Plastics on the board!

Writing utensils, notebooks, kits, rulers… the objects of our daily school life have greatly evolved over the last 50 years. The plastics industry, in particular, has found a nice outlet in schools, as have more noble and traditional materials. Thus, leather bags and gold fountain pens have gradually given way to polyester bags and synthetic resin nibs.

The 70’s also marked the arrival of the ballpoint pen: “2 kilometers of writing for a weight of 5.9g”, this was the promise of this technological innovation whose hexagonal body and fixed cartridge are respectively made of polypropylene and polystyrene. A tool that even today maintains a strong popularity due to its practicality and simplicity.

The diversity of the polymers used is the result of the manufacturers’ desire to achieve sustainable and innovative technical performance. Thus, fountain pens now have a synthetic resin or acrylic nib that is both light and resistant. Felt pens are made of an acrylic fiber and resin tip. Polypropylene-based plastic covers have replaced newsprint wrappers, and latex erasers are giving way to PVC-based erasers.

The shapes, colors, and models are multiplying in the aisles of stores and in the binders of our schoolchildren. However, the predominance of these materials is gradually raising environmental and health safety issues that are forcing producers to reorient their marketing strategy towards quality rather than originality and performance.

How does FILAB support manufacturers in bringing their products into compliance with these societal challenges?

Despite the lack of formal regulations on this subject, manufacturers are now focusing on more environmentally friendly ranges, with the introduction of refillable products and those made from recycled plastics. The “made in France” is also sought by producers and consumers.

The coatings or varnishes of writing materials, often “nibbled” by their users, have also been the subject of special developments by producers to reduce the risks of harm. Indeed, some substances in plastics can be recognized as harmful agents such as phthalates, formaldehyde or other volatile solvents.

At FILAB, we help our clients who wish to engage in a substitution process by proposing solutions based on experiences shared with other manufacturers or identified in the scientific literature.  We offer tailor-made, step-by-step support projects, from the bibliographic study to the co-creation of new substances, in order to provide our clients with the benefits they are looking for in the development of a new product:

– a safer chemical substance,

– a more ecological substance,

– an innovation,

– a time saving,

– a gain in productivity…

Faced with REACH regulations, which restrict or even prohibit the use of certain hazardous substances in everyday products, FILAB also provides its expertise in the control of materials or substances used in your products:

Analysis of the chemical composition of raw materials
Search for impurities: heavy metals, residual solvents, degradation products, etc.
Identification of deposits or particles
Release testing
Development and transfer of analytical methods
etc…

Towards an eco-responsible school year, let’s continue to develop together the plastic supplies of tomorrow: sustainable, economical, healthy and innovative!

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support

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