Contrary to many beliefs plastic can help the environment in a wide variety of ways. It can be recycled and reformed through multiple molding techniques and offer a better alternative than their wood and metal counterparts. Let us look at four incredible ways how plastics benefit the environment.
1) Help Lower Environmental Impact
Plastics help reduce energy, material use, carbon emission and thereby reduce our environmental footprint. A study found out that the environmental cost of using plastics in packaging and consumer products is nearly four times less than the cost of using other materials. The study further adds that if plastics were to be replaced by alternative materials, it would increase the annual environmental costs from $139 billion to $533 billion.
A recent study found that there would be an increase in solid waste, energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, ozone depletion, acidification if the plastic were to replace alternative materials in packaging applications.
2) Help Reduce Food Wastage
Since plastics are lightweight, durable and UV resistant, they are immensely useful when it comes to packaging. Plastic packaging helps in keeping the food fresh for extended periods of time and preserve its nutrition. It thereby cuts down on food waste, and energy use significantly, compared to other alternatives.
3) Improve Fuel Efficiency
In the quest for developing lighter, safer and fuel-efficient vehicles, automobile manufacturers are now opting for durable and lightweight plastics. Current regulations state that by 2023, vehicles need to achieve the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 4.77litre/100km, a slight but significant dip compared to 5.2litre/100km to this year. This deadline has now prompted auto manufacturers to employ multiple means to make vehicles more fuel-efficient.
Research also shows that for every 10 percent reduction in vehicle’s weight, it improves fuel efficiency by 6 to 8 percent. Manufacturers are now testing and incorporating more advanced plastic materials into the manufacturing process so as to reduce weight and make the vehicles more fuel efficient.
4) Make Home Energy Efficient
From foam insulation to sealants to PEX pipes, plastic products reduce energy usage and help homeowners cut down on costs. How you might ask, let’s have a look. If you’re building a new home or upgrading it, consider using a heating/cooling system that uses cross-linked polyethylene piping. It is flexible, durable, lighter and highly corrosion resistant than other materials.
Using plastic foam insulation is a great way to regulate your home’s temperature without running up your electricity bill. You can also use plastic foam panels and plastic foam wraps to significantly reduce air leaks.
These are some incredible ways of how plastics benefit the environment. To know more about how plastics can make things easier for your business, be a part of Plastivision, the most awaited plastic tradeshow. Book your booth now!