Plastic is an essential part of modern life. We may not be quick to recognise its presence but plastic is found in items ranging from our food containers and shopping bags to even family portraits and toys for children.
Everyday plastic is contains a mix of chemicals and naturally found elements such as natural gas, oils, minerals, coal and plants. The most popular plastics are made from hydrocarbons that are easily found in natural gas, oil and coal. A polyethylene supplier or even a plastic resin supplier can tell you about the gargantuan proportions in which plastic is manufactured and supplied around the world!
Because they form such an integral part of our everyday existence it is important to know the kind of plastic that goes into making the items that we use daily.
- Polyethylene: polyethylene or polyethylene terephthalate is the most common plastic that is found in and around households. Bottles and jars, microwaveable trays, detergent containers and even clothes contain this form of plastic. Polyester is derived from polyethylene and used extensively in the textiles industry.
- High density polyethylene: This is one of the most basic forms of a plastic polymer. It contains repeated chains of one carbon and two hydrogen molecules. This form of plastic is recommended safe for use and is known for its stiffness, strength, ease of processing and finally, relatively high resistance to moisture. Therefore, you will find high density polyethylene in plastic bags and shopping bags, cereal bag liners, garbage bags, dishes and some medicine bottles as well.
- PVC: We hear the term PVC being thrown around quite often. PVC is polyvinyl chloride. You will find PVC in two primary forms. Soft PVC is used in the manufacture of toys, food and non-food related packaging, cooking oil jars, shower curtains, and cable insulation to name a few. Rigid PVC is used to make credit cards, plumbing, fencing, decking and in some other building materials.
- Polypropylene: This kind of plastic is used in applications similar to polyethylene. However, there are two characteristics that set polypropylene apart: it is generally stiffer and more resistant to heat than polyethylene. The typical uses of polypropylene include the manufacture of bottle caps, food containers, medicine containers and baby bottles. You will also find this form of plastic in sanitary pad liners, thermal vests and also in the bumpers and carpets of cars.
- Polystyrene: If you have used Styrofoam food containers then you should know that they contain polystyrene. Bike helmets, disposable cutlery, CD and DVD cases, egg cartons, take-out food containers and even razors and petri dishes contain polystyrene.
There have been a lot of concerns regarding the use of plastic in everyday life. Many forms of plastic are considered extremely carcinogenic and also are difficult to recycle. Slowly, a lot of environmental concern around plastic has forced polyethylene suppliers and plastic resin suppliers to adopt technologies methods of production and distribution of plastic that does not add to the concerns regarding the impact of plastic on both health and the environment.