Plastics, plastics… …everywhere plastics!

If you look around at home, you will probably find a lot of objects made of plastic. Well, this can have positive or negative aspects.

Some of the products take advantage of the properties of plastics such as low density and thus low weight, strengths from elastic to highly rigid, chemical resistance, or low electrical conductivity (insulator), some of them are not produced in a sustainable way and can even influence our health.

Stranded plastic waste mistakenly used as food by birds

In many media, in politics and also partly from many environmental organisations a large concern about the problem of plastic garbage in the environment aroe over the last years.

Well, who wouldn’t stand up and complain about the garbage and all the discarded plastic products that are carelessly thrown away and influence the environment and the species living in it?

I am sure you have heard these stories before, dying birds with their stomach full of plastic or the stranded whale that has swallowed several plastic bags. 90% of the pollution in the world seas come from ten rivers only. Eight of them are in Asia and two in Africa.

Stories about micro-plastics in the food chain rightly led to increased attention to plastic handling, and as already mentioned, various organisations, governments or groups are now launching initiatives, giving tips, creating laws and, above all, discussing how to handle plastics.

Many political projects communicated to the public have a onesided focus on the facts or even have nothing or very little to do with the scientific basis or simple facts. However,especially politicians tend to promote misleading, easy answers to complex questions. People can be won over too easily if you emphasise the downsides and promise a general ban of plastics. However, this view misses the big picture.

There is a need for a more detailed examination which is not so easy for the layman to grasp at first glance. Precise observations and comparisons of individual plastic products and applications show that their environmental impact is less significant than the same products made of other materials.

We would like to show you examples in more detail in the following articles. Some general examples would be:

  • Plastics in mobility for lightweight construction for air or road traffic: heavier vehicles would require more fuel or energy
  • Plastic-free hospitals: Naaah, this would be very questionable from a hygienic point of view and a constant cleaning of used utensils with chemicals would be even more questionable.

That’s why we feed this blog with some examples where it is more eco-friendly to use plastic. Of course with a certain awareness of how to deal with the created litter.

Because one thing is for sure: “There is no plan(et) B”, and we are responsible to handle the resources carefully and keep the impact on nature as small as possible.

Hopefully we were able to give you some new inputs. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and join the hubbub.

Peter & Herwig

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