Environmental conservation and recycled promotional products can be confusing. There is much room for improvement in the recycled & eco-friendly promotional product industry, and EPP is a conduit for helping make educated choices that are eco friendly.
What are PMS Colors? What is the Pantone Chart?
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone numbering system to identify colors without direct contact with one another. The most commonly referenced colors are in the Pantone solids palette. The Pantone Solids palette has 1,114 colors, identified by 3 or 4 numbers, followed by a C, U, or M suffix.
To View the Pantone Chart Click Here
What numbers are you recycling?
Take a look at your water bottle, egg carton, Or shampoo; Do you see a recycling symbol with anumber? Did you recognize that all products hold different numbers? What exactly do these numbers mean?
PET or PETE stands for polyethylene terephtalate. You will see this number on soft drinks, water or beer bottles, mouthwash containers, peanut butter, salad dressing, and more. These products are the most common for single-used products, i.e. beverage bottles. PET plastic is low cost, lightweight, and simple to recycle. These products also have a low risk of discharging breakdown products. Despite the importance and demand of PET plastics its recycling rate is only at 20%.
HDPE indicates a product that has a high density of polyethylene.
This symbol is found on milk jugs, juice bottles, trash and shopping bags, detergents, household cleaners, shampoos, cereal boxes, motor oil bottles, and much more. What classifies these products into HDPE is their ability to have multiple uses mainly in packaging; they also bear low risks of emitting the decomposition of products.
Number 3 plastics show either a V (Vinyl) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). You will find this number on window cleaners, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, medical equipment, piping and much more. Unfortunately PVC plastics are rarely recycled because they contain chlorine and can emit dangerous dioxins. Although, they PVC plastics are not recycled as much they are accepted by plastic lumber makers in order to make things like decks, paneling, and speed bumps.
LDPE plastics represent low density polyethylene. Number 4 plastics can be seen in squeezable bottles, frozen food, tote bags, clothing, bread, dry cleaning and shopping bags. LDPE is a flexible plastic that can be recycled in multiple things like compost bins, shipping envelopes, landscaping ties, and floor tile but in America it isn’t recycled often.
In number 5 plastics, the PP represents polypropylene. The initials will mainly be seen on syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, bottle caps, medicine bottles, and some yogurt containers. All of these products have a high melting point which is why PP products are often used to hold hot liquids.
Number 6 plastics have a PS on products because they contain polystyrene. PS plastics can be found in disposable plates and cups, egg cartons, carry-out containers, CD cases, and meat trays. PS products are used to make several foam products. In spite of the many uses of number 6 plastics, they can also emit toxins into food. Environmentalists have disapproved of Styrofoam, as it is highly difficult to recycle and its disbursement is in great numbers.
The last plastics you will come across are Miscellaneous. Number 7 plastics are seen mainly in 3 and 5 gallon water bottles, bullet proof materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod cases, computer cases, and more. The seventh category is made up of products that cannot be placed into any other plastic category. Some number 7 plastics are made of plants (polyactide) and others are made of plastics (polycarbonate).
The products that you recycle can greatly benefit or harm the environment you live in. Knowing the meaning of each recycling symbol can help you take one step to positively influence the planet. By taking an extra few seconds to look on a ketchup bottle, shopping bag, soda can, or cereal box and recognizing its number, you may decide to consume fewer products with 5, 6, or 7 and purchase more within 1-4. Maybe you’ll be at the store and you want to by a few CDs, a 24 pack of water bottles, and window cleaner. As you are picking out these products you read the number 6 on the CD case and decide you can just download the songs you want onto your ipod; then you remember that even though most water bottles have a number 1 only 20% of PET plastics are recycled, so you select reusable water bottles; and lastly you come across the window cleaner and recall that it is classified as a number 3 recyclable but is known for emitting dangerous dioxins, thus you pick out an Eco-friendly window cleaner that contains less toxins and ultimately bettering the environment.
What is Fair Trade Certified?
Fair Trade helps farming families across Latin America, Africa and Asia to improve the quality of life in their communities. As a non-profit, TransFair depends on the support of people like you to grow this work.
Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
Fair Trade Principles:
- Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
- Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
- Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
- Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
What is GOTS Certified?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers can become certified according to GOTS. All chemical inputs s.a. dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria and also the choice of accessories is limited under ecological aspects. The key criteria of GOTS, its quality assurance system and the principles of the review and revision procedure are summarized in this section.
What is RoHS Compliant?
The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment. Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component.
What is ISO14001 Certification?
The ISO 14000 environmental management standards exist to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment. The major objective of the ISO 14000 series of norms is "to promote more effective and efficient environmental management in organizations and to provide useful and usable tools - ones that are cost effective, system-based, flexible and reflect the best organizations and the best organizational practices available for gathering, interpreting and communicating environmentally relevant information."
What is the FSC – Forest Stewardship Council Certification?
- FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.
- Established in 1993 as a response to concerns over global deforestation, FSC is widely regarded as one of the most important initiatives of the last decade to promote responsible forest management worldwide.
- FSC provides internationally recognized standard-setting, trademark assurance andaccreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry.
- The FSC label provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value.
- FSC is nationally represented in more than 50 countries around the world.
What are the benefits of:
- Bamboo takes in more greenhouse gases and produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Bamboo is more adaptable to different types of environments than other softwoods
- Economic studies have shown that by developing more uses for bamboo, there is the potential to provide income, food and housing to more than 2.2 billion people worldwide.
- Using Bamboo allows us to re-green degraded areas hit by natural or man-made disasters.
- Bamboo does not require a large amount of pesticides to grow, it is naturally irrigated.
- Bamboo plants can grow up to 36 in. in one day and can be fully grown in less than 4 years; as it grows bamboo develops more CO2 and releases 35% more oxygen into the air
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) was passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bush on Aug. 14, 2008. CPSIA is designed to allow The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to better regulate the safety of products made and imported for sale in the U.S. CPSIA also requiring manufacturers and importers to show that these products do not have harmful levels of lead and phthalates. his can include used and vintage products. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) will allow thrift stores to dodge lead testing on their current inventories, but still highly recommends that they not sell products that are likely to contain high levels of lead, and still maintains that selling those products is not legal per CPSIA.
To Read More about the CPSIA Click Here
What are the benefits of:
- Corn Plastic - Polylactic Acid (PLA)
- Made from a renewable resource & considered "Carbon Neutral" comes from renewable, carbon-absorbing plants
- Starting to be less expensive due to high oil prices
- Producing PLA uses 65% less energy to produce than Plastic (Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
- Generates 68% fewer greenhouse gases versus PET
- Will not emit toxic fumes when incinerated
- Compostable under "controlled composting environment".
- Organic Cotton Versus Conventional Cotton
Eco Promotional Products, Inc. is dedicated to providing products that are safe for our people and the environment. Studies have shown organically grown cotton is beautiful, comfortable, sturdy, while minimizing harm to people and planet.
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Unfortunately U.S. production only makes up 3.06% of global organic cotton production. With the growing interest in environmentally safe organic cotton, together we can help build the demand and therefore production.
Uses untreated seeds
Never uses GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds
Typically treats seeds with fungicides or insecticides
Uses GMO seeds for approximately 70% of US-grown cotton
Builds strong soil through crop rotation
Retains water more efficiently thanks to increased organic matter in the soil
Applies synthetic fertilizers
Loss of soil due to predominantly mono-crop culture
Requires intensive irrigation
Physical removal rather than chemical destruction
Controls weeds through cultivation and hand hoeing
Applies herbicides to soil to inhibit weed germination
Repeatedly uses herbicides to kill weeds that do grow
Maintains a balance between "pests" and their natural predators through healthy soil
Uses beneficial insects biological and cultural practices to control pests
May use trap crops planted to lure insects away from cotton
Uses insecticides heavily, accounting for approximately 25% of world consumption
Uses pesticides: the nine most common are highly toxic; five are probable carcinogens
Frequently uses aerial spraying, with potential drift onto farm workers, neighboring wildlife and communities
Relies mostly on the seasonal freeze for defoliation
May stimulate defoliation through water management
Defoliates with toxic chemicals
Sources Used: www.aboutorganiccotton.org, www.ota.org,www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/recycling-symbols-plastics-460321, http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/bamboo.shtm,
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt172.shtm, http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-avoid-trouble-if-using-bamboo-fabrics/, http://www.obermeyernaturals.com/Benefits-of-Bamboo-sp-33.html, http://babyproducts.about.com/od/recallsandsafety/f/CPSIA.htm, http://www.fsc.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_14000, http://www.rohscompliancedefinition.com/, http://www.global-standard.org/, http://www.transfairusa.org/content/about/,
http://www.qcalliance.org/details.html, http://www.ppiblog.com/?201-what-are-pms-colors, http://www.colorguides.net/pantone.html