PHOENIX - ITW Angleboard has established two lines processing commingled waste plastic and paper into its Cornerboard-brand products, nearly a year after starting operations in Phoenix. The product is relatively new, said Dominic Curro III, general manager of the facility. ITW bought the technology and product line from Sonoco Products Co. of Hartsville, S.C., three years ago. An ITW sister plant in Hartsville also produces the Cornerboard, which is used to protect large, bulky packaging against damage from strapping or heavy weight.
ITW opened the Phoenix facility in September to serve its Western region customers.
Typically, angle board is produced using layers of paper glued together and then bent at a right angle to create a multi-ply, corner protection system for packaging. ITW's Cornerboard uses recycled plastic and paper for its core, in a proprietary process that blends the two materials for lightweight, strong, water-resistant shipping protection.
The firm is interested in any industrial waste material with a high content of polyethylene.
Bales of post-industrial low density PE - such as grocery and trash bags, bread bags and stretch wrap, and some high density PE such as milk, juice or laundry products containers - come into the plant from various sources.
The process also accommodates scrap-paper products laminated with plastic.
The materials are flaked and extruded. The finished product is allowed to cool and is cut into required lengths.
ITW encourages its individual business units to seek out methods and products incorporating post-industrial and post-consumer materials, according to Mike Lynch, director of public affairs for ITW Angleboard at its Glenview, Ill., headquarters.
Both the Hartsville and Phoe-nix facilities look for material that generally does not enjoy a market, Lynch said.
``They take materials others don't want to touch, that has very low value, such as stretch wrap off of pallets that might have paint or labels on it, and make it into a viable product,'' he said.