – which leads us at Consolidated Plastics to consider the nature of change, both in our business and in yours. At Consolidated Plastics, we think of plastic as a medium of change, making products better while serving as a reminder that flexibility is a key to success.

In fact, plastics are so versatile that we can forget the many ways they help your business grow and run smoothly. The word ‘plastic’ – from the Greek for ‘capable of being shaped or molded,’ refers to the malleability of this class of materials, with the synthetic plastics in particular, including polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC, being especially useful.

Polyethylene

A specialty at Consolidated Plastics, polyethylene is key to the way so many of our products can be cast and pressed into almost any shape imaginable. A solid and stable plastic that was accidentally discovered by a German chemist, polyethylene was first synthesized nearly 120 years ago. In service for decades in a wide range of products, it’s a little-known fact that it was actually a top-secret strategic material during World War II because of one unusual property, its ability to reduce the loss of high-frequency radio waves. In fact, its commercial applications were suspended during the war, when it was reserved for use as an insulator in coaxial radar cables.

Since then, many versions of polyethylene have been developed for different uses, ranging from chlorinated polyethylene that can be blended with PVC pipes and tubing to increase weather and impact resistance, to PET (polyethylene terephthalate), used in everything from food containers to fibers in clothing, to bio-based polyethylene that can be produced from sugarcane, beets and even wheat.

At Consolidated Plastics, we mold polyethylene into a variety of high-quality packaging and container products. For example, our Oblong and Round Jugs are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). These naturally colored opaque vessels come with their own plastic caps, and they’re perfect for shipping, stocking shelves or storing liquids and powders for future use. As an example of bagging solutions, our Heavy-Duty 4 Mil Resealable Bubble Bags envelop your products with bubbles made of 4 mm-thick polyethylene to protect them from scratches, dents and breakage.

And our premium Entryway Mats offer the best of all worlds, with carpet tops made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET – polyethylene again – and your choice of either a cleated or smooth rubber backing. Available in a range of shapes, sizes, thicknesses and colors, our composite mats make your business look great, regardless of changes in the season, the business climate or technology.

Polypropylene

While polyethylene is the most widely used synthetic plastic, polypropylene, the second-most used, is the material of choice in textiles, plastic parts, containers and other demanding applications, due to its ruggedness and resistance to chemical solvents. We use it for our Disposable Beakers as well as our regular and custom Berber Mats, where its ability to resist both chemicals and wear-and-tear help make those product lines last so long, and offer such great value.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

The world’s third-most used synthetic plastic is polyvinyl chloride, PVC, also part of our arsenal of solutions. Available in rigid and flexible forms, clear PVC makes our Cylinder Bottles so strong and convenient to use for storing, transporting and packaging a wide array of products. We include standard black caps with our Cylinders for easy visual reference.

So, when considering the many product lines we make, it’s good to know that each and every one has been studied and tested for peak performance, to ensure that you can trust their performance and their overall value.

Circling back to where we started today, while we fully embrace change, and constantly investigate high-quality materials to make our products better, one thing that doesn’t change is our focus on pleasing you. Simply email or call to let us know which of our durable and cost-effective plastic products are best at helping your business grow, do more and change for the better!

Posted in Other Tagged with: ,

Why Your Dental Practice Needs A Custom Floor Mat

Dental Office Floor Mats

Dental Practice Design – Photo By Marshburnx

As a dentist in private practice, you have a lot to think about beyond providing excellent care for your patients. You have to be financially responsible, keeping the doors open and the lights on. You have to hire and manage your staff. You have to keep up with the latest technology. You have to deal with state and federal regulations, and maintain your professional standing. You have to find new clients and market your practice by building goodwill in the community.

So it might seem that selecting a high-quality floor mat isn’t on your list of top-ten priorities and, in truth, it isn’t. But when you’ve addressed the other items above, you should give some thought to the impression that a custom, high-quality rubber mat makes on your patients and office visitors.

Of course, a high-quality mat – one that’s heavy, made of water-resistant rubber and doesn’t curl, slide or flip over when it’s in place – is functional. It protects your floors, traps dirt and contains spills. It also helps prevent slips, trips and falls, a major consideration for your staff, as well as your patients. More than that, though, it welcomes people to your office and gives them the sense that you represent quality in everything you do. The best mats – like the ones we make here at Consolidated Plastics – even provide a cushion for your feet and back, reducing fatigue to make standing more comfortable.

But a custom floor mat that’s emblazoned with your logo also does something more important: It reminds your patients of you, and the fact that you’re there for them, to make their visit as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Often, patients visiting the dentist can instead be uncomfortable, even apprehensive, which in turn can make their minds and imaginations overly active. These feelings make them more distractable, of course, but they can also make patients more aware of visual cues in their surroundings.

And this is where your name, or the name of your practice, or your logo, become so important. Offering reassurance on both a conscious and an unconscious basis, your logo – in truth, your name, and the trust that it conveys – are an anchor for their thoughts, helping calm them as they look around the office and contemplate the immediate future, either while taking a break during a procedure or waiting to begin.

While your name and logo are prominently displayed on your signage and business cards, chances are, your logo and name aren’t visible on very many items inside your office. But the floor is everywhere, and our high-quality floor mats, customized with your logo, can be the ideal way to make your patients feel more comfortable and relaxed when they’re in your treatment areas and waiting room.

So after you’ve taken care of the major items on your business ‘to-do’ list, take a moment to order high-quality, custom floor mats from Consolidated Plastics that are imprinted with your logo, and make your patients happier and more comfortable.

Posted in Logo Mats Tagged with:

Slip, Trip and Fall Workplace Statistics

Slips, Trips & Falls Signage

Photo By Dasr

Ever think about the amazing beauty of winter? It truly does have its charms: the serenity of snowflakes flurrying in the cold sky, the appeal of the warm fireplace, the delicious smells wafting from our kitchens.

But, of course, this winter wonderland also brings rain, sleet, and snow, all of which turns into slush — that awful combination of ice and mud that melts together just enough to soak your boots and get all over your formerly dry, clean and safe floors. Just as unappealing to look at as to clean off of freshly scrubbed floors, this hidden menace presents a serious problem to customers and employees alike.

That’s because trips, slips and falls are responsible for some 15% of all fatal and 8% of all nonfatal accidents across the nation. These numbers seem small until you realize that slips and falls account for as many as 12,000 deaths each year. That’s why OSHA issues standard requirements for clean and drainage-maintained workplaces, and why workplace safety advocates publish posters about this problem.

At Consolidated Plastics, we offer a more proactive solution to help prevent injuries and reduce your exposure to liability, with an array of high quality mats that go above and beyond the call of duty.

Our outdoor mats are long lasting, made with durable, thick rubber to prevent loss of balance and designed to withstand curling and flipping over in high winds. Our deluxe United Mat Brush Scrape Mats even help eliminate the disappointment of dirty footprints in your lobby, with nylon fibers that scour slush and debris off your shoes and boots. For the environmentally conscious, we’ve developed the Aquasorb line of mats, made for the rigorous demands of inclement weather but composed of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Moving indoors, our Ultra Anti-Fatigue Mats cushion your feet and provide support for your entire body, while simultaneously resisting oil and grease. And for an added bonus, we offer the option of embellishing your company’s logo on your mat of choice, to promote your brand and remind customers that you care about their safety and comfort. Of course, you can always request a sample of our mats to see their undeniable value for yourself.

So, while this pondering the pluses and minuses of rain, snow and slush, we encourage you to give the gift of peace of mind to your customers and employees. With dry, safe floors, Old Man Winter can be less of a nuisance and more of a time for renewal and the promise of spring.

Posted in Accident Prevention

The History of Plastic Bottles

The History of Plastic Bottles

Photo By Jan Hendrickx

With our busy routines and all of our day-to-day activities, it’s easy to overlook the simple things. From paper clips to sidewalks to electricity, it seems that our brains are programmed to ignore the minor conveniences of life until they’re missing. So as we stop to smell the roses, as it were, we turn to the humble plastic bottle, something that’s ubiquitous today, yet wasn’t always so.

Initially, ceramics and glass were the medium of choice for bottles. Many major archeological digs use ceramic and glass shards as a method of dating their finds, and they were really the only choice until the late 19th century. Plastic bottles first came on the scene in 1875, but were remarkably expensive because science was only beginning to understand the many different types, compositions and properties of plastic.

One of the first of plastics was called Galalith. It was created with milk proteins and formaldehyde but ultimately proved unsafe for long-term use. Another early plastic was a more familiar name, Bakelite, from the early 1900s. It was the first plastic created by only synthetic materials. A true success, early Bakelite products are still sought after by collectors and historians. A synthetic plastic that was heat-resistant but not a conductor of electricity, Bakelite ushered in the modern age of plastic.

In the 1960s, polyethylene came on the scene and became the new standard. Composed of a complex chain of molecules, polyethylene remains in widespread use today. For our own Consolidated Plastics polyethylene products, we use both high- and low-density versions to create bottles that can bend to your touch while standing up to various chemicals.

In 1981, Consolidated Plastics was founded and has since remained on the cutting edge of plastic technology, exploring new generations of plastic products and innovative techniques, such as blow molding. We use blow molding for some of our bottles, both to ensure a uniform product and to maintain higher FDA standards in all our shapes and sizes.

These include Boston-Round bottles, that classic cylindrical body with a short curved shoulder, perfect for the distinguished workplace. Ours are made of low-density polyethylene for storage and dispensary. Yorker dispensing caps or flip-top caps are included for your convenience.

Then there’s the popular Nalgene bottle, which is found in both the narrow-mouth and wide-mouth variety. Translucent for easy identification and rigid in form, these bottles are made of a high-density polypropylene which renders them safe for chemicals and general use, with screw closures that are guaranteed to be leak-proof.

Another popular example is our pharmaceutical round bottle. With a wide aperture and a stout body, this bottle was designed for safe storage and dispensing of pharmaceutical supplies and drugs. Professional black caps are included with every pharmaceutical bottle.

Looking back over time, we see that plastic has become so popular because it does such a good job of storing and transporting so many things, in so many shapes and sizes. And with plastic containers from Consolidated Plastics, you can be sure you’re getting more than great utility — you’re also getting the best quality and value!

Posted in Plastic Bottles

Alternative Uses For Nalgene™ Bottles

You may have heard of the term ‘Nalgene™ bottles,’ in part because these clear, high-density polyethylene plastic bottles, originally developed for use in laboratories, are shatterproof and much lighter than glass. They’re available from Consolidated Plastics in 12-packs or 6-packs depending on the size. We offer our Nalgene™ bottles in 1/4-oz., 1/2-oz., 1-oz., 2-oz., 4-oz., 8-oz., 16-oz. and 32-oz. sizes. Other than being used in laboratories they’ve become a staple for hikers, backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts, since they’re more secure than plastic bags and make a great alternative to cans and glass containers for transporting food and liquids. Available in wide-mouth and narrow-mouth configurations (with wide-mouth bottles being easier to fill with ice), these bottles resist stains and odors and can handle both boiling water and ice – as well as many other liquids and substances – in temperatures ranging from sub-freezing to Saharan.

Of course, our Nalgene™ bottles also happen to be virtually indestructible, as well as BPA-free, and can be used for anything from dry food – think nuts, trail mix, cereal, fruit, jerky, dried beans, grains, pasta and the like – to ‘wet’ foods like soups and stews, and sports drinks, tea, coffee, juice, adult beverages, even water. Best of all, they’re reusable, so your light, easy-to-carry bottles can be used over and over, saving on cost and encouraging recycling over disposal.

They’re also finding many other uses around the home, office and athletic field and, since they’re all but unbreakable, they can be used by virtually anyone, from toddlers and children to seniors. (They make great squirt bottles for the kids, and we know of at least one dog trainer who uses them for his ‘gentle training’ approach.) Light, strong, durable, flexible, adaptable, safe to use and cost-effective, whether you use them around the house or for traveling, you’ll love our Nalgene™ bottles.

Posted in Plastic Bottles Tagged with: , ,