10 Surprising Things Made From Plastic
Plastic is rapidly transforming our world allowing us to manufacture cheap, durable products at a scale never thought possible. Of the many products we use in our daily lives you’d be surprised just how many are made from plastic. Here are a few that might raise an eyebrow.
- Supermarket Carts
The humble supermarket cart is now being made out of plastic! No more fighting with the old metal clunker. The new and improved plastic shopping cart is strong, lightweight and much easier to use than its metal counterpart. Say goodbye to wrestling matches with that broken trolley down busy New York the supermarket aisle.
- Winter Adventure Jackets
That down winter coat you purchased last winter – the one with the shiny padded outer? That’s made out of plastic too. Good quality jackets will use genuine down fill on the inside, but the outer shell can be made from plastic: recycled PET plastic soda bottles in fact.
- Plastic Chairs
Next time you head to a NFL match at your local stadium, check out the seating options. The chairs in stadiums, and many other styles of chairs for home and business, are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic.
- Outdoor Decking
You wouldn’t believe it, but there are now plastic decks that look like the real timber variety. Manufacturers such as Trex have developed a way to recycle polyethylene plastic wraps, films and bags that you use every day to make beautiful “wooden” decking for you home. Who would’ve thought plastic bags could make something so beautiful!
- Clothing Items
Synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, spandex etc. are all derived from plastics. Offering high flexibility, performance and durability, these fabrics are commonplace in the majority of clothing on the market today. Sports shirts, environmentally friendly board shorts, baseball caps – all these clothing items are now being manufactured from fabrics that contain plastics.
- Cutlery and Kitchenware
Those who enjoy a good picnic, or who go camping (especially the back-country variety) will be very familiar with plastic cutlery and plastic crockery. A modern day convenience, and a staple at take-out stores worldwide, the creation of plastic cutlery is another perfect example of the many useful things we use daily hat are made from plastic.
Did you know computers can be recycled ? Much of the contents of a computer and computer accessories are made of plastic, and can be securely disposed of and recycled for reuse. Over the last 40 years, computers have gone from containing mostly metal to now containing more plastic than metal in total. Unfortunately, the types of plastic used in computers poses various environmental problems that must be addressed for electronics recycling around the world, which is why certified IT asset disposition can help.
Then there’s the humble cellphone.
In 2015, Apple recorded selling over 74.5 million iPhones to customers around the world, so you can only imagine the amount of potentially harmful e-waste – the old phones – lying in landfill that could be recycled instead. Phones like these have a lot of plastic in their construction, and would not exist without it.
- Tennis Balls
A surprising item that makes the “made from plastic” list is the humble tennis ball. Their furry outer layer is manufactured using Type 1 or PET plastic – sourced from beverage bottles and milk jugs sold in stores. Bottles are shredded, cleaned, melted and spooled into thin threads as the material hardens and dries. Now you know where the tennis ball get’s its hair done!
- Gym Tiles
The gym tiles at your local fitness center, or even in your gym at home, are manufactured from a plastic-based material. Many manufacturers are using gym tiles to test out new ways to recycle plastic materials as well. As an example, shoe manufacturer Nike has been collecting worn-out sneakers as part a program that creates gym tiles from ground up sneakers that have been donated. The plastic / rubber composite material can also be used to make various sporting surfaces including running tracks and tennis courts.
- Golf Balls
The hardened, white, dimpled outer surface of a golf ball is, surprisingly, made from plastic. Extremely hard and durable, the material used to manufacture a golf ball outer is an excellent example of plastic being used to achieve seemingly impossible feats – withstanding extreme impact force from a golfer’s swing.
Plastic has many surprising applications, and the push now is to ensure plastic products are manufactured using recycled plastic materials where possible. These are just a few unique ways that plastic is being used to supply our needs, and as technology advances, you’re likely to see plastic pop up in even more day-to-day uses that will change our lives in even more surprising ways.