Plastic packaging is demonised, and for many good reasons. While plastic was originally seen as a breakthrough material when it was first synthesised – it was easy to mass-produce, long lasting, versatile, etc. – in recent years, the environmental effects of mass plastic usage has come to be keenly felt.
The problem with plastic packaging is that there’s so much of it, and it can take up to 1,000 years to degrade naturally. Plastic ends up in the oceans, in rivers and lakes, and we see it littering the streets. Plastic causes pollution, it kills wildlife, and surely plastic production must use up lots of energy, too.
Much of this plastic waste is single-use plastic. In fact, the real reason that plastic is seen as bad for the environment is that we don’t recycle and reuse enough of it.
Plastic is only bad for the environment when it’s thrown away, when it’s not recycled and when it’s only used once before being chucked into landfill. That’s when plastic ends up polluting, using mass amounts of energy, and causing environmental damage.
When plastic packaging is recycled, reused and repurposed, it has the potential to be long lasting, saving mass amounts of energy and not polluting the environment. One of the major ways industrial businesses benefit from making use of plastics is the fact that plastics are so easily reused.