The plastic industry is under attack; while plastic was once seen as a magical material, anno 2019 the material is treated almost equally to nuclear waste. The success of plastic (durability) turned out to be its greatest weakness.
The current state of our planet demands change, nobody can deny that there is too much plastic that is not being recycled and ends up in the sea. However, to bring the plastic waste discussion to the next level we must make a clear distinction between ‘plastics’ and ‘single use plastics’ (slastics!).
Let’s start with the difference between plastics and slastics
To the team at plasticknowledge.com, plastics are materials that are used for durable applications. An example of a durable plastic application is a jerry can that is used as a backup fuel storage at the back of a tractor for more than 30 years. If this jerry can is returned to a recycling facility after 30 years of usage, we think of this as a durable product and don’t think other materials will be able to provide a better solution to the farmer that would like to carry along some reserve fuel.
Therefore to us, the plastic discussion shouldn’t focus on plastics but on slastics!
To us, slastics are materials that are used for single use applications that have a high risk of not being recycled. An example of a product made from slastic is the mayonnaise container you get at your local fast food restaurant. This slastic application is only used once and has an high risk of not being recycled due to the fact that it is contaminated with mayonnaise.
Simply by looking at your current surroundings, you will notice that banning plastics altogether is almost impossible; but how about slastics? Can slastics actually be replaced? Is it wise to replace certain slastics (what if they prevent us from wasting more food?) If so, which replacements are most suitable?