Are Polyolefin materials (Polyethylene and Polypropylene) Eco friendly?
| Dhaval Tanna
Polyolefin materials (Polyethylene and Polypropylene) have an environmental impact, which is among the lowest of any material, synthetic or traditional.
Polyolefins are produced from natural polyolefin resins. The product has good electrical properties, good chemical resistance to solvents, acids, alkalis, and good durability and resistance to environmental stress.
When one hears the words "plastic" and "environment" in the same sentence, an image of a PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) binder lying in a landfill, unscathed and toxic, a hundred years from now may come to mind.
But all plastics are not equal in this regard.
Half a century ago, two new members of the polyolefin family became available: Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP). These two plastics offer all of the traditional applications used for PVC, paper, metal or glass. They can be printed on, die cut for packaging and presentations, foil embossed and fulfill all the traditional uses for binders and other types of information packaging. They possess increased durability and are significantly more wear resistance when compared to traditional products such as paper.
A distinct advantage remains: these materials are environmentally-friendly.
Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) benefit the environment because they:
• Take fewer natural resources to produce
• Generate fewer waste products in production and disposal
• Are widely recycled
• Are biodegradable (break down to carbon and hydrogen)
• When burned, they do not generate toxic gases (like chlorine from PVC plastics)