Use and Benefits of Plastics in various industries

Due to their low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, and imperviousness to water, plastics are used in lots of products of different sizes, including paper clips and spacecraft. They have replaced traditional materials, such as wood, stone, horn and bone, leather, metal, glass, and ceramic. Most plastics are made from petroleum based chemical reactions.

In developed economies, about a third of plastic is used in packaging and roughly the same in buildings, in applications such as piping, plumbing or vinyl siding (Plastic Wikipedia, 2017).  Other uses include cars (with up to 20% plastic), furniture, and toys. In the developing world, the applications of plastic may differ — 42% of India’s consumption is used in packaging (NPCS Board of Consultants & Engineers, 2014)

Plastics have many uses in the medical field as well, with the introduction of polymer implants and other medical devices derived at least partially from plastic. Artificial hearts have been made from plastics.

Sources: British Plastics Federation (2018) and Plastics Europe (2018)

 

Plastic Free Towns concept as a product of Anti-Plastics “Hysteria”

There is currently almost an anti plastic hysteria with people wanting to ban plastics but this is totally unrealistic. What they SHOULD be banning is the careless disposal of plastics. The idea of plastic free towns and cities is a pipe dream as it would first be necessary to change the public’s way of life. Plastics are now an essential part of our lives and unless people want to live in a world without mobile phones and electrical wiring, we just cannot live in the past. We need to go forward and ban single use plastics and find ways of using basic natural materials to replace SOME plastics. THAT is something that can be achieved. What we should be promoting is Sustainability of our precious Oceans by reducing plastic pollution, by controlling how plastics are disposed of and by supporting beach cleans. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. That is the way forward.

 

Environmental Concerns 

The success and dominance of plastics starting in the early 20th century led to environmental concerns because they took too long to break down after being discarded as trash due to their composition. Toward the end of the century, one way of dealing this problem was to encourage recycling, but other “solutions” are to bury them in landfill and incineration.