Investing in Our Commitment to Sustainability
At Marshall-Tufflex we have spearheaded the use of recycled PVC-U in cable management products and have committed to encouraging others to follow suit. Our vision is that by 2028 all cable management products installed in buildings are manufactured using at least 50% recycled materials.
We have been using recycled material in the manufacturing of our products for over 25 years and we continue to review and refine our own manufacturing processes. We do this to improve our own impact on the environment and reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. As such, throughout 2022 we were able to manufacture our products using an average of 69% recycled materials. What’s more, some products such as our white mini and maxi trunking lengths are regularly manufactured using between 80 and 100% recycled material.
As demand for recycled PVC-U material increases we want to ensure as a company we are always in a position to deliver products made from recycled material, and meet demand. To do this we have invested in key machinery, equipment and improved our own knowledge to deliver high-quality recycled PVC-U products.
Fundamental to our production process is our plastic compounder. When running 24/5 we are regularly producing around 350 – 400 tonnes of recycled pellets a month.
How does the compounder work?
The job of a compounding machine is to prepare plastics to the desired properties ready for manufacturing. To feed the compounder, we procure a mixture of post-consumer and post-industrial waste windows from recyclers in the form of white granules or powder.
Our compounder then removes impurities and turns the PVC-U into uniform pellets ready for use in our extrusion machines. It does this by heating the recycled material and forcing it through a fine-mesh filter to collect impurities such as metal, rubber and non-PVC-U particles that shouldn’t be in the plastic.
At Marshall-Tufflex we know that there is often a misconception that recycled materials may not offer the strength, quality or colour consistency as virgin materials. That is why we undertake strict quality control measures to ensure all of our recycled products are high quality and uniform in colour and the same quality as you would expect from products produced from virgin plastic. Colour checks and visual impurity checks are carried out regularly to ensure the finished pellets conform to the Marshall-Tufflex and REACH quality standards. Read more about how we do this here.
Benefits for you and the planet
The recycled PVC-U content Marshall-Tufflex uses for its cable trunking and conduit originates from PVC-U window frame production and post consumer waste from windows removed from buildings at the end of their lives. As PVC-U window frames are designed to withstand external elements and manufactured with a superior grade of plastic, this material holds the same properties as it processes through our own production line. This results in a high quality, robust product that will not discolour or fade.
The construction industry is currently one of the largest contributors of waste going to landfill sites and the largest user of natural resources. It is therefore clear to see why the construction industry as a whole needs to adopt a better approach to using products made from recycled materials. A simple change can make a big impact.