We know this theme isn’t directly related to 3D printing and custom gifts, we hope that one or two of our ideas will make others think and act. Although Manubim is basically a small business yet, there are still many opportunities where we can focus on protecting our environment. And now come the few areas where we are trying to be environmentally conscious.
1.) 3D printing is additive manufacturing practically no waste material generated during the process
3D printing is also called an additive manufacturing process. This means that the product is built layer by layer, so it has the advantage that virtually no waste material is generated compared to subtractive (extraction) processes such as lathes, drills, CNCs, lasers, and vinyl cutters. We once measured waste generated about 1 gram after printing 24 cookie cutters, which, considering that the total weight of cookie cutters was 264 grams is less than 0.4% waste. So, we could easily say that the more orders we have - that is, the more products we can 3D print with one printer at a time - the less waste we produce.
2.) Use of PLA (bioplastic) biodegradable plastic
Many people know plastics as an environmental pollutant. This is true, but there is PLA (polylactic acid), often referred to as bioplastic, because it is biodegradable, thermoplastic, and produced from plants (mainly cereals with a high starch content). Fortunately, one of our 3D printing technologies uses this PLA bioplastic. Although our web store selection also includes metal and so-called composite powder products, based on our 2020 data, 83.5% of orders are already made of PLA bioplastic.
3.) Replacing the material of our products
The above-mentioned high rate of 83.5% is already due to the fact that last year, where possible, we started to change the material of some of our products from, for example, composite powder to PLA plastic. We would like to continue this year as well, and we are also planning most of the new models from this material. We have set a target of approaching 90% during 2021.
4.) Paying attention to the packaging
A. Plastic packers are recycled
Although we do not like plastic bubble wraps due to their environmental polluting nature, unfortunately, we also get a lot of them as “by-products” of the raw materials and other packages we order. We have two options: either we collect them discarded selectively or we recycle them for packaging our boxed products. We chose the latter, so in 2020 we bought 0, meaning zero plastic packaging filler material, thus reducing unnecessary plastic production. We hope that our customers who receive them will also be able to recycle or selectively dispose of them.
B. Recycling of paper boxes
Although it is less polluting, the situation is the same as with bubble wraps, we also get quite a few paper boxes with the packages we order. So here, too, we had two options, either collecting and disposing of them selectively, or recycling them and using them for packaging. We chose the latter, so in 2020 the boxed packages were approx. 15% was recycled. Of course, we could call this unpretentious, but think about it, because our boxes are not gift boxes, so we consider it completely unnecessary and wasteful to throw away these boxes.
C. Using ECO (FSC certified) air cushion envelopes
From the very beginning, our smaller products (eg custom keychains) have been packed and delivered in so-called FSC-certified (raw material is from environmentally conscious controlled forest management) air-cushioned envelopes.
D. Using new paper tape
Our latest step is that from 2021, we have also replaced the plastic-based adhesive tape used to pack boxes with environmentally friendly, 100% paper adhesive tape.
We hope that with these few small steps, we can also help protect our environment.
Be environmentally conscious too!