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  • Recycled materials for making new signs.

     Graham Scanlan updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago 10 Members · 13 Posts
  • Kevin Mahoney

    September 4, 2021 at 6:25 am

    So that’s my good deed for the month out the way. A couple of weeks ago we took down a huge old panatrim frame & panel sign to replace with a new tray for my brother’s new shop. No profit to be had there then. The old sheets were the heaviest I’ve ever come across & were like new, so here they are again, different town, different colour.

    Does this make me an eco warrior now?

  • Graham Scanlan

    September 4, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Can’t beat a bit of second life,

  • Robert Lambie

    September 4, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Nice one Kev. thanks for sharing mate!
    Doing this sorta thing and keeping photos of the process for reference is great for showing what can be achieved by recycling products. it ticks many boxes for many companies these days and will be indexed if you have a page dedicated to it on your website.

    Oh, and yes, defo an Eco-Warrior now mate! 🤣

  • Karen White

    September 5, 2021 at 11:10 am

    As always Kevin, great work!

  • Phill Fenton

    September 5, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    I do this sort of thing all the time. Only last week I removed these old signs from a building and refitted them to new premises. The owner complained that the “new” signs didn’t really project the correct message about the type of business he was operating but I reminded him that these were recyled signs and saving the planet was far more important than trying to promote his stupid Vets surgery

  • David Hammond

    September 6, 2021 at 9:43 am

    It’s OK if you can turn it around pretty quickly, otherwise how long do you keep it lying around. Since we’ve downsized our workshop, customer feedback has been positive, and we’re being much leaner with what we stock, so don’t have 1/2 the off cuts we used to have.

    I usually avoid ‘reusing’ panels for customers, by the time we’ve stripped and cleaned the panel, I find it quicker and cheaper to buy in a new one.

    That said, we’ve making a conscious effort to reduce the PVC Foam we us, there are some great alternatives for very short term use.

  • Leslie Anderson

    September 8, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Nice work Kevin. It is great what you have done with old signs. impressive!

  • Hugh Potter

    September 8, 2021 at 4:10 pm


    I once put up a 8m x 1m ali tray for a customer, removing a perfectly good 5.5m x 700 tray.

    I recovered and sold that tray to a phone shop, they went bust a couple of years later and I took it down (stole it) when working on a shop next door – to save their blushes of course.. I sold it a third time to another tight ar5e customer. I’ve since seen it’s been re-covered and used again on the same building!

  • Jeff Rea

    September 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    i often recycle old sign panels of composite but nothing as big as what you have done here kev!

    if i have composite, i print and flood coat the panel and it looks as good as new. quick clean up of the rear and jobs the good one! 👍

  • Kevin Mahoney

    September 9, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Don’t know about you guys but I’ve never removed an acm or aluminium sign where the material itself had failed. Like Hugh has said, most tray signs outlast the business they’re promoting anyway so it seems stupid to fabricate the same thing out of new raw material.

    I removed my brother’s sign & he was to arrange disposal which didn’t happen for over a week. After returning to do a few internal bits, I had to move it out of my way & found it was clearly a very good quality brand of acm, likely better that the one I replaced it with. Being a bit of a miser, I thought what a waste. I did more damage to it putting it in the van than a few years did sitting in a frame in the elements, & the cheap vinyl stuck to it came off easily. It just felt wrong to bin it. No, it didn’t save a fortune for me at all but it is surprising what can be done with old signage, a Steeltrak cutter & a Festool milling machine. On reflection, it seems unlikely to be a regular thing but dreadfully wasteful to use new sheet material when the old stuff we take down still has years of life left in it. From an environmental point of view, I kind of scoffed at it at first, but pretty much everything we use contains pvc, including acm (we use almost no foam any more) so it does make sense in its own little way, certainly if you have the room to store it. I accept, most don’t. All things considered, my pocket, the client or the planet had little benefit in this exercise but it felt good. Now, off to buy a new motorbike to offset all the good I’ve done for you all

  • Graham Scanlan

    September 10, 2021 at 5:40 am

    I’ve been watching this post with interest and you guys have a great attitude to waste / reuse. But Kevin mentioned the magic word PVC. Our industry has used PVC for years. Foam PVC is still a go to product for a lot of people, for indoor and outdoor short term application, sometimes just for a one off event. For the people that are unaware PVC is the worst off all plastics when it comes to the environment, it’s harmful when it’s manufactured and even worse at the end of its life. Please see below from worst case to best case scenario

    Landfill – one of the selling points of PVC is that its long lasting, unfortunately too long. PVC never degrades it just breaks down into smaller pieces of PVC and this can take hundreds of years and the C bit is Chloride which is poisoners and leaches into the environment

    Recycled – PVC is difficult to recycle due to its additives, not all pvc has the same makeup. I can be ground down and recycled into a very low grade product, but after that it’s usefulness is over and needs to be disposed of.

    Incineration – PVC can be incinerated although the Chloride still needs to be trapped and disposed of and the ash that’s left behind still has nasties in it.

    So next time some one calls in for a sign or print for short term or internal use there are now plenty of alternatives that are simply not pvc and do the job just as good and a far more friendly than PVC. For example

    Cardboard for internal and short term outdoor (unto 5mm thick)

    Polypropylene based products made from hydrogen and carbon , Correx, bubble board, polyline Foam (this looks and feels like Foam PVC but it’s polypropylene) and polypropylene banner media

    Polystyrene products such as forex smart which is lightweight strong and available in 5 / 10 / 19mm thickness

    If you have a latex or uv printer you can now even replace that pvc self adhesive vinyl for a pvc free alternative. Just think of how much pvc goes into your own waste bin, then think of its journey when it leaves you.

    I’m not a tree hugger in anyway but I see common sense quickly. Hope you found the above worth reading and it’s food for thought

  • Joe Killeen

    September 10, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Hi Graham

    Some very useful information and great selling points as more corporate companies like to be seen to be doing there bit for the environment, not a tree hugger myself but small changes are a start. Looking at moving from solvent to UV next year.

    • Graham Scanlan

      September 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Hi Joe,

      Definitely the industry is going down the eco route, if you want true eco friendly printer, Latex is the way to go, the ink is 70% water it’s got more eco certifications than any other ink on the market, which is a great selling point. Uv is better than solvent, but not as eco friendly as latex

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