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We use environmentally responsible waste management systems!

environmentally responsible waste management

We use environmentally responsible waste management systems. Rubber stamp production creates waste. All manufacturing industries produce some sort of waste. However, what is done with that waste can take different directions. While we buy self-inking stamp bodies from three different stamp manufactures all of these have low waste and/or recycled material in their products. Trodat even has solar panels on their factory roofs for electricity production. Trodat are particularly loud at announcing their sustainability policy.

logo co2 neutral trodat bestseller en tdtt portal original size

What happens within our doors is just as important to the stamp that arrives on your desk.

Here at self-inking stamps, we laser engrave the sheet rubber for our custom rubber stamps. In this process the rubber sheet is vaporized by a high-speed laser beam. The laser removes the rubber around the parts that make a mark on the paper when it contacts the paper. Your custom stamp mark looks like it rises out of the rubber sheet like a mountain range on a plain. That process produces some dust. That dust goes into a vacuum and fine particle collection system before passing the cleaned air back into the atmosphere. We do not wash the rubber and contaminate the wastewater system. Washing it away to be someone else’s problem.

Here at Self-inking Stamps Limited, we have an environmentally responsible waste management water system recycling within the property.

Rainfall is captured and stored in underground water storage tanks. Yep, it is lawn over the top. No impervious surface there. Just two hatch lids to be seen. Any water discharged from the house then goes through a septic system. With sediment recovery and sand filtration and a plant root system. On top of the sand filter crops are grown consuming nutrients, then harvested for that valuable carbon with other nutrients and composted for re-use around the property.

That treated water is then pumped to lawn area, raised vegetable/ornamental garden beds and fruit trees for food production. We do not wish to contaminate that recycling system with rubber. For that reason, we do not use the photopolymer stamp production system using films, damming tape, printer dyes, polymers, dissolving agents being washed down the drain to produce the rubber die for the stamps.

reflections sewerage processing system
treated water disposal area

Being a bit of a scrooge helps as I do a daily game of tetra to fit each rubber die into A4 sheets to minimise the waste of that valuable rubber. There is very little rubber that goes to waste here. I’ve been given a bit of a hard time about how little is wasted using a laser engraving machine to best benefit.

used rubber stamp die sheet

After rubber stamp die production, we remove a small piece of paper on the mounting surfaces for the rubber die. This is separated right at the assembly point into waste and recycling. The wastepaper from the stamps and the courier bag labels is fed to the recycling for Auckland City Council.

paper removal 4912 printy 4

I am currently trying to get an end-of-life recycling for the stamp bodies but that has stalled now. We have a receiver of those plastics lined up but need more technical information on the plastics and then that will be all go too. I’ll keep you posted in the future with what we can achieve there.

bulk stamp delivery cardboard

We regularly top up stock from the New Zealand wholesale distributors of the Trodat, Colop and Shiny brands of stamps. These orders come to us in bulk cardboard boxes. These are also reused for bulk orders and the large professional grade stamps and have been through the transportation delivery system many times. The excess goes into the recycling system. But what a wasted resource how could we use that better?

Recently our main supplier sent us an order with a different type of internal space packing.

This was a cardboard box that had been flattened and slotted. Perfect soft material to pad the items in the delivery and reusing a waste product. Brilliant!! How do we do that? We followed that up. Yes, there are machines here in New Zealand that will slot and perforate cardboard boxes. Oh, dear wonderful machines but way out of our small business budget unfortunately.

slotted cardboard packing material

So, do we give up? No! Any rational nosey parker like me goes on the internet and searches what else might do something like that. I found a bloke in the United States of America using an Amazon Basics paper shredder with cardboard boxes. Low cost 24-page shredder chopping triple layer cardboard boxes. The best bit was he was a worm farmer too. That closed the loop within our property for a waste product. Perfect.

shredded and chopped cardboard

We have just bought one of these shredders.

Fantastic little machine. Usually, I would think of shredding as long skinny pieces of paper out of a shredder. Not this one. It shreds like that but also chops the length as well. These small chunks of cardboard increase the surface area of the cardboard for the next stage. Composting. This process uses worms. Worms like to have an easily accessible medium to chew on and a bit of a mix of diet. Some extremely large worm farms are using timber pulp waste mixed with other ingredients for a terrific soil conditioner which is carbon negative.

Check out this website Mynoke.co.nz about liquid and bulk worm compost. You can’t call it fertiliser as the chemical fertiliser gang will get upset, they don’t want to lose market share now do they. But it has massive biological advantages to feed your precious plants, their rhizosphere and ecosystem.

worms consuming cardboard packaging waste from stamp delivery

To produce this carbon negative soil conditioner here we do need to do a bit of labour prep.

We remove all stickers and plastic tapes from the cardboard. Then feed it into the shredder. Out the base comes these fantastic little chunks of cardboard ready for worm food. Then we mix green waste from the kitchen, crushed eggshells for their gizzard, weeds from around the garden and cardboard with a bit of misted moisture to feed our worms.

Got to get that moisture level right or this living system won’t work. Would you like to eat dry cardboard? That’s like wheatbix without milk, no thanks. Like any good compost a good carbon to nitrogen ratio can help. As bit of a joke as I am an ex-farmer, I call them my herd. “Just going to feed out to the herd” is a phrase used here.

This is how we have removed waste from the production process and turned it into a carbon negative soil improver that feeds the plants we eat. Fixing carbon into the soil. Great way to close the loop. Just must get that end-of-life stamp plastic recycling going now. Need some more time and badgering of the suppliers again to get this going. Watch this space…

What have you come up with that we may be able to use to improve our system?

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