Kaplan focuses on reusable products

For almost 100 years, M. E. Kaplan & Sons has been serving area businesses by providing a variety of products with a multitude of uses.

Now a woman-owned business, it has changed slightly over its legacy, by outreaching as far as 150 to 200 miles away and by selling all of its products online, said owner Judy Sarett.

“Everything we send can be reused,” Sarett said. “That’s a big thing.”

Her grandfather started the business, originally going around with a wheelbarrow. His sons, Sarett’s father and uncle, joined in the business later.

Kaplan’s sells three kinds of cloths for industrial use: Lint free #1 knit white cotton, polo colored cotton and semi-white multi-colored wiping cloths.

The lint free cloths are normally used for wiping down machinery and general use. The polo colored cotton are best suited for all-around cleaning jobs. The semi-white multi-colored wiping cloths are an alternative to the lint free cloths.

All of the cloths come with monthly and bi-monthly scheduled deliveries, based upon the customers’ needs. They come in 25 and 50 pound boxes.

Customers can choose to “go green” with the recycled polo colored wiping rags, made from 100 percent recycled cotton.

Many different companies use the cloths, which are cut in certain sizes, Sarett said.

Burlap bags are another featured item for the store.

“We still sell burlap bags,” Sarett said.

There are two sizes available for the bags, which are made of 100 percent jute plant burlap.

They are biodegradable, recyclable and contain no foreign matter. They can be used to store mechanical parts, feed and and a variety of edible products.

The Poly Woven Plastic Sand Bags are used for flood, erosion or levee control or extra weight. They can hold up to 50 pounds of sand.

Another popular item at the store is the vintage Kentucky whiskey barrel, which some people buy for decoration.

“A lot of people come in to buy (the barrels) for weddings,” Carolyn Smith, general manager, said.

The barrels also are good for making cider and wine, something Sarett has seen older people, and more recently, younger people, do.

Sarett also sells a variety of drums at the store: steel closed-head, plastic closed-head and fiber.

The 55 gallon steel barrel and drums are constructed of a durable cold-rolled steel and are often used for liquids, such as kerosene, oil and diesel.

The reconditioned 55 gallon plastic closed-head drums are often used for floating barrels for docks, chemical storage, oil storage, water barrels and recycle bins.

The fiber drums come in 25, 35 and 55 gallons, which are ideal for a large variety of items: Dry, solid, semi-liquid or liquid.

The plastic open-head drums are 55 gallons that come with a ring and lid. The recycled, repurposed and reconditioned drums are used for chemical storage, oil storage and recycle bins.

A new product from the store is the absorbent pad, which soaks up to 25 times its own weight and is unaffected by temperature changes.

Every repurposed or reused product has the previous signs still on it because people want to know where it came from, Sarett said.