October 29, 2009
Filed under: Sell This Product
Products that are safe for the environment don’t have to cost a premium. In-house recycled materials can improve cost-effectiveness and offer big savings.
When Garyline (asi/55990) started molding plastic necktie hangers with recycled plastic in the 1960s, nobody knew recycled would become one of the biggest trends in the industry. The supplier has always molded about 10% of its product.
Scott Denny, vice president, says the company used to collect all the runners, trimmings and rejects in the molding department to be re-ground and recycled. This first-use, primary recycling is food-safe and can be used in housewares such as sports bottles and auto mugs, which are Garyline’s best-selling recycled products. In addition to bottles and mugs, the company offers tote bags, chip clips, ice scrapers, flyers, yo-yos, first aid cases, clipboards, rulers and many other products.
Although many manufacturers sell off the recycled material for use in park benches, flower pots or garbage cans, Garyline began recycling its own plastic 40 years ago as a way to improve competitiveness. “We have always been among the lowest-cost producers because we do not lose 10%-15% of our raw material to waste,” Denny says.
Today, many of the supplier’s products are available made of only recycled materials at costs equal to or less than their non-recycled versions. Expanding the company’s color selection has also improved sales of recycled products.
Garyline prides itself on remaining on the leading edge of technological developments in the industry. In 2008, it began offering sports bottles made of clean, food-safe, re-crystallized, post-consumer recycled PET at a cost comparable to virgin PET. Denny says the company recycled the equivalent of 12 million disposable one-use soda, juice and water bottles into reusable, recyclable sports bottles. And in 2009, the company began purchasing food-safe, post-consumer-recycled HDPE, and from this material, they have developed a 100% post-consumer recycled bike bottle.
“Everyone is concerned for the environment,” Denny says. “Using recycled plastics, especially post-consumer recycled plastics and reusable products that replace disposable products, is a great way to do something to help the environment.”
Most people want eco-friendly options without having to pay a premium. Denny says the higher cost for recycled materials is largely due to many manufacturers and importers who see the popularity of “green” promotional products as an opportunity to cash in. By recycling its own materials, Garyline is able to charge the same for recycled materials.
As a primary manufacturer with all processes under one roof, the supplier can fill large orders in a short lead time. For example, the company can mold and print more than 25,000 units per day of its 20-oz. recycled bike bottle. All its recycled products are made in the USA, and the supplier has independent laboratory tests for all materials and inks and CPSIA certificates of compliance on file for all of its products.
The purchasing manager for a large corporation was “appalled” by the waste and cost of disposable coffee cups used in their many offices around the country. This company was concerned with the economy and was implementing many cost-cutting programs. They were looking everywhere for savings. They purchased a reusable, recycled auto mug for everyone in the company. They sent an effective message that wastefulness was bad for the company and the environment.
From the 2009 Advantages September Supplement.