Plastic is an incredibly versatile material with a huge range of applications due to the multiple forms, textures and strengths it can take. There are many positive impacts of plastic on the environment that are generally unrecognised, so here are a couple of benefits that you may be surprised to hear…
The Automotive Industry
Metal replacement programs have drastically improved the fuel efficiency of vehicles, with the most efficient vehicles utilising lightweight plastics to deplete the vehicle weight. It is estimated that every 10% weight decrease results in a 7% decrease in fuel usage. The use of plastic in the automotive industry has not only benefited the environment but has also improved design potential, vehicle safety and vehicle life.
Plastic home insulation cuts a major source of heat loss, with polystyrene widely recognised as an excellent insulating medium. As a lightweight, rigid and cheap plastic material, it is a very immediate and affordable means to fight climate change. The results of a Denkstatt study (2010) showed that the total lifecycle of polystyrene insulation consumes on average 16% less energy and produces 9% less greenhouse gas emissions than other insulation material.
Wind turbines use a lightweight yet durable and aerodynamic material for their blades, ensuring that they spin at optimum speed generating the most electricity. Technicians are constantly experimenting with innovative new material to lighten the blades, with different variations of plastic creating the best effects.
Plastic currently accommodates solar cell renewable energy, through protecting panels and connecting and facilitating the internal parts. However researchers have been developing a new technology where plastics can serve as the photovoltaic material within the panels. The versatility of plastic would bring new and exciting options into the world of solar energy, with more flexible, lightweight and thin cells being potentially available to be printed onto a huge variety of surfaces.
Plastic has so much potential to help improve and change the world, and we are proud to be a part of the huge influence that is has, from our automotive projects to the intricate plastic medical parts we manufacture. Get in touch on +44 (0)1276 679394 or drop us an email at [email protected] to discuss what our team could do for you.