The Life Cycle of a Stapler

The Life Cycle of a Paper Stapler
By Chase
• A stapler comprises many components, most
of which are metal stampings and spring type
parts. Main components of a typical home or
office stapler include the base; the anvil, the
magazine, the metal head, and the hanger.
Materials Acquisition
• A stapler is composed of mostly aluminum
sheet metal, cut and pressed to function, and
plastic injection molds.
Materials Processing
• First you need raw materials which are metal
and plastic.
• Then use the raw materials to make:
– Follow spring (coil)
– Clearing spring (leaf)
– Rivets
– Pin
– Plastic cap
– Metal head and Base
• The pins, stampings, and springs are subassembled in stages and then assembled
together with the upper and lower halves of
the stapler frame. For the bottom subassembly, consisting of the base, hanger, anvil,
and clearing spring, the parts are placed in an
assembly jig that holds them in position to
allow the rivets to be placed in the correct
• Staplers are packaged usually in bubble plastic
and cardboard. Then it’s wrapped in plastic
wrap and packaged in cardboard boxes.
• Many companies that manufacture staplers
are in China, but some other companies are in
the U.S.A. Still, lots of greenhouse gasses are
used because they're sent by plane and boat,
then trucks to the stores.
• Using a stapler is easy. First install staples.
Then take some sheets of paper, place them
in-between the small metal piece on the
bottom half and the end of the top half of the
stapler, press down on the stapler, and,
presto! The sheets of paper are stapled
• A stapler does not consume energy, but it
does waste metal.
• A stapler can be re-used by using pieces as art,
or using a stapler as a paper weight.
• Broken staplers can be melted down with
other recycled metals.
• A stapler can last decades, but when it’s put
into the trash, it gets put into a landfill. The
metal part of the stapler starts to rust and
break down, after who knows how long. But
the plastic just stays there.

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