IPP Blog

IPP . . . YOU ASK . . . . WE ANSWER

At Industrial Plastics & Paints we take your questions seriously. Here you will find the answers to our most asked questions.

Compostable Bags

Compostable bags are made of natural plant starch, and do not produce any toxic material. Compostable bags break down readily in a composting system through microbial activity to form compost. 

 Which bin? Compostable bags can be used to line your kitchen caddy for collection of food scraps and then placed into the green lidded food and garden organics (FOGO) bin. Don't waste them in your general waste bin as they will not compost well in a landfill environment. Due to the relatively low production these bags a currently more costly than Polyethylene plastic bags, however they can be used as carry out bags for retail stores and end their life in your compost collection bin.

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Others Pail in Comparison - The Virtues of Plastic Pails

There are tons of types of containers, and there isn't a single one that can take care of all of them. What makes a container useful, however, is versatility. Of the containers regularly available for both private and industrial uses, the most versatile out there is arguably the plastic pail. This is a container that can pretty much do it all as far as regular jobs go, which is why we're always skeptical when we hear someone talking against them. Sometimes advice can be dead wrong, and here are some of the wrongest we've heard about plastic pails.

Plastic Pails aren't as Versatile as Other Containers

If anyone has ever told you that plastic pails aren't as versatile as other containers and because of this should be avoided, you need to avoid that person instead. Plastic pails are in fact one of the most flexible, versatile, and capable containers available, and that doesn't just mean for industrial uses, either. While containers like reconditioned steel drums and glass jars are great for their own functions, you'd be hard pressed to find a container that can handle as many different things as a plastic pail. Food grade plastic pails are commonplace in restaurants and hospitals, as well as in homes for large events. Plastic pails can also be prepared to be able to handle corrosive materials and other hazardous substances, if treated properly.

This of course is in addition to the industrial uses of plastic pails, from transporting to containing. However, what it can contain is as important as what it can do once it can no longer be used as a container.

They are Difficult to Take Care of After They Expire

This advice should be taken with an industrial sized grain of salt and a couple shots of penicillin for good measure. Plastic pails are, as the name indicates, plastic. This makes them very durable, even after they are no longer fit to contain things.

While plastic pails can very easily be recycled and reconstituted, they can also be quickly and easily changed to serve any number of other functions. They can be turned into molds for construction work, used for school projects, and even altered to serve as tools for gardens. With plastic pails, you don't actually have to get rid of them once you're finished—you can change them into something else and they just keep on going.

Plastic pails are some of the most versatile, durable, and reusable containers out there. They're incredibly convenient and they can take on a variety of jobs, which is why you see them everywhere from the meat locker of a restaurant to the beach where it's being used to build sand castles. They live long lives and serve their purpose well, whatever it is you might need them for, and once they've run their time they just keep on giving. Plastic pails might not be for every job, but if you're not doing anything too out of the ordinary you can bet safe money on plastic pails being able to handle the job. Friends don't let friends bad mouth plastic pails. 

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Food Grade Plastic

 The media often paints all plastic products with the same broad stroke. After all, all plastic is made from hydrocarbons derived from petroleum or natural gas. So, plastic is plastic is plastic, right? Actually, no.

While all plastic does come from petroleum or natural gas, the processes involved vary and affect the purity level of the finished product. That fire truck you just tripped over the eighth time varies significantly from the plastic in your garbage can, and, more importantly, from the plastic in your water bottle.

Any plastic that comes into contact with something humans will consume including beverages and food is held to a much higher standard than other forms of plastic. So, let's take a look at what we mean when we use the term "food grade plastic."

Food Grade Plastic Regulations

The government develops regulations regarding food grade plastic. In Canada, Health Canada oversees these regulations. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) creates the regulations.

Both agencies, however, have similar requirements. Food grade plastic must meet certain standards of purity. It cannot contain dyes, other additives or recycled plastic products deemed harmful to humans. Food grade plastic can contain some levels of recycled materials as long as those materials fit the guidelines and regulations outlined by the regulatory agency.

Additionally, some foods leach additives from their containers and these foods, particularly acidic foods, must go into more product specific containers.

Types of Plastic

All plastic products in the U.S. or Canada carry a symbol with a number on it ranging from 1 to 7. These numbers mean the same thing in both countries. Not all types of plastic, though, are suitable for all types of food.

Many food grade plastic containers fall into the high density polyethylene — or HDPE — category. It has excellent chemical resistant properties making it suitable for a wide range of foods and other products.

For example, most juice or milk containers and five gallon food buckets are made from HDPE. In the U.S. and Canada, HDPE products have the plastic code 2.

Another common form of food grade plastic is polyethylene terephthalate or PET/PETE. These carry the plastic code 1 and are often used for products like salad dressing, peanut butter, and jelly jars.

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Watts vs Lumens

A 60 watt light bulb requires 60 watts of power to put out approximately 800 lumens of light. In contrast an LED light requires about 8 watts to put out 800 lumens. This makes conversions difficult. Below is a generic conversion chart that gives an idea on what LED bulb you need to replace an incandescent bulb.

Incandescent LED

450 lumens 40 Watt 6-9 Watt

800 lumens 60 Watt 8-12 Watt

1100 lumens 75 Watt 9-13 Watt

1600 lumens 100 Watt 16-20 Watt

2600 lumens 150 Watt 25-28 Watt 

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Using Epoxy Resins

While there are many sources of information on the Internet, none is better than information offered by the manufacturer of the product. They know how to get the best out of their product, it's limitations and it's strengths. Once you use these product you may develop your own techniques and practices, however beginners should follow the Manufacturer's instructions and recommedations. To that end, we offer links to 


videos and product Data Sheets for many of the products we offer on our website. The link VIDEOS will provide you access to instructional videos about many of the products we sell. Industrial Plastics & Paints stores offer the full line of both West System and System Three Epoxy. These videos provide great general information however, there may be some more technical questions for which they don't provide answers. In these instances I would encourage you to contact the experts in one of our store locations or submit your question to our website. 

 

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Paint vs Re-Gelcoating

Paint vs Re-Gelcoating

This Verses has been going on for a long time and I have seen many mis-informed opinions in many Internet forums. This article is intended to provide that facts and then let you decide which one you will choose. So lets start with a little background about Gelcoat.

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Epoxy vs Polyester Fiberglass Resin

Epoxy vs Polyester Fiberglass Resin

Before epoxy came on the polyester boat repair scene in the mid 1980's, most fiberglass boats were repaired with polyester resin. The repairs were typically successful if done by an experienced repairer.

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