Nowadays, plastic as a material is getting a bad reputation because if how it is made and its effect on the environment before, during and after production. Admittedly, there are huge issues that need to be overcome in regards to this, especially because it is created as a byproduct of oil, a hugely polluting chemical and how the disposal of it after use causes huge damage to the environment. However, there are almost an infinite amount of uses for plastic that, as of now, bring so much benefit to us. Here are a five uses for plastic that show us it’s not all bad!
Sure, the recent arrival of nano-technology means that waterproofing can done on many permeable items, you still can’t beat the durability and effectiveness of plastic when used for waterproofing. Search for the best rain jackets for men and women and they will almost certainly be made from a plastic such as nylon. The same can be said for tents and other items that are required to be lightweight, durable and waterproof.
- Vehicle Safety
Consider all the unseen or underappreciated part of a car or truck that are out of site and out of mind. Plastic fuel tanks, for example, are durable and less likely to break in the event of a collision, and seat belts made of plastic have saved countless lives. While plastics may be made from oil, their use instead of metal in vehicles saves weight and there reduces fuel consumption.
- Fire prevention
Some fire safety standards implemented by the EU mandate that certain products must have a low flammability rating. The use of plastic can help with this, as plastic is much less flammable than organic material, such as cotton, for example. Think of the plastic insulation cables used within electronics. Not only do they act as a protector of the exposed metal cables inside, but they also prevent overheating and water leaking in, both of which can lead to fires starting.
This is one of the most divisive arguments about plastic. The excessive disposal of plastic, much of which ends up in landfill or in the ocean, severely damaging the local environment wherever the ocean current takes it or the smoke for incinerated plastic goes. However, plastic is crucial for hygienic distribution of clean water and medicines. Hazardous cleaning materials such as bleach is stored more safely in plastic than say for example, in breakable glass bottles. What can be agreed though, is there should be a more effective way of ensuring plastic is reused and not disposed of after a single use.
- Sports protection
Imagine the consequences of playing american football without the protection gear that is used nowadays and made from plastic. Not only is it lightweight and durable as mentioned before, but the level of protection from serious injury is greatly increased. Helmets, pads and mouthguards are all made from plastic, and are all absolute essentials when playing a sport such as this.