A lot of controversies may surround the production of plastics, but they remain commodities on which the world depends to thrive. More environmentally friendly versions and means of production are already in place. What’s more concerning is how plastics remain so cost-effective and how to effectively curb this in order to benefit society and not hinder it. There are several reasons plastic is so cheap to manufacture, as we will discuss further below.
The Expense of Sorting and Recycling
The reality is, everyone would love to see a world free of plastics. But that just isn’t realistic thinking at this juncture in history. What people are focusing on now is the recycling and renewal of the common types of plastics already in use. However, recycling only accounts for something in the realm of 25% of all plastics, as older plastics are too chemically dense to separate and reuse. The cost of renewing old plastics would cost more overall than simply manufacturing new plastic.
Effects of the Composition of New Plastics
Enter new-age plastics, which are mainly created using natural gas and petroleum without all the excess chemical components of their older counterparts. Due to their engineering, recycling and renewing these plastics into new products over and over again is a breeze, thus lessening the production cost and even improving the environment, as they have also become more environmentally friendly.
Oil Prices and Oil Production As Factors
As the prices of oil rise and drop, so too does the cost of manufacturing plastics. However, with such a hold on the oil industry, plastic production has been soaring since the very creation of plastic. So as the world depends on oil, it also relies on plastics, and the cycle continues. Plastic is also produced from the leftovers of oil production, making the cost of materials little to nothing, thus driving down the costs further.
Plastic has become a part of our lives in just about every facet we can imagine. Since it’s so closely incorporated into our existence, it only makes sense that plastic would be a readily available resource. This gives way too many reasons why plastics are so cheap to manufacture.