Going Green? Plastics and the Environment

For many environmentalists, the word "plastic" is enough to cause them to shudder in their shoes. But, plastic is actually one of the most environmentally-friendly choices one can make. Plastics, like cast acrylic rods and tubes, help to reduce waste, conserve resources, and contribute to energy efficiency. 

Here are some other interesting facts on how plastic helps make the world more energy efficient.

Fast Facts on Plastics and the Environment

Although many "eco-friendly" containers and products tout their environmental benefits over that of plastic, the truth is that it often requires less energy to convert raw materials into plastic products than it does for similar products being made from other materials. In addition, the production of plastics account for just 4% of the total energy consumption in the United States and that is quite amazing considering how many things are made using plastics.

Plastic bags are commonly considered environmental nightmares, but in actuality, plastic bags require one-third less energy to make than their paper counterparts. Containers made from another "environment-killer," foam polystyrene, actually requires 30% less total energy to make than paperboard containers.

Here are some more surprising facts:

  • Without plastic, the energy used to produce packaging would double
  • Because plastic is so much lighter than other materials, the weight of truck payloads allows companies to ship more product in fewer trucks, resulting in a significant reduction of fuel usage
  • Thanks to lightweight plastic parts, an automobile owner saves 650 gallons of gas over the life of their vehicle
  • A 100-watt bulb can be kept burning for 11 hours on the energy saved by recycling just one one-gallon plastic milk jug
  • Product manufacturers that use plastics in their packaging save enough energy every year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3-1/2 years
  • Plastic parts and insulation make it possible for 53 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to be saved annually by improvements in major appliances
  • Without plastics, the waste stream would experience a 160% increase in packaging waste
  • Plastic helps to reduce the corrosion of major appliances by 40%, helping them to last longer
  • To make a single container for a gallon of milk it would require 4.3 pounds of glass verses just ¼-lb of plastic
  • Hundreds of quality products are made with or packaged in post-consumer recycled plastic, including composite decking material (which is resistant to insects, decay, and wear)
  • Plastic is a high-energy product, so when it is incinerated, the entire product burns more efficiently for a maximum waste-to-energy conversion and virtually no ash

Going Green? Cast Acrylic Rods from US Cast Can Help

If you have an application that calls for glass or cast acrylic rods, opting for plastic will help make your application as environmentally-responsible as possible. Call US Cast today at 856-347-2342 to learn more about our premium cast acrylic rods and tubes and how they can help you achieve optimum results. 


Request a product catalog