Why Plastic Materials Are Unfairly Blamed

Plastics have been around for over a century now, and are used in almost every industry and application. The problem is that society has made the plastics industry the poster child for waste, trash and pollution. This is unfair, and factually incorrect.

Plastic materials are lighter, cost less to produce, use less electrical power to produce, and are safer for use. It is not new phenomenon that a material or product, once used, gets thrown away. This is the normal life cycle of many materials. Some inexpensive plastic materials used in consumer goods are made to throw away once the item has been purchased. Things like the indestructible packing we fight on kids toys, the cheap plastic sporks from restaurants, the prolific plastic water bottles and of course, the plastic grocery bags. All of these materials are 100% recyclable, the hitch is that it requires a little effort to recycle.

Are Plastic Materials The Cause?

On the positive side, the products that plastic currently replaces are much larger, heavier and generally cost more to produce, and use more energy to produce. This means, that the large amount of plastics that are not being properly disposed of, are replacing much larger quantities of materials that would not be recycled. I still remember times when I was a kid, and seeing tin cans in the lakes and rivers when out Why Plastic Materials Get A Bad Reputation Why Plastic Materials Get A Bad Reputation Recycled Furniture made of HDPE milk jugs and detergent bottlesfishing. People polluting with their trash is not a new thing, now it is just a different group of materials.

Thermoplastic plastic materials are recyclable, and can be used over and over again. Generally, the recycled product would not be for a Food or Medical application. A common use of recycled plastic is with the collected milk jugs and detergent bottles, both HDPE, can be ground and turned into plastic lumber. The plastic lumber can be used to replace standard wood products for decks and outdoor furniture, and it will last for 15 – 20 years with no maintenance or painting. The cost savings and reduced use of natural resources for this one product can be staggering. The color doesn’t fade, it wood won’t split or crack, and it continues to look good for up to two decades.

Our recent article, “Plastic Material Bad Reputation – How did we get here?“, we discuss the factors that have lead to the ‘throw away’ society that we have become. Much of this bad reputation is for products that are designed as one use and then designed to be thrown away. So, if we are to change the bad reputation, companies need to change this design flaw, and start using materials for applications that can be reused easily.

If we can minimize the use of throw away plastics, and recycle the plastic material once we are done with it, we can help to limit plastic in land fills.plastic materials don't pollute, people pollute. Why Plastic Materials Get A Bad Reputation Why Plastic Materials Get A Bad Reputation 91cc 59ea

The blame for plastic pollution should be placed…on people. The plastic is not the cause of the problem, it is the litter-bug and irresponsible individuals that trash our planet. How do the plastic bottles and grocery bags end up in the ocean. They certainly don’t throw themselves in to the ocean, it is lack of responsibility and negligent behavior.

It really only takes a couple of seconds to throw something into a recycle bin. Even better would be to reuse the plastic bottles or plastic bags. Plastic materials are not the problem, empathetic people are the problem.

Google+ – Hayden Hess

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More recycled plastic sheet is needed to fill demand

The plastic industry struggles with bad press over greater amounts of plastic in the land fills and oceans. This is understandable when the quantity of plastic products has skyrocketed. One of the biggest offender is the common shopping grocery sack. Most plastic materials are recyclable, and the demand has grown much faster than the supply, as industrial manufacturers are searching for recycled materials to use in their products.

Here is a recent article discussing the problem of plastic bag bans in more detail, “Manage waste right, don’t penalize small vendors“. Here is another article discussing the problem isn’t the plastics, “It’s Not About The Plastics, It’s About The People”.

What else is being done to ease this supply line shortage and the increase of recycling? Read more here…

Recycled resin demand drives support for EPR

By Mike Verespej| PLASTICS NEWS STAFF

Listing of recycled plastic sheet materials Demands for recycled plastic sheet greater than current supply Demands for recycled plastic sheet greater than current supply recycle triangles

Posted May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (May 22, 10:35 a.m. ET) — With demand for recycled resins continuing to outstrip supply, the voices are getting louder — and more organized — for creating some sort of extended producer responsibility program to increase the recycling of packaging materials, plastics and otherwise.

In the past two months, an alliance of more than 30 public interest groups and other supporting organizations formed the Cradle² coalition to push for public policy changes that would make manufacturers responsible for collecting and recycling the products and packaging they make.

“The broad implementation of EPR is still a long way off,” said Scott Mouw, recycling director for the state of North Carolina. “But these new advocacy groups for EPR are all reacting to the same thing. …(read more here)

The entire plastic supply chain has been affected. We receive calls regularly for our plastic materials, but clients want to know if they can get a recycled plastic sheet version. Most plastics we carry can be recycled, but most don’t make it back into sheets or rods due to FDA and NSF requirements. The most popular plastic we carry that are available as a recycled product are Reprocessed UHMW Sheets and Rods and Repro HDPE. The HDPE is available as post consumer content from milk jugs and laundry soap containers. PTFE sheet is also available as a reprocessed product for applications where the high purity is not critical, just the heat or wear resistance would remain. 

Contact us for more information on the recycled plastic materials you may need.

Additional Information About Plastic Recycling and The Real Cause of Pollution Here.


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