Plastic’s eco status is more complex than you think


Ignore for a moment that ubiquitous plastic plays a role in global environmental crises, littering oceans and leaching chemicals into the ground. An uncomfortable bottom line is that there are no alternatives to plastic if our Western economies want to grow and develop at the rate and in the manner they have for decades. And that’s not to mention the fact that the mechanical qualities of plastic can be argued to drastically reduce the environmental impact of our consumer society. Plastic makes products lighter for transportation. Its cheap production results in energy savings compared with other materials. In the high volume food industries it helps keep veggies and meat fresh longer. And many plastics are able to be recycled over and over again where other materials quickly degrade. The chair of the Swedish Plastic Industry Association (Svensk Plastindustriförening), Leif Nilsson makes sales points that are difficult to argue with: “The rule of thumb is that plastic uses only about 30 percent as much material as you’d need with other materials. With glass or metal, the weight of products shoots up and so do transportation emissions and costs. Cars and airplanes suffer more wear and tear and use more fuel. Then, of course, there are areas where plastic is more or less irreplaceable because of its mechanical qualities and moldability.” Hmm… electronics, computers, mobile phones? And those gadgets might be argued to afford us a long list of “soft” environmental benefits through increased knowledge sharing and connectivity. Just all to say that a greener plastic like Trifilon BioLite™ is an even better idea than you thought!