9. Other Helpful Information

A series of additional reference materials about energy and environmental improvements in plastics processing are described in the following section. In most cases, contacts are provided for acquiring follow-up information.

9.1 Miscellaneous Reference Materials

CIPEC Energy Efficiency Planning and Management Guide (Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation [CIPEC]). This document describes the methodology for setting up and running an effective energy management program, and provides worksheets for evaluating the energy savings potential from improvements in lighting, electrical systems, boilers, steam and condensate systems, heating and cooling, HVAC, waste heat recovery, etc. Available on-line at www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/industrial. For further information, fax the CIPEC Secretariat at 613-992-3161, or send your request by e-mail.

Operation Clean Sweep: A Manual on Preventing Pellet Loss (The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.). This manual provides detailed guidance for minimizing raw material losses in the plastics processing industry. The manual covers policies and procedures and recommends a goal of zero loss of pellets. For further information, contact 202-974-5200, or visit www.opcleansweep.org.

Natural Gas Applications for Industry, Volume VII: The Plastics Industry (American Gas Association, 1992). This study examines cost-saving opportunities by using gas for a broad range of processing technologies and ancillary equipment. Operating, technical and cost considerations are discussed and the opportunities are ranked. The document provides useful data and methods for assessing the cost-effectiveness of alternative energy inputs. Visit www.aga.org/pubs.

Plastics Recycling: Products and Processes (Society of Plastics Engineers). A comprehensive survey of the technical, business and environmental components involved in the recycling of plastics (i.e. polyethylene terephthalate, polyolefins, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, engineering thermoplastics, acrylics, commingled plastics, and thermosets). Visit www.4spe.org

Environmental Guideline for the Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from the Plastics Processing Industry (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment [CCME]). Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight to create ground-level ozone, a major component of urban smog. This report results from a specific initiative under the CCME NOx/VOC Management Plan, the overall aim of which is to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone by controlling NOx and VOCs from a variety of new and existing sources.

This document will guide manufacturers and operators of plastics processing plants on how to reduce VOC emissions from production, processing, cleanup, handling and storage of VOC-containing materials, as well as on how to handle and dispose of wastes. It covers production activities for a number of plastics: expanded polystyrene, cellular polyethylene foams, polyvinyl chloride and thermoset polyester resins used in reinforced plastics and composite products.

It also contains information on material, equipment, process and operating norms for plastics processing facilities; norms for record-keeping and training; and recommended operating practices and testing protocols. This document can be ordered from CCME from its Web site at www.ccme.ca/publications.

9.2 Plastics Processing Industry Associations

Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)

The CPIA is the voice of the plastics industry in Canada. CPIA delivers its services through regional offices and can be a valuable source in the areas of technology, trades, health and safety, and the environment. CPIA is located at 5915 Airport Road, Suite 712, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1T1. Telephone 905-678-7748, Fax: 905-678-0774. Visit www.cpia.ca.

Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC)

EPIC was formerly known as the Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada and is now a Council of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. It provides a wide range of general information about integrated resource management and plastic solid waste issues. Other resources include technical reports and information for solid waste managers about plastics recycling collection and sortation methods. EPIC is located at 5915 Airport Road., Suite 712, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1T1. Telephone: 905-678-7748, ext. 231, Fax: 905-678-0774. Visit www.plastics.ca/epic.

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

The objective of the SPE is to promote the scientific and engineering knowledge related to plastics. This association holds an annual technical conference, which attracts a wide audience interested in all technical aspects of the plastics industry. For information about the SPE, call 203-775-0471 or visit www.4SPE.org.

9.3 Industry Directories and Guides

Recycling Markets and Recycled Products Directory (Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada). Provides a listing and cross-indexing of the participants in all aspects of plastics recycling in North America. The guide is available from EPIC at www.plastics.ca/epic.

Industrial Programs Division (Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency [OEE]).

You can view or order several of the OEE's publications on-line at www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/industrial.

Hydro One energy efficiency publications. The Hydro One Web site has a searchable database of energy efficiency publications at www.hydroone.com.

9.4 Environmental/Resource Audit Guidance Documents

Workplace Guide – Practical Action for the Environment (Harmony Foundation of Canada, 1991). This guide was developed to introduce methods for implementing environmentally sustainable practices in industry. It describes tools to be used by organizations to assess environmental strengths and weaknesses, develop a strategic plan and implement improved environmental practices, including resource conservation. It offers a comprehensive step-by-step approach to help identify both economic and environmental benefits through positive thinking, serious commitment and co-operative action. Harmony Foundation of Canada also has climate-change-related publications. Its publications can be ordered from the Web site at www.harmonyfdn.ca/pubs.html.

The National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) has a number of programs that may be of interest to plastics processors. Information on programs and publications includes the following:

  • Eco-Efficiency Indicators in Business.
  • Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators.
  • Sustainable Development Issues for the Next Decade.

NRTEE publications can be found at www.nrtee-trnee.ca.

9.5 Pollution Prevention Guidance Documents

Pollution Prevention Planning: Guidance Document and Workbook (Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 1993. PIBS 2586E. ISBN 0-7778-1441-2). The workbook introduces pollution prevention planning and implementation concepts and principles; offers a model/approach to initiating team-planning exercises; and provides worksheets and checklists for implementation. Available on-line at www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/gp/2586e.pdf.

Canadian Standards Association has a wide range of published standards and guidelines for pollution prevention and climate change mitigation. Its publications can be reviewed at www.csa.ca.

9.6 Environmental Management Systems

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), in conjunction with BRI International Inc., has developed tools to help companies identify the gaps and implement ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 standards.

9.7 Web Sites

Many manufacturers, government agencies, research organizations, utilities and industry associations have Web sites. A relevant selection of some of these sites include the following:

9.8 Acronyms

ABS acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

AC alternating current

BDC brushless direct current

CPI formerly Canadian Plastics Institute, now Canadian Plastics Industry Association

CPIA Canadian Plastics Industry Association

CPRA Canadian Polystyrene Recycling Association

DC direct current

EPA Environmental Protection Agency

EPIC formerly Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada, now Environment Plastics Industry Council

EPS expanded polystyrene

GPP general purpose polystyrene

HCFC hydrochlorofluorocarbon

HE high efficiency

HDPE high density polyethylene

HFC hydrofluorocarbon

HP horsepower

HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning

ICI industrial, commercial and institutional

JIT Just in Time

LDPE low density polyethylene

LLDPE linear low density polyethylene

MOE Ministry of the Environment

PC polycarbonate

PE polyethylene

PET polyethylene terephthalate

PP polypropylene

PS polystyrene

PVC polyvinyl chloride

3Rs reduce, reuse and recycle

RCO Recycling Council of Ontario

SPI Society of the Plastics Industry of Canada, now CPIA

VOC volatile organic compound

VSD variable speed drive

9.9 Glossary

Band heater
Electrical resistance heater that encircles the barrel of a screw to provide supplementary heating and temperature control.
 
Barrel
Cylinder that houses the screw in an extrusion or moulding process.
 
Blender
A unit to mix and meter resins and/or additives in desired proportions.
 
Blow moulding
A process that uses compressed air to inflate a hollow tube of plastic inside a mould.
 
Blown-film extrusion
A process that uses air to inflate and cool a "bubble" of plastic into a thin film. Typically used for manufacturing plastic bags.
 
Captive processor
A manufacturing operation that produces plastic products for internal use, rather than for sale.
 
Cartridge heater
A tubular heater often inserted into a mould to provide controlled heating.
 
Chiller
A unit designed to circulate a coolant (often water) to processing equipment.
 
Coextrusion
The process of extruding two or more different resins at the same time into a single end product.
 
Contaminant
Foreign materials (such as dirt, metals, incompatible resins, organic waste, oil or the residues of the contents of plastic containers) that make plastic materials more difficult to process and cause quality problems in finished products.
 
Degradable plastics
Plastics specifically developed or formulated to break down after exposure to sunlight or microbes.
 
Die
A metal plate through which molten material is forced. A precisely designed and cut profile in the die forces the molten plastic to assume a desired shape and to begin the cooling process.
 
Energy recovery
A process that extracts energy value from a substance such as air, water or solid waste and transfers it to another medium to be used again. Examples are heat recovery from exhaust streams to preheat incoming air or burning solid waste as fuel to generate heat.
 
Extrudate
Material that has been forced through a die in an extrusion process.
 
Extrusion
The process of forcing molten plastic through a die to produce continuous lengths of material with a desired profile.
 
Fillers
An inert substance added to plastic to reduce cost, or to improve physical properties.
 
Foaming agents
Chemicals added to plastics and rubbers that generate gases during processing and produce a cellular structure.
 
Grinding
The process of reducing plastic components into smaller particles suitable for feeding into a process.
 
Injection moulding
A plastics manufacturing process that injects molten material into a closed mould under high pressure.
 
Injection blow moulding
A plastics manufacturing process that combines injection and blow moulding. An injection moulded preform is transferred to a blow moulding station to be processed into the final configuration.
 
Just in Time (JIT)
A manufacturing philosophy designed to reduce inventories and lead times by reducing set-up times in the manufacturing process.
 
Monomers
The basic chemical building blocks used to create plastic polymers (long chain molecules).
 
Mould
A two-part unit into which material is introduced and which is configured to produce a desired shape. The mould is often cooled to speed up the solidification of molten material. After solidification, the mould is opened to remove the finished part.
 
Multi-cavity
Refers to a mould with more than one cavity. For high volume production, moulds with more than one hundred cavities are common.
 
Off-spec resin
Any resin that does not meet its manufacturer's specifications, but may still be offered for sale.
 
Ontario Regulation 347
Waste Management–General Regulation 347, under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act, sets out standards for solid waste disposal sites and waste management systems, and governs the handling, transport and disposal of registerable liquid industrial and hazardous wastes.
 
Parison
A round hollow tube of molten plastic that is extruded from the head of a blow-moulding machine.
 
Payback
Payback (simple payback) is the ratio of the annualized saving from a process or machinery improvement divided by the capital and installation cost of the improvement project.
 
Pellet
A small piece of plastic resin, suitable for feeding into a process.
 
Plastics
Synthetic materials consisting of large polymer molecules derived from petrochemicals or renewable sources. Plastics are capable of being shaped or moulded under the influence of heat, pressure or chemical catalysts. Polymer resins are often combined with other ingredients, including colourants, fillers, reinforcing agents and plasticizers, to form plastic products.
 
Polymer
A very long chain molecule built up by repetition of small chemical units, known as monomers, strongly bonded together.
 
Preform
An injection moulded intermediate product that is inserted into a blow-moulding machine.
 
Process
Aspects of a manufacturing operation, such as moulding or extrusion, that are directly related to the physical transformation of the material.
 
Properties
The physical characteristics of materials that may be used to differentiate plastics among themselves and other materials.
 
Reinforced plastics
Plastic materials that have added reinforcing materials, such as glass fibres or mats.
 
Resin
A synonym for "polymer."
 
Screw
A shaft with flights, confined within a barrel, that conveys material from a hopper to a die or a mould. The material is plasticized during this process through a combination of mechanical "shear" heating and external heat provided by band heaters around the barrel.
 
Shot
A precise amount of molten plastic material introduced into a mould during the injection moulding process.
 
Sheet moulding compound
A ready-to-mould fibreglass reinforced polyester material used for compression moulding.
 
Strip heater
A flat electric resistance heater.
 
Thermoplastics
Plastic resins that can be repeatedly softened by heating, shaped by flow into articles by moulding or extrusion, and hardened.
 
Thermosets
Plastic resins that are hardened or "cured" by an irreversible chemical reaction that creates strong cross-links between the polymer molecules. Once formed, thermosets cannot be re-melted without degrading the resin.
 
Three Rs (3Rs)
The reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
 
Virgin materials
Any raw material intended for industrial processing that has not been previously used.
 

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