Polypropylene: What Makes This Plastic Sustainable?

October 16, 2017

The use of plastics today is frowned upon by many, thanks in part to a growing awareness of its non-biodegradable nature. In the old days, the invention of plastic was lauded as a revolutionary way to redefine industry, packaging, and production, but of late, in regards to pollution, it has become a seemingly un-solvable problem that has no end in sight.

Every year, countless tonnes of plastics in Australia and the rest of the world are added on to an already staggering rate of plastic waste; waste that has been around since the late 1800s – the year of plastic’s discovery – and may persist for a thousand more years. Thankfully, new and revolutionary plastics are being invented that are now more Eco-friendly, granting the same wide range of applications without compromising ecological health any further.

One of the revolutionary plastics is polypropylene – a thermoplastic polymer that is the first of its kind to feature an essentially biodegradable nature. Unlike plastics like polyethylene and polystyrene, which may take centuries to degrade and almost never decomposes, polypropylene is biodegradable. This type of plastic possesses the unique capacity to degrade with nothing but natural exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

This handy capacity allows modern plastics to be truly Eco-friendly, reducing the propensity for non-biodegradable waste that would otherwise just accumulate and sit at the bottom of the ocean or in landfills for centuries. Polypropylene promises the following advantages over other types of plastics:

  • Biodegradability – polypropylene can biodegrade simply through constant exposure to ultraviolet light, and will eventually become microscopic shreds that will incorporate itself into topsoil, with minimal harm to flora and fauna. Unlike standard plastics that never decay.
  • Versatility – like any typical plastic, polypropylene is easily moldable and can be made into an assortment of shapes, sizes, thicknesses and lengths. It is versatile enough to be textured and dyed in a wide assortment of colours, making it ideal for many aspects of the packaging and advertisement industry.
  • Recyclability – polypropylene also has the added bonus of being 100% recyclable, so instead of allowing it to decay in a landfill somewhere, it can be collected and reused as ‘raw’ material for other similar plastics, thus reducing wastage and giving way to more sustainable plastic usage.

If you’re looking to go green, but don’t want to give up on the convenience that plastic provides, then consider opting for a greener sort of plastic, polypropylene, it has all the best features that plastic has but very little of its drawbacks.

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