Plastic is an extremely valuable material which is vital to many businesses and trades. This is why we need to make sure that we are creating sustainable plastics and only using what we need.
Plastic can sometimes be painted as the bad guy in the news, but plastics pipes use less energy to produce and transport then iron and concrete. They are so lightweight that they save the building industry thousands in transport costs and help to save emissions. Plastic pipes for water can save gallons of water by stopping more leaks.
As an industry, there are definitely things we can improve on to make the industry more sustainable – for plastic to be fully sustainable it needs to be sustainable in three areas: economically, environmentally and socially.
The plastic industry in the UK makes the product economically sustainable because of the large range of trades that are provided with materials. The annual turnover of the plastic industry as a whole is very high. Money is being invested back into the industry so technology can be constantly improved.
The main issue with environmental sustainability is the waste management of the plastics, and recycled plastics are a sustainable solution to this issue. With the advances in technology soon all plastics will be recyclable. We can all make the conscious effort to recycle, every little action will help in the fight for sustainability.
Finally, the social sustainability of plastics is very good, the industry creates jobs all over the UK and with advances in technology, this could be set to increase. Even in the healthcare sector plastics are essential for hygiene and cost.
Plastics are important in most trades and business sectors, this is why we need to stop painting plastic as a bad material. We need to improve the waste management of plastics certainly, as everyone agrees. The focus should be on making this industry and material sustainable so that the industry can continue to grow and improve.