TOPS Office Products Canada had been receiving increased requests for desk and office accessories made with renewable materials that would also be better for the planet. Being a market leader and innovator in the office products industry, TOPS embraced the opportunity to partner with Solegear and Columbia Plastics to fully replace the petroleum-based plastic in six of their most popular office accessory products.
Solegear and Columbia Plastics conducted production trials with Polysole® LV1250, one of Solegear’s proprietary precision-designed injection molding materials for durable goods and packaging that demand high impact resistance. Polysole LV1250 is a USDA BioPreferred® product with an independently verified 85% plant-based content and no hazardous chemicals of concern.
Tests confirmed that Solegear’s bioplastic could not only be dropped into the existing molds, but were also produced with very similar cycle times and no increased manufacturing costs. As the required processing temperatures were lower for plant-based materials, an added benefit of reduced energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions in manufacturing could also be realized.
An assortment of 6 plant-based office accessory products, including desk trays, file holders, clip and pencil holders – were subsequently approved for full-scale production and orders received for distribution into commercial channels beginning in December 2015.