Can society learn to Love plastics?
Our world is understandably seeking to reduce carbon emissions at every turn but one thing is clear : replacing plastics with alternative materials, that are proven to be more harmful to our environment is not the answer.
Very often plastics pollution is talked about in the same breath as climate change which is entirely wrong. Without plastics you could say the battle against climate change is already lost.
So why should we be LOVING plastics ….this Valentine Day ?
Simply put they enable us to live the lives we do today and in the most resource efficient way for our planet. Ok you say, so give me some examples then !
- Clean, safe drinking water is delivered to our taps in Polyethylene plastic water pipe. (If you’re older you will remember the old lead pipes and the problems associated with those.)
- We live longer healthier lives today because of plastics. Modern hospitals would not exist without plastics. From every saline drip to the most advanced medical implants, plastics are everywhere. And think about all the plastic syringes produced for Covid vaccinations around the globe.
- As cars move over from combustion engines to electric models, this will only be possible because of plastics. Cars need to be lighter to run on battery power and plastics provide the solution.
- If food waste was a country then it would be the 3rd largest polluter in the world. (United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization 2011). Plastic food packaging prevents food going off so quickly and prevents thousands of tonnes of food waste every year.
- There are modern safety systems in all forms of transport from bikes to planes, trains and automobiles. These are possible only because of the diverse range of properties that plastics provide and the manufacturing possibilities they provide.
- Light-weighting in all forms of transport, is the way forward to reduce carbon emissions. Replacement of metal components with plastic components is a key way to achieve this.
- Plastics are almost always recyclable. Whether they are in practice is another subject but advances are being made all the time in this area. Plastics are usually always the greenest choice of material proven by numerous Lifecycle analyses (LCA). Have a look at this great book for scientifically proven plastics facts.
So let’s get better at collecting and recycling plastics waste in all it’s forms. It’s the litter we hate. Let’s appreciate the material itself for what it brings to our lives and remember it’s ok to actually LOVE it now and again!
Finally: credits: Main image ©iStockphoto.com/Teraphim. Polymer Heart: Shutterstock, author – Gti861. LOVING plastics? Feel free to contact us to source any brand, grade or quantity from our network of over 350 international suppliers.