The Impact of ‘The Plastic Age’

January 2, 2017 • Posted in Technical

In many ways, modern times could be described as “The Plastic Age.” The development and use of plastics for numerous purposes has impacted huge swaths of society and largely goes unnoticed for doing so. One instance of this innovation is the prevalence and incredible importance of plastic resin. Plastic resin, created by what is known as the cracking process (i.e. various degrees of heating designed to break down the larger plastic molecules into other hydrocarbons), is used in all sorts of everyday materials that are vital to modern living.

Once the cracking process is complete and the various hydrocarbon chains, known as polymers, have been arranged, they are mixed together in different combinations depending on their intended use. The applications of these resins are extremely wide, ranging from products that are used in making blister packs and chemical storage to water bottles and oven baking bags. One of the most useful ranges of plastic resins is that of polyethylene terephthalate products, extremely important in the mass production of items like soft drink bottles and plastic garbage bins, or high and low density polyethylene used for a wide variety of products from milk jugs to garbage bags. Without these versatile materials, extremely important aspects of our modern world such as food storage, engineering, and shipping would be severely diminished.

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However, it isn’t only the utility of containers and storage that rely heavily on plastic resin materials. Household items like carpets are created with them, as well as many automotive plastic parts involved in the construction of cars, such as bumpers and the plastic interior linings that fill the insides of the various vehicles we rely on for transport. Plastic resins are fundamentally wound into so many aspects of society today as to be indispensable. Plastic resins are, by comparison to various materials used for storage and containment, easy to manufacture on a large scale while maintaining durability and a light range of weight. Plastic resins provide a sensible option for the creation of all of these various products because of the relatively low expense in mass-producing the resin itself.

As these examples show, plastic resins are important to much of the function of industry and commerce of the world, but what many people may not realize is that most of these products are recyclable, making them both a renewable resource for the people using them and a more environmentally friendly option for the often-maligned industrial processes, blamed for a large number of the environmental problems facing the world today. Plastics can actually be a large part of the solution in these cases, rather than the problem, but people need to be aware that they have to do their part, making the effort to recycle the items they use rather than simply throwing them away.

If you would like to learn more about M. Holland and the plastic resin solutions we provide, submit a form and an M. Holland representative will follow-up with you.

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