The Hidden Costs of Vinyl Binders
A case study in sustainable purchasing.
Large corporations buy a lot of binders. Between binder bins, internal projects, marketing materials and proposals the numbers add up. To supply a company with, say 30-165 branches could take up to 200,000 3-ring binders. For ease of numbers, we will say 100,000. Round, easy to work with and reasonable for many big corporations.
The purchasing department gets a call to order 100,000 3-ring binders for next year and go to the Big Box catalog and spec out an order. These stores specialize vinyl binders varying from exceedingly cheap (in all respects) to expensive.
Issue #1 - are you ordering more than you need?
The real need 85,000 binders, but they fall apart, so they order 15,000 extra
The binders are purchased, delivered and used. They break.
Issue #2 - How do you get rid of 100,000 vinyl binders?
What to do this 100,000 broken vinyl binders. This is not an academic question. We have heard of exactly this case (100,000 vinyl binders) and another company with 30,000 binders in a "binder graveyard" warehouse.
No matter what you hear from the vinyl industry, while vinyl IS recyclable, there is no process in place to do that. You could send 100,000 vinyl binders to landfill. Or can you? In many places, no. Vinyl is incredibly toxic and many landfills don't want large shipments of it. So how do you get rid of these?
If you want to recycle them, you need to start hiring people to cut them up, separate the vinyl from the paperboard and the rings. There is an on-line video. If your crew gets good at it (which they will), they can separate a binder in about 5 minutes. So figure 8,300 hours of time. OK, that even amazed me. The local recycling center will recycle the board and rings. The vinyl will need to be shipped to a vinyl factory if they will take it. Estimated cost - 8300 hours x $7.50 = $62,250, shipping about 25,000 pounds of vinyl - lets just ballpark that at about $8,000 - so around $70,000 on top of what you paid for the binders not including overhead and a lot of warehouse space for about 7,000 square feet of binders.
If you can find a landfill that will take them, that would obviously be cheaper, though a bit environmentally dubious.
This just added a lot of headache and about $.62 per binder not including the overhead of 5 months of warehouse space to house all the binders while your crew works on them.
Healthier, Eco Friendly Office Supples
Naked Binder offers an alternative that does not require shipping toxins, a crew for 8,300 hours and costs about the same up front (many times, Naked Binders are cheaper).
Positive #1 Order only what you need.
If you need 85,000 3-ring binders, order 85,000 binders. Naked Binders have been tested to 250,000 flexes without failure. These are the strongest 3-ring binders in the world. This alone can save you $45,000 +.
Positive #2 100% recyclable in 9 seconds or less.
It takes about 9 seconds to recycle a Naked Binder. Any Naked Binder. This can be done at a desk, or perhaps, with enough people in a building, a small work area. It takes a flathead screwdriver. No knives. Even if you hire your crew to do this, you expenditure is about 120 hours or $900.
Positive #3 Healthier workers = better work.
No vinyl means no phthalates, no dioxins, no vinyl out gassing into your office air. Healthier workers get more done.
Positive #4 You look good.
Your image. People are attracted to eco friendly companies. Just look at BP right now. Studies have shown that people will spend money, be more loyal and think more highly in companies that have strong environmental policies. Even internally, people feel good about a company that is doing good deeds beyond making a profit. This, too, translates into a stronger bottom line.