Plastic Lockers: The Benefits & Cost-Effectiveness Over Metal Lockers
When you picture lockers, you most likely imagine the traditional metal lockers that lined the halls of your high school.
However, believe it or not, lockers have come a long way in recent years.
Nowadays, alternative materials like rotationally molded plastic — manufactured from durable FDA-approved polyethylene — are gaining in popularity across a variety of industries due to their many benefits over traditional metal.
Common misconceptions about plastic lockers
If you have never used or seen a plastic locker, you are not alone! In fact — despite their many benefits over traditional metal lockers — lockers made of plastic are not currently as popular as metal lockers. The the main reason for this? It is due to two common misconceptions. In this section, we will debunk these two myths.
Two most common myths that we hear about plastic lockers:
MYTH #1: Many people (incorrectly) believe that lockers made of plastic are much more expensive than the standard metal lockers and that they will not fit in their company budget.
MYTH #2: Many people also (incorrectly) think that lockers made of plastic are not as secure as classic metal lockers. However, nothing is further from the truth!
If you have fallen for either of these myths, here is why they are totally untrue, and why you should not let them keep you from investing in durable and cost-effective plastic lockers for your workplace.
TRUTH #1: Plastic lockers are extremely cost-effective and can actually save your school or business quite a bit of money over the long term when you consider their long-lasting durability.
This is because unlike metal lockers which are easily damaged and require frequent replacement due to wear and tear, plastic rotationally molded lockers can last your facility for years on end — even in the harshest conditions.
Although plastic variants may cost more money up front, when you compare the long-lasting nature of plastic to metal lockers (which will need frequent replacement and repair) plastic lockers are actually a much more cost-effective investment that will pay off majorly in the long term.
TRUTH #2: Plastic lockers crafted from rotationally molded polyethylene are actually much more secure than classic metal lockers.
The structural integrity of plastic lockers actually makes them more difficult to break into, which means added security for your workers or students. In addition to this security based on structural integrity, many manufacturers also offer additional security features that can make your lockers even more secure.
Locker comparison: metal vs. plastic
Since the majority of the public is not familiar with plastic lockers and their many benefits over metal lockers, let’s compare the two.
|Metal Lockers||Plastic Lockers|
|Easily rust and corrode in damp or outdoor settings||Does not rust or corrode even in high-moisture settings or outdoor environments|
|Easily dented, scratched and damaged||Extremely durable and do not easily dent or scratch|
|Difficult to clean and/or sanitize||Easy to clean and/or sanitize|
|Require frequent replacement||Long lasting and typically come with at least a four-year warranty|
|Costs less upfront||Cost more initially, but result in savings over the long term|
|Not customizable||Highly customizable - available in a diverse array of colors, sizes, and models|
|High maintenance||Low maintenance|
|Difficult to repair||Easy to repair|
As you can see from the above comparison, rotationally molded plastic lockers can be used in a variety of settings without worrying about moisture or dampness since they do not rust or corrode like their metal counterparts. This makes them an exceptionally ideal option for gyms with swimming pools and pharmaceutical or food processing plants that are known for their dampness. They can even be used in outdoor settings when space is an issue.
Additionally, the plastic material is long-lasting and easy to repair, which sets them apart from classic metal lockers that are easily damaged, difficult to repair, and require frequent replacement.
Although they may cost more than metal lockers up front, their durable nature pays off in the long run, making them a much more budget-friendly option than metal lockers which need to be replaced regularly.
Locker materials: the many benefits of plastic
1. Easy to clean & sanitize
Thanks to their plastic construction, as well as optional built-in drain holes, plastic lockers are easy to clean and sanitize — unlike traditional metal lockers. In fact, they can even be hosed down with water or sprayed with sanitation products for convenient cleaning without any damage to their durable plastic structure. This feature makes these lockers ideal for the pharmaceutical and food processing industries, where a sterile environment is of the utmost importance. Due to the potential contamination of products via personal items, the FDA states that “proper storage facilities are required for articles such as purses, coats, shoes, and personal medications.” Plastic lockers allow for an easy-to-clean locker room environment.
2. Won’t rust + corrode
Unlike their metal counterparts, lockers made of plastic do not rust, making them ideal for use in damp environments like gyms, spas, school locker rooms, public pools, and theme parks. The rust resistance of plastic ensures years of use — no matter what your industry may be.
3. Feature a functional design
Unlike metal lockers, plastic lockers are designed with function in mind and can be customized to fit your specific business needs (more on that in the next section!). If you are tired of prying open your old rusty lockers, the ergonomic design of plastic lockers is here to simplify your day-to-day operations.
4. Easy to repair
Another benefit of plastic is that if it is damaged (which is highly unlikely considering their durable construction), it is easy to repair and can be back in action in no time. This is quite a contrast to metal, which often is more expensive to repair than replace.
5. Highly affordable
As mentioned previously, one of the key benefits of plastic is that it is extremely cost effective. They may require an upfront investment but lockers made of plastic will serve your business for many years to come, which will save you some major money in the long run.
6. Attractive design
In addition to being highly functional, durable, and affordable, plastic lockers also feature an attractive, sleek design that will bring your workplace into the 21st century. They can even be designed to reflect company colors and logos. But more on that in the next section!
The many ways that plastic lockers can be customized for your company’s specific needs
When it comes to lockers, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, which is why most manufacturers will customize their products in a variety of ways to ensure that the lockers you purchase are an exact fit for your company.
Aside from the standard features—which include ergonomic handles, mounting channels, ventilated louvers, and drain holes—some common optional design features include:
1. Mixing and matching different sizes and shapes
Plastic lockers are typically available in three convenient sizes including 12, 18 and 36-inch models. These designs usually include a flat or sloped top, depending on your specific needs. The sloped top is perfect for industries that require high cleanliness standards, as it will not hold or collect dust and can easily be wiped down. They are typically sold as individual units so that you can mix and match the options that best fit your specific needs.
2. Adding extra design features
In addition to many options for the size and shape of plastic lockers, many manufacturers also offer a wide selection of functional design options. Customization options such as ID plates, hooks to hang lab coats, shelves to store boots, and drain holes for damp environments will ensure your lockers are perfectly customized to your industry needs.
3. Customizing colors
Many plastic locker manufacturers also offer a large selection of color combinations to color coordinate your space. These design details are an excellent way to boost morale and incorporate your company colors into your warehouse, stockroom, locker room, or school.
4. Incorporating logos
Along with customizing the colors of your lockers, you can also have company (or school) logos added. This is another great way to increase workplace pride or boost school spirit!
What’s your take on lockers?
We hope this guide will help you understand the benefits of plastic and how it compares to metal for lockers.
If you’re looking to make the switch, request a free quote today!