There's good news for rubber and plastic products that have fallen through the cracks of the reusable revolution. Instead of letting them take up space in landfills, two companies hope to incorporate the products into the recycling mainstream. Boston-based GreenMan Technologies Inc. and Plastic Solutions of Texas Inc. of Dallas signed an agreement to promote the proprietary additive technology of commingling plastics and rubber, the firms said.
The worldwide licensing agreement with PSTI allows GreenMan to beef up its product line by substituting recycled rubber-plastic blends for high-end products that use plastic and thermoplastic materials.
The additive technology lets GreenMan blend rubber with a broader range of plastics than was previously possible - particularly in high-value-added end-product applications, said Maurice Needham, GreenMan chief executive officer.
``PSTI's technology also allows us to commingle, or blend, unrelated `families' of plastics,'' Needham said.
Another reason for the neglect of certain plastics has been that they are difficult to sort, said Cynthia Barker, GreenMan manager of corporate administration.
``With this technology, we can find a place for them in new products,'' Barker said. ``There has been a lot of evolution.''
By using rubber as a commingling agent, GreenMan can replace 35 cents to $1.60 per pound of virgin plastic materials with the company's recycled material blends, which cost about 15-60 cents per pound, according to Needham.
Incorporating the new technology, GreenMan is working on its GemStock-brand product line. The firm is scheduled to introduce its first GemStock trash can by the end of the year.