Vantage Plastics: On the Leading Edge of Plastic Recycling
Modern day consumers and businesses depend on plastic every day to make lives easier, better, safer. But it’s no secret that plastics are often not viewed favorably by environmentalists and are often turned into political fodder. In the case of certain consumer plastics this has some justification. However, when it comes to the industrial products made by Vantage Plastics this is way off base. Vantage Plastics, in conjunction with sister company Edge Materials Management, is doing something to prevent plastics from ending up in the environment. Products made by Vantage Plastics are not only reusable typically over multiple years but the materials in the products are recyclable for reuse in new products. To encourage this Vantage Plastics has a guaranteed buyback program. Typically industrial buyers are buying fleets or large quantities of products for material handling purposes. If these fleets become obsolete Vantage Plastics’ guarantee can provide a source for the customer to sell the fleet back to Vantage Plastics for its material value. Once it is acquired Edge Material Management will clean and reprocess the material so it can be re-extruded by AirPark Plastics into a format that can be used by Vantage Plastics to form entirely new products. This recycling process can continue almost indefinitely thus creating an environmentally favorable and sustainable system.
A Three-Pronged Mission to Form a Sustainable Future
Vantage Plastics operates within the perspective of a three-pronged mission, one prong of which is to form a sustainable future. Vantage is very conscious of recycling and reusability. They put this into action as indicated by guaranteeing to buy back any plastic products they have manufactured for a customer once the product’s useful life has ended.
This buy-back program is supported by Edge Materials Management. Edge is an affiliate of Vantage committed to sustainability and creating a circular economy both for industrial and consumer plastic goods.
Recycling Plastics Far and Wide from the Post-Industrial Market
Edge Materials Management is devoted to recycling. They not only reuse “off-fall” from Vantage operations and support the reprocessing of bought back plastics from Vantage customers, but they also go out into the post-industrial market to purchase and recycle plastics. They then grind those plastics and repelletize them for use in Vantage Plastics thermoformed products. The effort is a quadruple win:
- a win for Edge
- a win for the customer
- a win for the environment
- a win for Vantage Plastics
Edge does this not only locally in Michigan, but nationwide. And beyond.
Helping Clean Up the Oceans
Edge is now even investigating an initiative to utilize plastics recovered from earth’s oceans. The effort is supported by the Canadian government. It seeks to capture and recycle old plastic buoys, fishing lines, fishing nets, oyster baskets, beach, and other marine plastics along the western shores of North America.
Studies estimate there are now 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans — from the equator to the poles, from Arctic ice sheets to the sea floor. Not one square mile of surface ocean anywhere on earth is free of plastic pollution. The problem is growing into a crisis.
Edge Materials Management is working to be part of the solution.
Edge Materials Management is Unique and Impactful
In the plastics industry, Edge Materials Management is a unique entity. They are one of only a handful of plastic manufacturing affiliate companies to actively pursue plastic recycling. Other manufacturers use recycled plastics, but not many go out and actively seek, collect, guarantee to buy back and repurpose it.
In an average year, Vantage Plastics processes 50 million pounds of plastic to make thermoformed parts. Roughly half that – 24 million pounds – recycled plastics from Edge Materials Management.
Putting the Emphasis on ‘Materials’
Edge Materials Management is purposely named as a “materials management” company. That’s because they do more than just recycle. They help large industrial companies – their biggest customer base – effectively manage their investment in plastic shipping and storage materials.
As an example, if an automotive customer purchases 200,000 pallets from Vantage and at some point they become obsolete, the customer can sell that material back to Vantage for the value of the material or they can have Edge convert it so Vantage Plastics can make new products for them with the material they already own. That does several things:
- keeps the material out of landfills (at 20 pounds each, 200,000 pallets weigh 4 million pounds)
- earn customers a return on their materials investment
- allow Vantage to repurpose that material