What does the future of plastic look like?

Flourish or finished? What's in-store for the plastic of the future? Click here to read.

Plastics support of lives. Don't believe us? Here's what we mean. Our day begins with brushing our teeth, packing lunch and driving to work in a car with plastic interior and exterior parts, using electronic devices and laptops with plastic housings, and finally going home and using household appliances to cook, wash clothes, and keep food cold — all made with plastic components. Most consumable goods in hospitals are made of plastic, including test kits, tubing, syringes that are individually packed in protective plastic wrapping, and many more medical devices. Many individuals wore plastic-containing masks during the Covid pandemic.

Controversies surrounding plastic are not contentious due to their qualities or performance. The majority of the arguments against single-use plastics centre on how they are disposed of. Material businesses, product designers, governments, and non-governmental organisations are all attempting to find a solution. The task at hand is to create new business models that provide the necessary environmental benefits. Evidence-based studies play a vital role in ensuring that a suggested remedy does not cause further harm in another way, allowing us to approach the issue rationally.

Plastics containing up to 100% recycled sources, bio-based and biodegradable plastics and plastics with sustainable design, are all products of innovation. But the effectiveness of these products are strongly dependent on targeted efforts, as well as laws. While plastic recycling and a ban on single-use plastics can help minimise plastic waste, it's a good idea for individual firms to embrace a science-based strategy that allows them to make educated and sensible judgments about which plastic solutions to employ in certain circumstances. Plastic manufacturers, business leaders, consumers, and regulators can work together to advance sustainability goals and the circular economy toward responsible next-generation plastic solutions.