With so much in the news recently about the environmental damage caused by inappropriate disposal of ‘single-use’ plastics, we thought it was time to highlight the fact that in so may ways, plastics are actually making a positive contribution to the environment and sustainability.
Based on information published by the BPF (British Plastics Federation), here the benefits of plastic materials in terms of sustainability:
It’s lightweight – Over the lifetime of the average car, lightweight plastic parts save around 3,000 litres of fuel.
It’s durable – Plastic pipes are designed to last for more than 100 years and also reduces the overall failure rate.
It saves water – The production of a plastic bags consumes less than 4% of the water needed to make a paper bag.
It helps protect products – products sold loose have been found to suffer from great in-store waste in some cases leading to losses of 20%.
It prevents food waste – wrapping Bananas in a modified atmosphere bag extends shelf-life by 2 to 3 days.
It’s recyclable – all plastic can be recycled but it is not always technically or economically possible. If plastic can not be recycled the calorific value of plastic can be recovered through energy from waste plants. Recycling one tonne of plastic bottles saves 1.5 tonnes of Carbon.
It only uses 4% of the world’s oil production – the rest is used for transport, energy, heat or is burnt.
You can read more about this here, together with references on which these facts are based.