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Sustainable Material Alternatives In Manufacturing

As technology has advanced, so too has manufacturing and the various processes involved. The result is more innovative and efficient means of production across almost every field. The materials that are consumed in these various applications have also expanded and become more sophisticated. That being said, there is a lot of room for improvement within these different aspects of manufacturing, especially in terms of sustainability and minimizing the environmental impact of material sourcing.

Due to the fact that many of our planet’s natural resources are finite and on the road towards depletion, much must be done to reduce the sheer unsustainable level of global consumption in the construction and manufacturing industries.

First, to reduce the depletion of natural resources, manufacturers must turn to more thoughtful material choices and rely on renewable resources as much as possible. For instance, for those working with plastics, this may mean prioritizing the use of bioplastics over petroleum-based plastics, or petroplastics. As petroplastics are produced using non-renewable crude oil, they have an immense carbon footprint.

Bioplastics on the other hand are either partially or entirely derived from natural byproducts or renewable biomass materials. Another material alternative that is better for the environment is specialized powder coating. Used at the end of production for surface finishing, environmentally conscious coating facilities have made the switch from iron phosphate to zinc phosphate chemicals, which contain no volatile organic compounds. The result is a safer product to work with, with fewer harmful emissions being introduced into the environment.

For further examples of eco-friendlier manufacturing materials, please see the accompanying resource.


Infographic created by Rhinehart Finishing, a leader in industrial powder coating services

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