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Every week there seems to be a new scare involving food or additives that are apparently causing us harm in some way or another. Indeed, it is true that there have been very serious and hugely negligent health and safety scandals involving things such as baby milk and fake alcoholic beverages, but there have also been consumer concerns regarding not just what we put directly into our bodies, but also from items we use on a daily basis to store such food items, such as plastic bottles and packaging.

Due to the enormous versatility of plastic, both in the home and industrial environment, it is something that all of us use and come into contact with every day without even thinking about it. Whether you take medication, drink water or eat a sandwich, all of these activities will involve plastic at some point in the process. It is of paramount importance that the plastics used in injection moulding are safe for the end consumer, as well as durable and suitable for the job that they are intended to carry out.

The safety of plastics has never been a more important issue to the general public or industry as a whole. When this is taken into account when looking at the cost of legal fees, compensation and recalls or other mandatory actions that must be carried out when things go wrong, ensuring that there are no likely issues initially is definitely the way forward from a manufacturing perspective. Any issues that occur with any similar products can place the who industry in a bad light, so it is for the collective good that we ensure our products are safe for use and as high quality as possible. Some of the recent issues surrounding chemicals in plastics have been due to the following compounds:

  • Phthalate Plasticisers
  • Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  • Epoxidised Soybean Oil (ESBO)

Each of the above additives has been used in order to achieve something that the plastic is notable to undertake in its natural form. Phthalate Plasticisers and ESBO are used as plasticisers, which allow the plastic to become more soft and flexible than it might have otherwise been and, in ESBO’s case, also acts as a stabiliser. Bisphenol-A is found in Polycarbonate materials and is often used in drinking bottles for athletes. It has been speculated that the BPA leaks out of the resin during repeated use and washing, thus contaminating the liquid in the bottle and entering the food chain.

In conclusion, depending on the product that you are hoping to manufacture and its use, it is obviously important to consider both the health of the consumer and employees producing the product, prior to production. In not doing so, it is not only commercially deleterious, but also environmentally and morally wrong to expect your product to be as commercially popular as one that does observe health and environmental legislation. NICE Rapid are experts in ensuring all of your manufacturing and legislative requirements are met and we are happy to discuss the most suitable materials and methods to ensure you next project will be a happy, healthy, commercial success!