Plastic is a material with many facets. Not surprisingly, therefore, many myths have grown up around it. We took a look at a few of them.
Plastic materials have several key characteristics that set them apart from others. One of the most important properties of plastic is that it can be easily molded. In addition, it is characterized by high strength and light weight, with low production costs. Nevertheless, the disadvantages must not be forgotten. Plastic materials take a long time to decompose, which is a big problem with their current overproduction. Harmful microplastics can increasingly be found in the foods we eat.
Replacing plastic with natural plastics will not always be beneficial. Synthetics are valuable materials that should be used wisely. They are irreplaceable in long-term food storage – thanks to them we throw away fewer fruits and vegetables.
It should also be mentioned that, among other things, it takes several times less energy and water to produce a plastic bag than to make its paper counterpart. Repeatedly used, it will not be a bad choice in terms of ecology. Skillful use of the advantages of plastic and wise consumer behavior will ensure that we all benefit. But for this to happen, we need to expand our knowledge and develop useful habits.
Clothes made of synthetic fibers do not crumple and dry quickly. They are stain resistant, characterized by strength and elasticity. They absorb less water than their natural counterparts, making them especially suitable for rainwear. It should also not be forgotten that without synthetics we would not have swimwear. In addition, many companies, such as Nike, choose to produce shoes from recycled materials. Between 2010 and 2018, the brand turned 6.4 billion plastic bottles into recycled footwear or clothing.
Nevertheless, keep in mind the dark side of synthetics as well. Choose clothes from reputable companies that use the best quality plastics. Weak and delicate ones will easily lose microfibers, which pose a major threat to the planet.
The biggest problem with plastic is its long decomposition time. Thus, it is important to recycle it. Choosing the right container and separating items from different materials will make the whole process easier. Nevertheless, even if we as consumers do everything correctly, it may turn out that not every plastic material will be recycled. Its grade depends, among other things, on its color, the degree of soiling, and also decreases with each successive processing. Sometimes it is not cost-effective to re-process.
You may think that as an individual you can’t do anything. However, remember that there are many more people who think the same way. If we all changed our habits, plastic consumption would drop significantly.
Whenever you have the opportunity, try to educate by example. Point out that plastic bottles, nets and packaging can be reused many times. Try to sell and buy used appliances, give them a second life. Segregate waste and separate materials to make recycling easier. If possible, drink tap water instead of bottled water. You can also opt to buy a pitcher with a filter.
main photo: unsplash.com/Possessed Photography