To be classed as truly sustainable, a material must be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. Many plastics are recyclable, and provide fantastic benefits to many industries. In fact, in recent times, many manufacturers are finding ways to make plastic use more sustainable without compromising these benefits
Plastic has long been considered unsustainable due to the large amount of time it takes to biodegrade.
However, now companies have started their recycling innovations to make plastics reusable, it can be considered a more sustainable material due to the lack of emissions or unsustainable practices used during its production.
Only 4% of the world’s oil goes towards plastic production,and when considering the amount of plastic used on a day to day basis, this is an extremely minimal amount.
Plastics are also durable and lightweight, which makes them a great addition to any industry requiring lightweight materials, such as the aerospace and automotive industries. Their lack of corrosion also helps reduce maintenance time and costs.
They use less energy to produce than their concrete or iron counterparts, and they are more leakproof – consequently reducing leaks and saving significant amounts of water and energy required to process and pump the water.
The use of plastics can also aid sustainability in other ways. Food, for example, rots and degrades when out in the open. The use of protective plastics brings food waste in the UK down to a mere 2%.
Furthermore, we are always searching to make plastic even more environmentally friendly. From brands like Carlsberg using plastic glues to attach their beer cans rather than ring pulls that can trap and harm ocean life.
Plastics are never going to be eradicated as their use to us is too great, but they are able to be innovated and adapted to become more sustainable moving forwards.
The contribution of the plastic industry to UK economics is outstanding. Annually, the turnover is £17billion.
For many plastics companies, their whole supply chain is in the UK, drastically minimizing any form of carbon emission that would be used to obtain plastics from overseas.
Financially, plastic investments can also improve long term costs and aid in the lifetime value of some products.
For example, plastics will not corrode and are a good replacement for metals in construction, reduced energy for heating when plastic insulation is used and less fuel use in vehicles when they are manufactured with more lightweight materials.
In terms of investments and economics, this makes plastics truly sustainable.
The final element of sustainability is social sustainability. The plastics industry creates a variety of worthwhile careers and is always changing as plastic use is innovated, and allows employees to progress and learn.
The health and safety element of the plastic industry is paramount, and employees truly are valued within their jobs.
At Rayda Plastic, we pride ourselves on re-using virtually all of the waste plastic material that we produce. 40% of our total raw material purchases are recycled plastic.
PVC, ABS and Polypropylene (some of our most common extruded plastics) are all categorized as sustainable plastics with recyclable properties.
We want to do our part in aiding sustainability in the plastics industry, and by incorporating the use of recyclable plastics, we satisfy the environmental sustainability required.
For more information about what we do at Rayda, visit our website.