There has been a great deal said, written, and debated about how bad plastic is for the planet and the environment, which is accepted as fact. There are, however, varying viewpoints as to how this can be dealt with. Until such a time as a reliable, environmentally-friendly replacement can be established, plastic as we know it will remain important. The manner in how we reuse, recycle and repurpose it will thus also be ever more important.
The issue, the planet, the bad reputation
Plastic is a non-biodegradable material that takes an incredibly long time to break down sufficiently to be used again. The main problem being, it does not rot away like paper or food, and as such, plastics are the main pollutant in landfill and causing ocean damage. It is a product that went from hero to zero as the knowledge of how this incredibly useful material was damaging the environment increased.
This has resulted in the proactive reduction in the use of certain plastics, such as single-use packaging or plastic shopping bags, as well as a vast increase in the amount of recycling, reusing, and repurposing of plastic in as many ways as possible. It is a product that we have yet to find a suitable replacement for some industrial functions. As such, it is critical for its further and continued use to innovate around how to reuse, recycle and repurpose.
Innovation and changes
The need to improve the manner in which plastics are used to protect the environment has led to increased levels of innovation. The uses for plastics have changed, and no longer is it simply for packaging and as containers. Shipbuilding, waterproofing, and construction are all the modern requirements and uses of plastics. These are generally plastics products made from recycled plastics and toughened to last a lifetime in use rather than in landfill.
This has also meant that repairing is better than throwing away, and the repurposing of industrial plastic has become a growth industry.
The type of tools and repairs available means that industrial plastics are not throwaways, and with the right plastic welding rod, even the worst damaged plastic can be repaired. Welds can be used to create stronger, more long-lasting fixes for Polly tunnels, roofing insulation, and waterproof membranes, industrial containers, and plastic of all natures and uses.
For anyone in industrial production or manufacturing or even just hobby crafting, it will be important to look at how you can reuse, recycle and repurpose the plastic that is available to decrease the need for more to be produced.
Plastic as we know it is changing, and the technology that is available to modern production will allow for this change to be long-lasting. Plastic itself is still a vital component of modern life; however, the uses of this material need to change. The manner in which we reuse plastic must be improved, and there should be wider bans on the production of single-use plastic bags and throw away packaging.