Tips on Recycling Signs and Banners

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eSigns is an Eco Friendly conscience printer and wants to help better educate our print customers with education and advice on how to properly recycle and / or re-use the signage we print. In doing so, we have put together this helpful sign recycling guide that will not only educate our customers in which sign materials are best recyclable, but even for the substrates that are not ideally recyclable, how best these products can be re-used.

Corrugated Yard Signs Made From 100% Recyclable Polypropylene Coroplast

Corrugated plastic substrates for printed signs are made from polypropylene and polyethylene and are two of the more easily recyclable plastics manufactured on our planet. Polypropylene known as PP is a #5 plastic. It is a highly stable thermoplastic polymer, making Polypropylene very suitable for a sign material due to its adaptive qualities when exposed to the outdoor elements. Because of its chemically inert and neutral pH qualities, this material is also highly resistant to solvents without degrading, making them perfect for the inks we used to print the signage our customers need.

Corrugated polypropylene signage is 100% recyclable, and can be taken to any locally based recycling facility. Although the process of recycling Coroplast signs is one of the more easy sign products to recycle, always remember to remove any accessories such as hanging clips or stakes, and metal or plastic inserted grommets.

Recycling Rigid Signs Made From Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl PVC

PVC  is classified as #3 on the plastic recycling scale, and is widely used due to its durability over time. In fact, PVC plastic can last up to 30 years even in outdoor conditions making this substrate a very durable material for printed rigid signs.

PVC is recycled through mechanical recycling or through what is known as Feed-stock recycling. The mechanical recycling process grinds PVC into tiny granules known as recyclate, which can be melted down and remolded into different products. Feedstock recycling is more of a chemical process used to heat PVC in order to reduce the plastic back into its original chemical components.

Recycling PVC presents many challenges, including the fact that PVC contains a high chlorine content. High levels of hazardous additives are added to PVC in order to obtain the rigid material quality PVC is known for. Unfortunately this requires that all PVC materials need to be separated from other plastics before recycling making PVC more difficult to recycle. This is one of the reasons eSigns recommends using Coroplast for all political campaign signs opposed to using PVC campaign signage.

PVC, if not recycled will end up in America's land fills and will eventually degrade, releasing many dangerous and toxic chemicals into our environment that are associated to many health risks.

Re-using Scrim Vinyl That is Used to Print Vinyl Banners

Using vinyl banners in order to announce an event or advertise outdoors is an essential and highly economic medium.  It is by far, one of the more effective ways to communicate to a directed targeted audience in an outdoor setting for which there is really no substitute for a Vinyl Banner's effectiveness. However, when it comes to recycling, scrim vinyl used in the construction of a vinyl banner is not recyclable in terms of breaking down the components used to make scrim vinyl and re-use those plastics in newly manufactured products.

When printing banners, think about strategies that can be incorporated for re-using the same banner for recurring situations. As an example: for an event or seasonal message that will occur every year, think about designing your banner to best communicate your message where the banner's design can be used in the future. Try not to be theme specific by printing the year or date of an event, but keep your design's branding so the banner can be used next season or at a future event that is similar to the current event you are planning.

Other sustainable methods of banners we see customers printing is to design your banner with open areas within the design to accommodate any potential elements that may change. This process will enable you to append design elements on a more generically designed banner that could be used on multiple occasions for separate events and for seasonal use.

Once a vinyl banner has seen its last days due to wear and tear or the fact that the design has served its intended purpose, the choice is to either throw the banner away or to reuse the banner for an alternative purpose. If the banner is thrown away, it will eventually end up in your local landfill to stay forever. However, there are some great ideas on how to re-use vinyl banners that creative individuals are posting all over the Internet. Outdoor banners are waterproof, so using banners to line the roofs of storage sheds or awnings is a great idea. Vinyl banners are also being used to line the bottom of home gardens as weed inhibitors.

There are also many DIY projects on the Internet showing how to create incredibly durable tote bags with printed vinyl banners. In fact, there are some companies on the Internet, that you can send your vinyl banners to for this very purpose.

Doing Our Part For Sustainability

As we use products within our society for a variety of purposes in order to make our lives better, it is imperative that we are mindful of our environment and the betterment of future generations to come.

The world is continually striving on improving the sustainability of our environment, but there will always be continuous improvements in every sector of society that can and will be improved upon. We in the sign printing industry have seen great strides in terms of the recycling capabilities of the products our vendors offer in order to provide the valuable signage our customers use everyday to improve their lives and their businesses. However, there is more work to be done, and more education to be learned when it comes to the delicate balance of using signs in an Eco Friendly manner within our environment.

eSigns is dedicated in doing its part to ensure people everywhere continue to enjoy the tremendous benefits printed signage has to offer while ensuring we better educate ourselves and our customers in how to be better stewards for sustainability within our world.

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