PLASTIC IS NOT A DIRTY WORD, AND POLYMERS CAN BE GREEN
There is a lot of negative publicity surrounding “plastic” at the present time. Think about supermarket plastic bags, plastic waste in landfill that will last 1000’s of years and also there is the enormous stew of rubbish, consisting of 80 percent plastics, weighing in at around 3.5 million tons according to oceanographers – which floats in the sea in an area where few people ever travel, in a no-man’s land between San Francisco and Hawaii. It doesn’t sound good for the future of plastics long term does it?
But hold on a minute, think about some of the good things that plastics or more accurately, polymers can offer us. Think about the use of polymers in vehicle manufacture, which are used to make vehicles lighter and more efficient, think about the use of polymers in place of timber and helping to reduce de-forestation. Then think about the fact that a majority of polymers can be easily recycled rather than sending them to landfill and polymers are not quite as bad as they are being made out to be. Maybe it’s not the fault of the designers, engineers and manufacturers for using polymers in their products and packaging, but more likely the fault lies with the rest of us for not recycling them properly when we have finished with them. It is the responsibility of all of us to recycle more, both now and even more so in the future.