What kind of planet are we leaving to our children and their children? Plastics are part of our everyday lives and they do a lot of good, but we mostly hear about the bad. Plastics have saved the lives of many loved ones with air bags and innovative vehicle designs. They have also helped keep our foods fresher, longer.
Which of these 7 do you think are True or False?
You may be surprised.
1) TRUE OR FALSE? Plastic helps dramatically lower environmental impacts.
TRUE! By reducing material and energy use, waste, and carbon emissions we are discovering through new research that plastic helps us reduce our environmental footprint. The environmental cost of using plastics in consumer products and packaging is nearly 4 times less than the cost of using other materials. Plastics help us do more with less material.
2) TRUE OR FALSE? Packaging waste and food waste are dramatically reduced by using Plastic packaging.
TRUE! We can do less with strong, lightweight plastics. Plastic packaging delivers more food with significantly less waste, energy use, and global warming potential. This solves a huge environmental problem, by extending the shelf life of our healthy, nutritious food, a little bit of plastic packaging can prevent a whole lot of food waste.
3) TRUE OR FALSE? Fuel efficiency has significantly improved with today’s vehicles being up to 50% plastic.
TRUE! It’s simple, the lighter the car, the less fuel it uses. Car manufacturers are progressively improving fuel efficiency by turning to strong yet lightweight plastics, including carbon fiber-reinforced plastics in order to help our environment. Just a 10% reduction in vehicle weight can increase fuel efficiency 6 to 8% over the life of today’s cars. Many of these lightweight plastics already play a huge part in many auto safety features.
4) TRUE OR FALSE? Enormous amount of energy are being saved by using plastic building and insulation products.
TRUE! The use of plastic building materials saved 467.2 trillion Btu of energy per year over other materials. From foam insulation to caulks and sealants to PEX pipes homeowners save big on energy use. By increasing home energy efficiency we significantly reduce our energy use since 40% is used for heating and cooling. The small amount of energy inherent in plastics saves a huge amount of energy over time.
5) TRUE OR FALSE? Plastics are being recycled more now than they have ever been.
TRUE! Since the 1990’s plastics recycling continues to grow with access to recycling programs for a growing number of plastics, including bottles, caps, containers, lids, and bags/wraps. Americans recycled more than 6 billion pounds of plastics in 2013 according to According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
6) TRUE OR FALSE? Plastic wrappings can be recycled in more than 18,000 places in the U.S.
TRUE! More than 18,000 U.S. grocery and retail stores have specialty bins that accept plastic clean and dry “film” packaging such as grocery bags, bread bags, food storage bags, dry-cleaning bags, overwraps for beverage cases, and so much more. In 2014 American’s recycled nearly 1.2 billion pounds of bags/wraps.
7) TRUE OR FALSE? Plastics manufactures are working to keep plastics out of the oceans.
TRUE! Plastics manufacturers are working together and partnering with governments, scientists, and others to find solutions to keep plastics out of our oceans. To date plastics manufactures have over 260 projects to address oceanic debris, but we can agree there’s much more to be done. To prevent litter we all need to do our part and recycle.
How many did you get correct? Are you surprised by some or all of these?
You’re not alone. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Sources/Websites:  “Plastics and Sustainability: A Valuation of Environmental Benefits, Costs, and Opportunities for Continuous Improvement,” Trucost, 2016; Plastics Engineering; Society of Plastics Engineers; U.S. Department of Energy; Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); www.americanchemistry.com; www.plasticfilmrecycling.org; https://www.marinelittersolutions.com/; iwanttoberecycled.org ; www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com