Development

Plastic was first put on the market in... read more

Development

Plastic was first put on the market in 1950; at the time, the volume was 1.5 million tons/year. Today, more than 300 million tons of plastic per year are produced. According to a study published in the scientific journal "Science" in early 2015, about 8 million tons of plastic waste entered the oceans in 2010. BUT…. Our plastic wastes don’t just jump into the seas and rivers all on their own!

Organic plastics

What does organic plastics even mean? The word... read more

Organic plastics

What does organic plastics even mean? The word "organic" is used in two meanings. It may mean organically based, i.e. made of renewable raw materials, e.g. based on starch from maize, potatoes or beets (organically based plastics). "Organic" may also mean that the plastic is biodegradable. Very important: Not every plastic from renewable raw materials is also biodegradable. Equally, not all biodegradable plastics are made of renewable raw materials. Organic plastics come with some advantages. First of all, plastics made of organically based raw materials contain fewer or no harmful substances. If we look at the application, material and service life of a product made of organic plastic as well, production emits 30 to 70 percent less CO2 than conventional plastics, according to the European Plastics Association. Disadvantages of organic plastics: Since natural degradation of biodegradable plastics is very slow, most composting facilities will not accept them. Therefore, organic plastics will end up in the large waste incineration plants along with common plastics. Organic plastics have not convinced the scientific side of their benefits yet either. Experts from the Federal Environmental ministry assume that organic plastics are to be assessed at best similar to conventional plastics from an overall ecological point of view. This is, among others, due to the risk of over-fertilisation of soils in order to grow the required resources more quickly. Looking at the ecological balance, organic degradability of plastics does not bring any benefits and degradation on one’s own compost heap is not ensured. Since they dissolve into CO2 and water in degradation and incineration alone and do not form any valuable soil components, energetic utilisation – i.e. incineration in the waste incineration plant – even has the better results. Other critics point out that the production of organically based plastics consumes resources such as maize or beets that could also be used to fight famine. However, the organic raw materials needed are grown on less than 0.1 percent of the area that is used for agriculture world-wide. At the moment, research is underway on how food residue could be used for plastic production in order to mitigate this point of criticism. One thing is certain: Organic plastics do not solve all environmental issues. However, they may contribute to resource efficiency and organically based recycling in certain areas.

"Attention! Plastics!"

"Plastics are everywhere: in our drinking water, in... read more

"Attention! Plastics!"

"Plastics are everywhere: in our drinking water, in the seas, in our food. Plastics kill seabirds and fish, change our hormone balance and disfigure the environment for centuries. So far, so bad, and quite well known. And a viewpoint so very one-sided. We have a lot to thank plastics for as well, after all: Without plastics, our teeth would be less healthy, our hairstyles less great and our food less fresh than what we are used to. We wouldn’t have any records, band-aids or computer mice. "Plastics have democratised luxury." (Quote of Felix Austen from the article "Darum müssen wir uns mit unserem Plastik-Konsum versöhnen"; Perspektive Daily from 26 March 2018). We live in a world full of plastics. The material promises endless variety; plastic products can be found in all areas of life: Plastic bottles, plastic bags, toys, car parts, laptops, plastic fibre clothing…

The future

There are various approaches in order to reduce... read more

The future

There are various approaches in order to reduce the consequences of "bad plastics" and to avoid them in future: Recycling-compatible design of packaging and organically based materials of renewable raw materials as well as smart packaging - where the packaging offers interactive help. Freshness indicators on the plastic packaging provide reliable information on whether the cooling chain has been interrupted and the product has spoiled. Development of "active packaging" that extends the best-before date and thus reduces food wastes and loss is another example. Smart indicators (freshness, time temperature indicator, opening, etc.) are to help the consumer assess product safety beyond the expiration date printed on the packaging. The cycle is completed by smart recycling systems that are able to separate food components from packaging in order to make them usable for various recycling processes.

Resource efficiency through material savings

Plastic packaging has grown about 25% lighter on... read more

Resource efficiency through material savings

Plastic packaging has grown about 25% lighter on average since 1991. The weight reduction means that nearly 1 M tons of plastics less entered the market in 2013 and that further ecological benefits such as a fewer freight runs, could be implemented. The material savings could be implemented in spite of increasing demands to packaging – e.g. the ability to reseal, portion, stricter food-law requirements. About 63% of the filling materials for private consumption are packed in plastics. Nevertheless, packaging makes up barely 24% of the total packaging found.

Resource-efficiency by recycling

Recycling converts packaging waste back into new plastics... read more

Resource-efficiency by recycling

Recycling converts packaging waste back into new plastics for various applications. Today, nearly 100% of all household packaging are utilised, including 56% supplied to recycling. About 20 years ago, the utilisation ratio was at approx. 3%. Plastics no longer end up in landfills in Germany or Switzerland. Nevertheless, the plastic industry is facing the challenge of clearly increasing the material recycling ratio and closing the material cycles. Better and more effective waste disposal systems must be created outside of Germany as well.

Are we INSANE?!

As a producer of packaging films, we can’t very well make a website talking about “bad plastic” – can we?

 

Yes, we can:

…to raise awareness! We can’t keep going like this.

 

…to inform! Not everything about plastic is bad!

 

…to provoke! … it must be done.

 

…why we?

As a manufacturer of films, we have a certain responsibility. This website goes a small way towards meeting it.
The Subject is too complex to be managed and comprehensively described in a simple website!
We would like to inspire you to think and to contribute to bringing a highly emotional discussion back to a factual level.

We look forward to constructive discussions, suggestions and ideas once our blog is ready. Stay curious!

 

 

Plastics are an all-rounder...

Electrical + electronics

From simple cables to computers. LCD TVs are made based on liquid-crystal... read more

Electrical + electronics

From simple cables to computers. LCD TVs are made based on liquid-crystal plastics.

Medicine

Extremely thin, one-time syringes, probes, tubes, heart valves, artificial hip joints... read more

Medicine

Extremely thin, one-time syringes, probes, tubes, heart valves, artificial hip joints or contact lenses.

Mobility

Various means of traffic - car, bus, train, airplane - plastics... read more

Mobility

Various means of traffic - car, bus, train, airplane - plastics play an essential role everywhere here.

Packaging

Plastics as a packaging material are all-rounders here and protect resources:... read more

Packaging

Plastics as a packaging material are all-rounders here and protect resources: The ecologically efficient thing is to pack as much as possible while using as little material as possible.

Building and living

When using heat protection systems. Plastic tubes for water and sewage.... read more

Building and living

When using heat protection systems. Plastic tubes for water and sewage. Plastic windows. Plastic floorings.

Culture, free-time, sports

This starts with (functional) underwear and goes on even beyond water-tight... read more

Culture, free-time, sports

This starts with (functional) underwear and goes on even beyond water-tight breathable jackets with plastic climate membranes. The football, nicknamed the "round leather", has long stopped being made of leather. It is now produced of a multi-layered plastic structure. There is barely any sports arena that still has an ash track; athletes just run that much faster on plastic. Racing sports boats and paddles are no longer made of wood. Plastics have become established due to their low weight at high stability. Source: www.mannheimer-schulen.de

PLASTICS AS A THREAT TO THE ENVIRONMENT…

"The same properties that make plastics such a fantastic material for us – light weight, strength, durability – also make them a disaster... read more

"The same properties that make plastics such a fantastic material for us – light weight, strength, durability – also make them a disaster when they get into nature."
– From »Plastic – A toxic love story« von Susan Freinkel

Plastic waste in the oceans is a great global issue: According to a study published in the journal "Science" in early 2015, about 8 million tons of this waste entered the oceans in 2010.

Estimates suggest that between 100 and 142 million tons of waste have entered the seas by now. It is assumed that about 70 percent of the wastes sink to the bottom, while about half of the remaining 30 percent will be washed ashore at the beaches. The rest is floating on the surface of the water and in the water column. According to the UN environmental program UNEP, 13,000 plastic waste items are now floating on each square kilometre of sea surface. Estimates suggest that 250 million parts are circulating in the Mediterranean Sea now. Current and wind ensure global distribution of the waste throughout the seas before it collects in accumulation areas.

In particular packaging and wastes from fishing and shipping, such as net residues or ropes, are responsible for the suffering of more than a million seabirds and another approximately 100,000 creatures living in the sea that are killed by them every year. It is known that 136 species of sea-dwellers will regularly get entangled and suffocated in garbage. At least 43 percent of all whales and dolphins, all species of sea turtles and 36 percent of the seabirds, as well as many species of fish are known to eat and swallow garbage.

It is high time to start thinking differently...

 

Only 1.5% of the total crude oil consumption goes towards plastic packaging. 90% are used for heating, power production and traffic.

 

9700 kg of CO2 are "produced” per person and year – plastic packaging makes up just 0.3 percent of this.

 

45 plastic bags per person were used in Germany in 2016, as compared to 85 in 2000. By international comparison, every person in Portugal uses 466!

Information

ECO-Terror 2.0

Now we’re supposed to pay an additional tax for... read more

ECO-Terror 2.0

Now we’re supposed to pay an additional tax for using plastic products as well? At least the head of Die Grünen, Habeck, wants to introduce this in order to force a change of behaviour among us end consumers. The "HOW" hasn’t been determined yet ... but we know who will be paying for it in the end! Is this a positive side effect to stuff the financial hole from the impending exit of the Brits? Let us assume that we would have to pay this tax. Even taxation at a rate of 100%, i.e. doubling of the packaging costs, would only add a few cents to the purchasing price. Would we choose not to buy then? Would we actually stop thoughtlessly throwing away the packaging? It is our decision how we handle packaging materials and in how far we are willing to do without this "luxury".


Plastic as a life safer

Cannulas, intubation tubes, disposable syringes, prosthetics and casings for... read more

Plastic as a life safer

Cannulas, intubation tubes, disposable syringes, prosthetics and casings for imaging equipment: More than 50% of all medical products produced world-wide are made of plastics. In particular implants, e.g. for the heart, as well as items used in bone surgery, such as knee and hip joints, have become vital. Many other plastic products are used in medicine today, e.g. in hospital and practice needs. Disposable syringes, sterile packaging and blood bags can save lives - and only make up two percent of the entire plastics used. That’s worth it, isn’t it?


We should celebrate packaging a lot more"

"…Packaging is elementary to ensure safe and healthy food.... read more

We should celebrate packaging a lot more"

"…Packaging is elementary to ensure safe and healthy food. Foods are less damaged and will carry fewer germs. Mould, for example, is carcinogenic. Preventing it saves human lives. …" Let us take baby food, for example … the milk powder needed for it is packed in hygienically impeccable PE film. "… The packaging is what characterises the content, just as clothes characterise people. It’s a cultural asset. In the past, a great part of our food was lost because it wasn’t packed and therefore couldn’t be transported. …" (Source: Zeit online/ 04 April 2018 / Interview by Elisabeth Kagermeier with eco-design expert Michael Braungart; for the complete article, see the further links)


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