Every industry seems to be making strides toward sustainability, and it’s important to understand exactly what that means. Plastic has long been one of the most harmful products for our environment, so it’s good to see manufacturers making efforts to reduce their impact in recent years. Read on to learn what you need to know about eco-friendly plastic.
The Problem With Conventional Plastic
There’s a lot of talk about how bad conventional plastic is for the environment, but what does plastic actually do? The biggest problem comes from something that plastic doesn’t do. Since its invention in the 1950s, humans have made over 8 billion metric tons of plastic. However, plastic doesn’t break down.
So we still have around 8 billion metric tons of plastic on this planet, even though many of those plastic tools and items have long since served their purposes.
What Is Eco-Friendly Plastic?
Simply put, eco-friendly plastic is any plastic that behaves in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment. Since a major concern with plastic is its inability to break down, that was the main problem that scientists worked to solve.
Bioplastic vs. Biodegradable Plastics
You’ve probably heard a few terms when it comes to sustainable plastic. Bioplastic and biodegradable plastic are two of the more common examples.
Bioplastics typically require smaller amounts of energy to produce than traditional plastics. They can also naturally break down over time.
Biodegradable plastics, on the other hand, break down rapidly when exposed to everything you’d find in nature—namely, oxygen, light, heat, and moisture.
With all this in mind, you must remember that plastic manufacturing is better than ever. While there are always improvements that manufacturers can make to increase sustainability, they have already made great strides in recent years toward greater eco-friendliness in plastic creation processes. Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics are prime examples of this.
Now that you understand what you need to know about eco-friendly plastics, you can support companies making an effort to produce sustainable products.