Axion Polymers has developed a new variant of its high-grade recycled polymer – Axpoly r-PS01 – derived from waste fridge plastic that is delivering extra user benefits in toys and other similar applications.
Recent substantial orders for the 100% recycled polymer are testament to the award-winning Salford-based plastic recyclers’ ability to satisfy stringent British Standard testing to BS EN 71-3, which covers the specification for migration of certain elements from within the plastics used to mould components of toys.
The BS EN 71 Toy Safety standard deals with every aspect of toy safety from flammability and toxicity, to their potential to trap clothing or injure a child physically. The standard also provides the detail which underpins the new EU Toy Safety Directive. Axion’s polymer has been externally tested to verify its compliance with the ‘chemical migration’ tests that form part of the standard.
The BSI states that ‘ensuring safety requirements and standards keep up with the latest toy trends is vital, especially as new materials and manufacturing processes are constantly being developed’.
Having already successfully used its PS01 post-consumer fridge polystyrene in millions of plastic extruded pencils, Axion has recently supplied 120 tonnes to a Far Eastern producer for a moulding application in the promotional gift industry. The items included a spinning top and collectable grocery miniatures. While the individual items are low in mass, the sheer number of units being placed onto the market creates a significant need for a specialist polymer to satisfy the application.
Speaking after a recent visit to their customer in Dongguan, Axion Director Keith Freegard said: "Proving the EN 71 standard had been met was the key order winning aspect for the ultimate customer of the moulder, a large supermarket chain in central Europe. They had insisted that the moulder used a plastic that was both ‘recycled’ and able to meet the European toy standards. Axpoly r-PS01 was the only material available that ‘hit the spot’ on both counts, so we won the order on that basis.
"As a result, we have high hopes that our recycled white polymer, which can be coloured to any desired shade, will gain wider acceptance and welcome enquiries from other product manufacturers in the toy or promotional gift market," he added.
Steve Bell, Axion’s Commercial Operation Manager, said Axion is now working to satisfy the revised specifications for the Toy Safety standard, which are due to be announced in July.
He said: "When we supplied Axpoly r-PS01 to a global stationery product manufacturer for its range of sustainable splinter-free pencils, we had to satisfy the toy standards because people put them in their mouths and chew them.
"It was also important to meet this specification for Marks & Spencer as PS01 was used as a direct replacement for virgin ABS in their new Solutions gift range. Because the polymer is sourced from fridge linings that come into contact with food, it would never have contained any potentially harmful heavy metals from the outset, making it ideal for ‘closed-loop’ re-use in new items, such as toys, gifts and gadgets."
Axion Polymers won the Supplier Partnership: Polymer Producer award in the prestigious Plastics Industry Awards 2012 and was also Highly Commended in the Consumer Product Design of the Year category for the use of its Axpoly PS01 in the Solutions collection.
Featuring a magnifying glass, key-light, 2-in-1 ice scraper and torch card, the range’s packaging contains the ‘I used to be a fridge’ strapline, highlighting the products’ ‘green’ credentials to purchasers.
Axion Polymers is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries on the practical development of new processing and collection methods.