Instrument Talk Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – pInstrument Advice
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – pInstrument Advice
As a company, pInstrument's is conscious about how they operate.
pInstrument's are serious about making music accessible and fun, and consider the impact of everything they do. They also unusually make their instruments out of plastic, which customers often ask about, so thought we would share how pInstruments look at reducing their impact on the environment.
Every instrument in the pInstrument family is made using ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. The resources used in the production of plastic instruments are much less than that of traditional brass equivalents which are mainly manufactured from yellow brass.
Copper and Zinc (that make up yellow brass) are finite resources, with both extraction and recycling resulting in significant carbon emissions, exceeding those associated with the production of ABS.
What this means is that every time they make an instrument out of plastic rather than brass, they reduce the amount of carbon used (the universal unit of measurement to indicate the global warming potential of greenhouse gases). In fact, they recently commissioned some research which found that compared with brass instruments the 500,000 instruments they have manufactured since 2010 have saved 2,833247 kg’s of CO2, reducing the impact they make on our environment.
During the manufacturing process instrument parts are made by injection moulding – every time they change the colour of the plastic, they have to ‘shoot’ a number of parts that are not used (imagine pushing different colours of plasticine through a spaghetti maker – you’re going to get some funny mixtures until the next colour comes through!). The great thing about ABS plastic is that those bits that they don’t use are simply melted down and re-used; minimal waste!
The plastic their instruments are made from makes them very strong and robust (one of the reasons they chose it is for impact resistance and toughness) so they are pretty indestructible! If there is an individual part of an instrument that is broken they can provide many replacement parts – just contact their wonderful customer service team who will be happy to help.
Their instruments last for years (the first ever pBones sold are still going strong) so if you do have one that you are no longer using we would recommend reusing it by passing it on to a friend or family member, why not encourage someone else to experience the joy of music! (you can read their blog about Gavin who bought one of the first pBones he has now lent his to a friend).
Like us, pInstruments and our customers are conscientious, so want to know how to recycle pInstruments if they want to.
ABS plastic is recyclable, under recycling group 7 – ‘other’. This recycling group is not specific to one type of plastic, but contains various types. This mixture means that they should not be put in household recycling bins collected by the council, as they will end up in either energy recovery facilities (incinerators) or in landfill, however, ABS can be recycled by specialists, and at certain central locations – contact your local recycling centre for advice.
As a business they are investigating the best recycling options for their instruments, and will keep you updated on this as well as the other steps we are taking on our sustainability journey.
You may be interested in their blog series - 'serious about making music fun'
For more information about care and maintenance of pInstruments, please visit their FAQs page.