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How Much Do You Know About Earth Friendly Options? Get the 101

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Our partner at PCNA has introduced a completely new line of products to address the growing desire of our consumers for products that care about the environment.

Let's start with the 101- a basic crash course in what you need to know:

From wheat straw to recycled PET, here's the scoop on the amazing stuff that makes up our EcoSmart® products.

The feedback has been loud and clear – interest in eco-friendly products has never been greater. This demand is coming from a changing culture where plastic waste reduction is celebrated and laws banning single-use plastics are popping up all over the U.S. and Canada. Through EcoSmart®, PCNA has introduced the industry's best selection of products made from recycled materials, as well as products that are reusable alternatives to items normally thrown away after one use.

Not all recycled materials are the same.

Each one has an interesting story about how it became part of an umbrella shaft or a backpack exterior. Here's a quick primer on the amazing materials used to create EcoSmart products:

1. Recycled PET Polyethylene terephthalate, better known by the abbreviation PET, is the most common type of plastic used for water and soft drink bottles, food containers such as peanut butter jars and household cleaners. It's a favorite of the food and beverage industry thanks to its strength, durability and transparency. Unfortunately, these characteristics also mean that it takes about 450 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose (Popular Science).

It's not all bad news, though. PET happens to be the most recycled plastic in the world. Used PET containers are sorted, cleaned and ground down into pellets that are reintroduced into the manufacturing process that make the line of EcoSmart backpacks, umbrellas and even journals. If you're looking for a retail brand in the Eco-friendly game, partnering with Parkland offers their on-trend collection of backpacks, totes, duffel bags and pouches - all made with 100% recycled water bottles.

2. Bamboo Bamboo is another key EcoSmart material.  Our partner has used bamboo for everything from lunch boxes to cutlery to photo frames. Besides being 100% biodegradable, bamboo is highly renewable. Incredibly, it grows several feet in 24 hours and requires 30% less water to grow.

3. Wheat Straw

After wheat grains are harvested to make all your favorite baked goods, what becomes of the rigid stalk that's left over? Believe it or not, it ends up in some of our EcoSmart products. Wheat straw is durable enough to become the barrel of a pen or even a lunch box. There is no need to worry about allergies since there is no wheat grain in these products, they are totally gluten-free.

4. Recycled Cotton

According to the Council for Textile Recycling, annual textile waste is estimated to equal 25 billion pounds. Once in landfills, all that material can take hundreds of years to decompose. Fortunately, the leftover cuttings from apparel and textile factories can be recycled and used to make products like tote bags and notebooks. Producing a cotton tote using existing materials that would otherwise be thrown away; is a big step toward reducing CO2 and fossil fuel emissions.

Ready to layer these types of products into your brand message?

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