Teslin® Substrate Equals Printing on Sand?

15 Jun

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Green Marketing, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see proformagreen.com). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Ever heard of Teslin?  I was helping a client with a run of key fobs, you know those customer loyaly cards that you place on your key rings, and noticed a curious link on the SSI website.

SSI Technologies boasts on their website that they are “the leading technology-based gift card manufacturer in the world”. That is likely very true as the work they produce is outstanding. Something the website does not particualry boast about is that SSI is using Teslin for many of their products, workhorse items of the promotional products industry like gift cards, library cards, loyalty cards, gaming cards, key tags.

And just what is Teslin and why is it considered an eco-friendly material?

Teslin is produced by PPG Industries and is used in many commercial, retail, and it seems, promotional items. The PPG website lists uses ranging from “specialty print, tag and label use, to technology-focused applications, such as e-Passports and radio frequency identification (RFID) cards and labels”.

Teslin is a non-toxic, non-cellulose, recyclable material that is 65% by weight inorganic filler (silica – derived from sand). In our industry I think of Teslin as a printable, durable material that is not plastic (no petroleum pollution)  and not paper (no trees destroyed).

The material is currently recycled in bulk to form items such as plastic lumber and industrial signs and according to the PPG datasheet, “incinerates in an atmosphere of excess oxygen to yield only water, CO2, energy, and a clean ash (from silica filler)”. If products made from Teslin do reach a landfill there is really nothing to leach into the groundwater, as the material is mainly sand and is free of heavy metals.

PPG does not give a lot of background on the manufacturing process of Teslin, saying only that “Teslin grades are manufactured under strict corporate guidelines for environmental compliance and waste minimization.” A vague enough statement that additional questions should likely be asked by Ecopreneurists looking to use this new material.

However on the whole Teslin seems to be one of the new materials like Repreve® recycled polyester that is slowly changing the way promotional items are produced.

To learn more about Teslin itself contact PPG. If you are ASI and interested in the full list of Teslin products offered by SSI Technologies, I suggest you email Jeff Ames. If you are interested in items printed on Teslin to promote your own business, contact your local promotional items vendor or email info@proformagreen.com for information and pricing.

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