12th May 2020

Production of glassflake is an energy intensive process, so how does Glassflake Ltd make a positive impact on the global environment? This article aims to set out how Glassflake contributes to a long term reduction in resources, replaces more environmentally damaging materials and how the business continues to make environmental policy at the core of its innovation.

Moonshine Effect Pigments are considered a highly viable alternative to one of the most damaging materials to marine life: microplastics. Microplastics are deemed any plastics smaller than 5mm in size. A common source of these particles is the use of resin based glitters and effect pigments. These are used in a variety of end applications from plastic packaging to cosmetics and personal care. Many of these microplastic particles will find their way to the waterways and oceans, entering the food cycle when ingested by marine life. Moonshine uses a borosiliate core, unlike many other effect pigments and glitters using a polyethylene substrate. All of this while matching or improving on the visual effect from the pigment. While the risk remains of these borosilicate based particles entering the water system, there is no onward hazard. The substrate is inert, meaning it will not breakdown to harmful substances at small sizes when ingested. In fact as the borosilicate is amorphous it is less harmful than sand in the environment.

The business is also conscious of the energy required to produce the borosilicate substrate. We use an electricity based technology to melt mineral components, removing much the air contaminants produced on purely gas powered technology associated with traditional glass production. Our R&D engineers have developed new melt technologies significantly reducing the power demands of the manufacturing process. The business is also aware of the source of the electricity used to power the plant, uses our own solar photo-voltaic panels, to generate on-site electricity in a renewable way.

In addition to the energy required to produce our pigments, the company also has a focus on sustainable sourcing of our raw materials. We are able to achieve this by working closely with supply partners based in the EU and regular updates from them on accreditation and certifications. This focus on working closely with our supply chain affords greater sourcing responsibility as well as corporate stability. More detail on this can be found in our Responsible Sourcing statement here.

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