Silicone Materials Help Reduce Waste from School Children

Back-to-school time can be exciting for students and parents, but it can also have a potentially adverse impact on the environment, according to statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA says that each student who brings a brown bag lunch to school every day generates about 67 pounds of waste by the end of the school year. That's 18,760 pounds of waste for every average-sized school. In addition, 20 million plastic bags go into landfills every day, and 2.7 million juice boxes end up in landfills every year.

One way to reduce that waste is to use re-useable products made from materials such as silicone rubber.

"Whether in lunch boxes, food containers, water bottles or backpacks, silicones can be used day-in and day-out and that can greatly reduce the amount of paper and plastic that ends up in landfills," said Ivan Mini, rubber global market manager for the Dow Corning's XIAMETER brand, which offers rubber formulators high-quality, standard silicone materials online.

Silicone rubber is known for its durability and flexibility, but it is also a favorite material of students because it can processed in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes, giving them the opportunity to have fun while going green.

Beyond the cafeteria, silicon-based materials in schools also include silicon semiconductors used in computer chips, silicon-based solar panels, silicone sealants used around windows and doors, and silicone wire coatings used within many appliances and electronics.

"The benefits of the silicon element are virtually everywhere around the school," said Mini. "And given today's environmental awareness, every little bit helps when it comes to making our schools more sustainable."

The XIAMETER brand offers silicone rubber formulators a range of standard, silicone rubber products available at or through a local distributor. Separate downloadable PDF product selector guides featuring the new XIAMETER RBL-9200 LSR series are available to customers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Japan specifically.

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