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4 Surprising Truths About Plastic

When it comes to plastics, “reputation” could mean a lot of things.

We’ve seen the soda can holders, straws, and bags all washed up with animals from the oceans. We’ve also seen the progress made with packaging innovations, legislation, and the production of more recyclable material meant to combat pollution. While pollution hasn’t gone away, our idea of plastics (whatever that may be) might dominate some truths about plastic, but beyond what we’ve seen on social media, how many of us have taken more time to learn about these truths?

Most people would be surprised to learn how plastic out performs other materials and to help get the research going, we’ve decided to tackle 4 facts about plastic. Here it goes.

FACT: Plastic waste isn’t the largest area of waste in the United States.

Despite the imagery, food and paper represents the largest municipal waste in the country. According to Feeding America, nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted. Food goes to waste at every stage of production and distribution where the waste in our homes makes up about 39% of all food waste and commercial food waste makes up about 61%. The US is, however, the world’s top generator for plastic waste surpassing all of the EU countries combined and that’s one thing we need to aim to fix.

FACT: Plastic packaging reduces food waste.

With food waste being a huge issue in America, plastic can do some good. Plastic packaging is well-designed and durable enough to preserve our foods. Whether it’s on the shelves of a grocery store or in the fridge, food is three times more likely to last in a plastic-made product than in any other kind of packaging. 

FACT: Plastic packaging contributes less emissions than its counterparts.

Plastic jars can use up to 90% less material by weight than their glass counterparts. This difference not only makes transportation easier but results in less fuel use. In other words, because plastic is strong and lightweight, we can do more with less material all the while producing less emissions.

FACT: Plastic can be turned into infrastructure.

Believe it or not, when plastic is reimagined, the material can be re-used for items other than bottles. In South Africa and countries around the world people have turned recycled HDPE into a substitute for asphalt bitumen binder and have turned non-recyclable plastic into building blocks. Check out this company giving plastic waste a new life here.

These are just a few facts to help get your search on the realities of plastic going and hopefully, with this data, you continue to make sustainable choices for the future.

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