Myth Busting – Misconceptions About Plastic

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There is a lot of negativity in the world around plastics. Unfortunately, this extremely versatile material is catching an unwarranted bad rap because of bad behavior resulting in plastics in the environment. Plastics are a versatile, cost-effective material that enriches our lives and have essential applications in nearly all industries. They make airplanes lighter, cars more fuel-efficient, medical equipment sterile, and keep food fresher. The fact is, plastics make our lives better, healthier, and safer every day. 

MYTH: “Plastic products are low-quality.”

FACT: Plastics are a durable material ideal for a variety of applications.

Two great examples of low-cost, durable plastic products are medical devices (1) and plastic bags, the latter weighing only about 5 grams but capable of holding up to 17 pounds (2).

MYTH: “Plastics are toxic.”

FACT: Plastics aren’t toxic – they’re safe.

Plastics are safe and inert, meaning they do not chemically react (3) to other substances, even caustic or acidic ones.

MYTH: “Plastic packaging is harmful to food.”

FACT: Plastic food packaging increases food safety and reduces food waste.

Food-safe plastic provides an impermeable material that is lightweight and durable while helping to extend the shelf life (4) and preserve the texture, flavor, and nutrients of produce and other foods.

MYTH: “Plastics do not support sustainability.”

FACT: Plastics contribute to sustainability in a number of important ways, but most people don’t know it.

Cars made with plastic components are lighter, require less fuel to run, and ultimately reduce emissions. Because of its incredible strength-to-weight ratio, plastics makeup 50 percent of a car’s volume but only account for 10 percent of the weight (5).

MYTH: “Goods made from recycled plastics are weaker and pose health hazards.”

FACT: Recycled plastic offers many of the same benefits as virgin plastic.

Recycled plastic retains the strength and characteristics of virgin plastic. Recycled plastic applications can be found in products such as shoes, chairs, and park benches (6).

MYTH: “Plastics are not viable construction materials.”

FACT: Plastics are a crucial component in the longevity of construction.

Flooring and pipes made with plastics can last more than 20 and 60 years, (7) respectively, reducing the need for frequent replacement.