Whats the best plastic for this application?

Could anyone shed some light on what the proper material choice may be.

The product is a handheld tool used for fitness. It has a plastic shell around the mechanical parts, which hopefully can be overmolded. It needs to with stand a good amount of force, and not tarnish if it is white (and used with sweaty hands).

Ideally, this would be made of some green plastic.

Am I asking the world? With so many materials out there I am a little overwhelmed on where to start.


“green” as in eco-friendly. Recyable, from renewable resource, biodegradable, non-toxic…

I think you might have to pick one of your wish list. Most of these so called ‘green’ materials are just different shades of green…i.e they are green in different ways. Also over moulding stuff would mean you part would no longer recyclable as it would now be bonded to another material It wouldn’t be advised if your trying to make a green-ish product.

Yeah you can’t have it all - it’s the reason that most products aren’t made of “Green” plastics like Cellulosics. They seem great on paper but don’t meet many of the requirements that consumer products demand.

Overmold right off the bat means you won’t be able to recycle it, at least without ripping the overmold off which is tough.

ABS is plenty strong and recyclable on it’s own. PC-ABS is stronger but then you run into recycling issues. When you say this is going to be recycled - what do you truly mean by that. Will your company be taking back the products to disassemble and recycle, or are you expecting this to get thrown into an end users recycling bin (which if it’s mechanical won’t happen).

White is also a tough color to keep not looking gross - especially if you intend on using any kind of in-mold texturing. In mold textures inherently pick up lots of skin and oils, and will rub down/off with enough use, but a high polished surface may not be appropriate. Using an off-white color can help, but even then look around and see how many bright white products you have that haven’t yellowed with age or collected all kinds of grime and sludge over the years (phone handsets are usually a good example).

Prioritize your needs - cosmetic, recycling, strength, flame proof rating (if you need to house electronics this is a consideration), cost, etc. Then it will be easier to discuss the couple of options that are available. But for the most part most consumer products you see are some form of ABS.