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Aug 7th, 2018

Plastic and Steel in the News - Enough Plastic Bashing?

Almost weekly, there is a new story about plastic pollution. Most recently, we have read about the war on plastic straws. Enough plastic bashing, right?  

Since plastic first became part of the American landscape, people have valued it for its light weight durability and affordability. It still has its place. Temporary or secondary plastic packaging may have one additional life after recycling before its final destination – the landfill or the ocean.

Being a manufacturer of 100% recyclable steel packaging, we thought we knew all of the facts about competitive packaging such as glass, paper and plastic. Just this week, CBS News featured a report called Piling Up; Drowning in a Sea of Plastic, regarding the current crisis in plastic recycling. The plastic industry is working to make plastics more recyclable or biodegradable but public education and access to commercial recycling facilities for the new plastics may take many years.

Here is what we learned

  • US recycling centers will only process plastics with few contaminants.
  • Contaminated plastic (labeled or containing foreign materials) was purchased by China but as of January, 2018, the Chinese government stopped taking it
  • Small US recycling centers are closing due to slowing down their production and increasing processing to remove contaminants.

Many US companies are touting their conversion from other packaging to plastic as a sustainability move. There are so many factors considered when claiming to be “green”, that a company can convert to a plastic or combination plastic item and claim a carbon footprint reduction. This is due to shipping material that is lighter in weight. That doesn’t mean less plastics in oceans and landfills. Watch the CBS report and learn more.

Although steel has been in the news because of tariffs recently imposed, it is a great value in all categories. Steel is promotional, collectible, recyclable, reusable and biodegradable.


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