Environmental toxins in a transfer

In this article we will discuss PVC, microplastics, incineration and disposal of a transfer.

Think carefully before choosing your transfer manufacturer.

In today’s market, there are several different transfer manufacturers to choose from. Important questions to ask yourself before choosing can be; how high is the quality of the heat transfer, what is the cost to me as a customer and how does the manufacturer relate to the environmental impact?

In order for a transfer to be classified as environmentally friendly, it must be water-based. All our transfers are water-based, completely free of solvents and PVC, which makes it approved according to the industry’s most stringent environmental requirements.

See it all as a cycle; a transfer is made, it is attached to a garment, the garment is used and washed, eventually the garment is discarded.

What kind of impact does the product you buy have on the environment at all stages?

A heat transfer is largely made of plastic. It is the manufacturers themselves who, under certain guidelines, decide which form of plastic to use as a basic component during manufacture. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is one of the cheaper alternatives, which makes it more attractive for large industrial companies to choose this one as it gives a higher economic profit, but it is a less environmentally friendly alternative. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most common types of plastics that, together with polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, are called volume plastics. PVC is a polymer made up of several bonded vinyl chloride molecules. It is a thermoplastic made by adding chlorine to ethylene. Polyvinyl Chloride (2019, August 11) In Wikipedia. Retrieved 2019-09-05, from URL (see reference list).

Microplastics released during washing

When washing the garment on which the transfer is attached, microplastics can be released. According to our own results, PVC releases larger parts of microplastics than many other alternatives available on the market. Microplastics are considered by most to be a serious problem, as there is collective research that, for example, has shown that mussels that had been picked between Orust and Halmstad had microplastics in them. A study by IVL and Swedish Water has also shown that up to 70 million particles of microplastics are released into the sea per hour from a large Swedish treatment plant alone (Mikroplast, 2018). These tiny pieces of plastic can remain in the sea for hundreds of years before being dissolved, and in combination with the large quantities that are spread out into the sea every day makes it a major threat to, for example, the Baltic Sea or local Swedish lakes. For example, microplastics in the marine environment may be fragments of larger debris or constitute microplastics pellets used in the plastics industry as raw material.

What happens at the final disposal of the garment and thus the transfer?

In most cases, the product is completely burnt. To be able to call a product environmentally friendly, you need a product which does not contain components that, during heating, release hazardous substances. How often do you cut off the transfer from a garment and sort as plastic before disposing of it? The answer to that is never. PVC is bound by chlorine, (see above) which is very harmful in incineration for both man and the environment.

PVC plastic is both an environmental and health risk. Since the heat transfer method uses high temperature in both the creation of the product and also the application of transfer on fabric, we have taken a sharp distance from this plastic. When heated, chlorine can be released from PVC which is cancerous, Perma Press has not used this plastic since 1996 to ensure that both our employees and our customers should never have to worry about their health when using our products.

Phthalates are plasticizers in some PVC plastics. Some of the most dangerous phthalates are currently banned in toys, but they are still found among a host of other transfer manufacturers. Phthalates can cause hormone disruption. It is not easy to answer why there is still PVC and phthalates in the transfer market, but the principle of substitution does not always work by itself. Prohibitions and stricter restrictions are needed to phase out the worst alternatives. Perma Press is proud to have been active for both environmental and health reasons since 1996. For us, this is not a fad or a trend, but has been our most important vision from the start.

Reference list

Wikipedia (Microplastics): Microplastics. (2018-07-28). In Wikipedia. Retrieved 2019-09-05 from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microplast

Wikipedia (Polyvinyl chloride): Polyvinyl chloride. (2019-08-11). In Wikipedia. Retrieved 2019-09-05, from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinylchloride

Karlsson, M & Dahl, U The Swedish Nature Conservation Association (Danish ban on phthalates should show the way) (2012-10-05) Retrieved 2019-09-05 from https://www.naturskyddsforeningen.se/nyheter/danskt-forbud-mot-ftalater-bor-visa-vagen