Overview

WHO WE ARE

BRIEF OVERVIEW

During October 2005, Bubbles Plastics (Pty) Ltd was accredited by the South African Mining Preferential Procurement Forum (S.A.M.P.P.F.) in terms of the “narrow based” definition of Black Economic Empowerment.

Bubbles Plastics hereby states that the shareholding of the company reflects a 100% black ownership. Being a small to medium enterprise, the shareholder/s are also director/s of the company and are actively involved in the day-to-day management and control of the business. The executive and senior management of the company are all members of the previously disadvantaged group, including two females.

Since we have been doing such a great job of making plastic bags, we thought you may want to know just how we go about producing these high quality products. The process starts with the Extrusion stage, where polyethylene granules are melted to form a extruded "tube" of plastic. Different grades (low & high density) of granules are required for the various products we produce.

After the extrusion process, the polyethylene film's surface is treated for the adhesion of ink by the application of a high energy (corona) electrical discharger near the film surface. The extruded "tube" is rolled onto a cone and taken to Printing where client logos are applied. Printing is done by a unique process which utilises stereos (rubber plates imprinted with client logo) on steel rollers for the transfer of ink to the bag surface. The tubular film is folded according to specification and then separated into individual bags. Handles are punched, bags are sealed and specific additional cutting is done at this stage. The bags are thoroughly checked for damages & misprinting and are tested for tear & seal strength.

The completed bags are packed into pre-determined quantities for distribution or are placed on the shelves of our retail department. Remembering our responsibilty to the environment and our community, all off-cuts from the last stage are recycled, creating the polythene granuals that started it all off.

At Bubbles Plastics we use two polymers in the manufacture of our plastic bags. They are High Density Polyethylene (PE-HD) and Low Density and Linear Low Density Polyethylene (PE-LD).

PE-HD

High Density Polyethylene

Identification of PE-HD products

Bottles to pack - milk, methylated spirits, paraffin, bleaches, fabric softeners, motor oils, household detergents. The bottles are usually from 750ml to 5l capacity but 20l and 25l jerry-can-like containers with screw caps are also made from PE-HD.
Buckets and Basins - practically all buckets and basins are made from PE-HD.
Agricultural Pipes - it is extensively used for black agricultural pipes especially in diameters of more than 25mm.
Plastic Crates - plastic crates are returnable and it is illegal to recycle them unless permission is given by the owners to recycle them.
Bags - it is used to manufacture vest-type carry bags (VCB's) and also some refuse bags.

High Density Polyethylene (PE-HD)

This material is extensively used for the manufacture of the strongly coloured (even when white), non-translucent or transparent bottles used to pack items such as milk, methylated spirits, paraffin, mineral turpentine, bleaches, scouring powders, fabric softeners, motor oils etc. The bottles are usually from 750ml to 5 l capacity but 20 and 25 l jerry-can-like containers with screw caps are also made. If any of the above products, like methylated spirits etc., are packed in clear, transparent bottles the bottles will be of PVC or PET and not PE-HD.

Practically all buckets and basins are made from PE-HD and it is extensively used for black agricultural pipe especially in diameters of more than 25mm. PE-HD plastic crates are all returnable and it is ILLEGAL to recycle them unless supplied by the owners of the crates. PE-HD is also used for the manufacture of the slightly hard, paper-like handle carry-out bags used in supermarkets, also called vest-type carry bags or VCB's.

There is a high demand for PE-HD, especially bottles, by the recyclers.

PE-LD

Low Density and Linear Low Density Polyethylene

Identification of PE-LD products

Packaging film - used for fresh and frozen vegetable bags, blanket packs, soft supermarket carry-out bags, fertilizer bags, dry cleaner film, garbage bags, and the bulk of shrink - and stretch wrap films.
Bottles - soft, squeezable bottles, soft containers, cosmetic tubes.
Pipes - varieties of black agricultural pipes, especially for low pressure.
Low Density and Linear Low Density Polyethylene (PE-LD and PE-LLD)

Almost all thin, slightly milky, usually transparent packaging film used for fresh and frozen vegetable bags, blanket packs, pillow and disposable nappy wraps, soft supermarket carry-out bags, fertiliser bags, dry cleaners' film packaging and for the bulk of the shrink- and stretchwrap films, black garbage bags and building film are made from PE-LD/LLD. Soft, squeezable bottles, soft covers for fridge containers, the soft containers themselves and the softer varieties of black agricultural pipe are also made from PE LD/LLD.

This is the largest single type of plastic recovered in the RSA and comprises about 50% of the total amount of plastics recycled. There is a high demand for this type of material from recyclers.