As environmental and energy concerns increase, many countries around the world are focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before we reach 2030. This is where plastics come in. Plastic products can serve the purpose of ensuring that we achieve greener and sustainable living standards. Let us look at five ways how plastics are contributing to achieving this ambitious goal.
1) Efficient Insulation: In homes and buildings around the world, plastics have provided excellent insulation from heat and cold. They also help in preventing air leakages. Plastic insulation emits 9% fewer greenhouse gases compared to other alternative materials. They also consume 16% less energy. What’s more, plastic insulation saves 150x energy through their entire lifecycle.
2) Renewable Energy: Did you know that photovoltaic panels and the rotor blades of wind turbines are made of large amounts of plastics? This helps them achieve renewable energy at an efficient production rate. Just within these two applications, plastics save 340x the emissions produced during their production.
3) Preventing Food & Medical Losses: When speaking about food and pharmaceutical packaging, plastics deliver excellent protection. They extend the shelf life of food by preserving its freshness and significantly reduce food wastage. Plastic packaging also ensures that medicines are not damaged or tampered with. For food like meat, plastics can extend their shelf life by 3-6 days. Considering that the meat industry emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, plastics extend the shelf life and offer great environmental benefits.
4) Lightweight Applications: When it comes to making vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient, plastics have a significant role to play. Also, due to weight reduction and lightweight packaging ensures that there are fewer CO2 emissions during transportation. Compared to alternative packaging solutions, plastic packaging weighs one-quarter. This results in reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.
5) Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions during Manufacturing: Plastic products need less energy to manufacture compared to other materials. This is true in the applications like construction, transport, electronics, and packaging. If we end up replacing plastics with alternative materials, their greenhouse gas emission could increase by 61% and there would be a boost in lifecycle energy consumption by 57%.
We hope you have gained noteworthy insights from this article. As you can see, plastics will continue to contribute to helping us create and save energy. This will eventually translate to fewer energy costs, less greenhouse gas emissions, and optimize our energy consumptions.