Product Details Supplier Info More products

Axion Polymers has revealed that its high-grade recycled polystyrene made from waste fridge plastic is being used to manufacture sustainable pencils.

Stationery product manufacturer BIC is using Axpoly PS01, sourced from post-consumer fridge plastic in its Ecolution range of sustainable wood-free pencils.

Made entirely from recycled polystyrene, the pencil’s casing looks and behaves like conventional cedar wood.

This means the pencil can be sharpened in a conventional pencil sharpener and does not splinter.

Although a wooden pencil is essentially ’renewable’, using slow-growing trees to make a short-life, consumable product is not a sustainable solution.

Furthermore, the traditional manufacturing process to produce a graphite-leaded, wooden pencil is slow and involves high levels of wood waste.

BIC introduced the all-plastic pencil using a co-extrusion process for both the ’lead’ and outer body 10 years ago.

More recently, it replaced the virgin polymers with recycled plastics.

Axion worked with Ineos Styrenics, a manufacturer of polystyrene resins, to develop an approved specification for BIC that met various environmental and regulatory standards and fulfilled the manufacturer’s requirement for a cost-effective ’green’ product that would appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

By using Axion’s Axpoly PS01, up to 640 pencils can be made from one typical UK recycled fridge.

Axion calculates BIC saves 2,300 tonnes in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually by using recycled polystyrene in place of virgin to manufacture its Ecolution pencils.

Keith Freegard, director at Axion, said: ’The recycled plastic pencil is a good example of the closed-loop recycling of one widely used household product into another.

’Disposable plastic items, such as pens, pencils and razors made from virgin polymer, have been with us for some years.

’With general raised awareness of sustainability and recyclability issues, the next logical step was to make these plastics more sustainable – hence the use of a fully recycled polymer from fridges.

’As a technically demanding yet practical product, the pencil also highlights the versatility and innovation of current plastics processing technologies,’ he added.

Axion uses the pencils as promotional items.

It is developing new applications for its Axpoly range of recycled materials in automotive, consumer electronics and household products.

Axion Recycling Ltd was formed in 2001 by directors Keith Freegard and Roger Morton to develop and operate innovative processing solutions for recycling waste materials. Axion Polymers and Axion Consulting are two companies that have grown out of this business.

Axion Polymers' state-of-the-art factory in Salford processes waste plastics from WEEE primary treatment plants into high grade polymers. Based in Bramhall, Stockport, Axion Consulting was created in response to increased demand from a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries for the practical development of new processing and collection methods.

Axion Polymers supplies polystyrenes and polyolefins under two brand names: Axplas and Axpoly. Axplas covers a range of general-purpose recycled plastics for less demanding applications. The Axpoly brand refers to technically specified polymer grades that satisfy more demanding extrusion and injection-moulding requirements.

Customers can select exactly the correct grade of recyclate for their individual requirements. This also provides greater confidence in product quality and its ultimate performance in new recycled goods; whether that is for compost bins, pipes or plasma TV stands. Polymers are supplied with datasheets providing technical specifications and product safety information.

Axion Consulting’s disciplines cover all aspects of waste recycling: from practical trials and process development for new recycling processes to more general chemical process design development.

View full profile