Plastic more sustainable than expected

Plastics are popular and have a multitude of applications. They make our lives easier, cleaner, safer and more pleasant through products such as complex smartphones, flexible food storage bags, lightweight car parts and reliable med packs. Unfortunately, plastic recently has come into question regarding its sustainability despite the fact that it is an organic product with environmentally friendly and cost efficient properties.

Plastic is a natural product

Plastics are derived from natural products such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and crude oil. Crude oil is a complex compound made of thousands of bonds. To make it functional, it needs to be processed, just like cardboard, metal and glass. Processing oil into plastic is costly and in some cases harmful to the environment however down the supply chain ones sees the opposite effect.

Save with plastic

The following properties make plastic cost efficient and environmental-friendly:

  • Plastic is light-weight: As packaging and vehicle components this fact leads to lower shipping costs and helps to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Plastic is strong: damage and product loss can easily be avoided and the long lifespan allows endless reuse
  • Plastic is recyclable: it can be turned into new products
  • Plastic is easily formed into complex shapes: it does not require extensive machining or many operations to become usable. This quality saves energy and reduces manufacturing waste

Watch the following video to see how plastic contributes to a more sustainable world:

How sustainable is CurTec packaging?

High Performance Packaging is clean, safe and certified. CurTec chose plastic in order to be able to deliver that promise. CurTec is a GMP certified packaging company and only uses resins from reputable plastic manufacturers who can meet their quality requirements. Plastic makes our drums, pails, containers and jars light-weight yet strong, highly functional, reusable and ultimately - recyclable.

How sustainable are other packaging materials?

Most manufacturers will have good arguments for the sustainability of their products and materials. Which material is most sustainable depends on the variables in the equation and the spectrum of possible choices for the application. Glass for instance is relatively heavy, vulnerable, and requires a large amount of energy for production whiles the raw material, sand, is available in abundance. Plastic is by far lighter and easy to manufacture, but it is made of less abundant oil.

So, sustainability is not just about choice of materials. For example, for high value and sensitive materials where moisture absorption, contamination, and durability are major concerns, a reusable plastic container that may be used hundreds of time may makes sense when compared to a ceramic or glass jar that is fragile, a metal can that corrodes, and paper versions that absorb moisture and shed  fibers.

It is only by looking at the specific application, the possible material options, energy balances, and then entire life cycle of the container that one may fully determine the wisest choice for stewardship of the environment and the long term sustainability of our planet.  Let us help you make a sensible evaluation in determining if plastic is a good option for your sustainability goals.

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