Plastic Regrind: What Is It and Why Should I Care?

Every industry has its own terminology not necessarily understood by outsiders. Plastics recycling is no different. For example, do you know what plastic regrind is? Unless you have a need to purchase it, probably not. Yet we want you to know what it is so that you remember to come to Seraphim Plastics if you are ever in need of regrind.

The word ‘regrind’ is more or less slang for post-industrial regrind. Whenever we speak about it in terms of our own business, we are talking about industrial plastics. This is an important distinction because regrind exists in the consumer world as well. The keyword in both types of plastic is ‘regrind’.

Ground-Up Plastics

We call the material regrind because it consists of ground plastics from accumulated waste. We take the industrial plastic waste and grind it into usable material. Regrind can be reintroduced into the manufacturing process at a plastics plant, for example.

Some plastics plants do this very thing onsite. They grind up plastic waste and add the material back into the production flow. In so doing, they save money and reduce their waste volume. But there is a caveat. Regrind has already been through the injection molding process once. Depending on the properties of the plastic in question, reground material may not offer the same quality or integrity.

The end result is that many new products cannot be made entirely from regrind. The recycled material has to be mixed in with virgin plastic to maintain product integrity. However, it should be noted that this is less of a problem for industrial plastics due to their higher purity.

Where Regrind Comes From

The plastic waste we turn into regrind comes from two sources. There are many rejected parts produced by plastics manufacturers. These are parts with blemishes, incomplete molding, or incorrect specifications. There’s no point in throwing them out, so they get recycled.

The other source is scrap waste. For example, consider an injection molding machine that produces plastic crates. The complexity of the mold results in a lot of flashing attached to molded parts. That flashing is removed before a crate is sent down the line.

Flashing, runners, moils, etc. all constitute a waste. But it can be recycled through grinding. We buy such waste from plastics manufacturers all the time. We then grind it down and pass it through a series of ferrous and nonferrous metal detectors, along with magnets, to guarantee that the finished material is free of contaminants.

What It Means to You

Now that you know what regrind is, let’s talk about why you should care. The availability of plastic regrind could mean different things depending on your position. Let us start with plastic manufacturers and their propensity for producing waste.

If you operate a plastics plant, what do you do with the waste you produce? A lack of in-house grinding capabilities suggests you send your waste to a landfill. We offer a better solution. We will actually pay you for your plastic waste. Why send it to a landfill when you can make money on it instead?

On the other hand, your company might be looking for less expensive recycled materials for manufacturing new plastic parts. Mixing a bit of regrind with virgin plastic fits your plan. Well, we might sell the very kind of regrind you’re looking for. The only way to know is to contact us and ask.

Plastic regrind is essentially ground-up plastic waste that can be repurposed. It is one of the products we sell to customers all across the country.