Plastic does not have a good reputation these days. Of course, with the amount of plastic pollution that exists in the world, many concerns are warranted. However, it’s important to remember that as far as sustainable packaging goes, plastic has played and will continue to play a crucial role. Major advances in manufacturing of Polyethylene film products have ensured it is now more efficient to produce than ever. This makes it one of the most significant contributors to environmental sustainability. This might seem counterintuitive to some, so we’ll go into more detail below about what it means to have sustainable packaging.
What Does it Mean to Be Sustainable?Sustainability is all about the responsible management of resources and the entire waste hierarchy - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reducing our use of materials is the most important “R” in sustainability, which is why it’s at the top of the hierarchy. Reducing the overall use of raw materials means less resources are extracted, less energy and water is used, and decreased transport and production methods are required. Through their energy saving potential and intrinsic recyclability, plastics make an overall positive contribution to sustainability on a large scale. Dolphin Plastics and Packaging Reduce our carbon footprint in many ways during the manufacturing process. This is extremely important to us. We reduce electricity usage on our machines by minimizing processes like plant start up and shut down procedures to ensure less electricity is used. We also filter all our emissions to reduce all air pollution from our facility. Reuse and Recycle play a large part in all activities onsite at Dolphin Plastics and Packaging as we aim for continual improvement on all sustainability platforms. We recycle all plastic waste and off cuts through our onsite recycler and reuse all our recycled material to manufacture other items that can be produced using up to 100% recycled materials.
Environmental Impact - Plastic vs AlternativesIf plastic materials were substituted with other currently available alternatives, it would mean:
- 80 per cent more energy used
- 130 per cent more greenhouse gases used
- 55 million tons more waste produced
The Power of RecyclingBy producing plastics from recycled materials, you can save around 88 per cent of the energy required to make plastic from raw oil and gas. It’s a role every business and household can play a part in when it comes to building a more sustainable world. Recycling is an area we do need to work on as a global community, with only 9 to 30 per cent of plastics currently getting recycled, depending on whose statistics you look at.
DurabilityOne of the key benefits of plastic is its durability, reliability and water resistance, as well as its cost efficiency to produce. This makes it handy for everything from keeping your clothes dry during rainy hikes to protecting food for long periods and disposing of hazardous waste.
Plastic is ChangingLike many industries, plastic production is constantly undergoing a process of transformation and innovation that allows for the creation of more sustainable products, including:
- Bioplastics made from plant fibres
- Biodegradable plastics
- Plastic that can be converted back into oil