Plastic is Essential for Many Manufacturing Industries

Bottle packaging extrusion

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in today’s world. For industries like manufacturing, janitorial, chemical, automotive, food and medicine, plastic is a basic material. Life without the many plastic jar uses that we take for granted – for basics like ketchup, face cream and vitamins – would be very different. There are signs that we are moving towards more responsible use of plastics, with a major growth in recycling plastic jars and containers. There’s also a growing trend towards reusing materials, and everyone from scientists to artists has ideas about how to go about this.

Plastics today
From water bottles to medical equipment to automobiles, we are surrounded by plastics. This man-made material is the basis for much of our lives. Plastic manufacturing is the third-largest industry in the U.S. It employs about a million people and is worth $375 annually.
Worldwide, the amount of plastics and resins produced in 2013 reached around 107.5 billion pounds.

Plastic containers are lighter and more portable
Plastics developed as an alternative to glass and aluminum containers, being lighter and cheaper. To deliver 10 gallons of a liquid, such as soda, juice or water, bottle companies need 2 pounds of plastic. It would take 3 pounds of aluminum, 8 pounds of steel and more than 40 pounds of glass.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, made from petroleum by-products, began to replace glass, metal and aluminum containers in the 1970s. HDPE used for making plastic bottles is lighter, and it is also recyclable.

Recycling plastics is an important concern
Recycling plastic has become increasingly important for both economic and environmental reasons. More and more plastic items, such as water bottles, plastic jars, mats, bags and even rugs are being made out of recycled plastic.
Plastic containers, jars, bottles and even bags can be recycled. The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) reports that 5,764 million pounds were recycled in 2013. Of this, 4,899 million pounds or about 87% were from plastic containers, bottles and jars.

Plastic jar uses for everyday and industrial purposes
Our world is still highly dependent on plastic. It is estimated that every hour, Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles. Plastic bottle containers are still used for everything from shampoo to mustard. The number of plastic jar uses keeps growing.
Industrial plastic containers and plastic chemical containers are still essential for many manufacturing and industrial processes. Around 600 billion pounds of plastic are produced each year, worldwide, and production is still growing at an annual rate of 5%.

The number of plastic jar uses is practically infinite. However, with recycling and new technological developments like bio-sourced and compostable plastics, we may be moving towards a future where we can continue to benefit from plastics without harming the environment.

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