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Hamish Champ is the editor of PRW. When not doinghis day job he finds time to ride his motorcycle, listen to Deep Purple and take his 12 year-old son to the cinema/park/football/pub...

No, plastic isn't rubbish

Posted on 20 April 2015

Social media is as much a part of the business community these days as the ‘phone call or email and my meanderings around cyberspace have enabled me to discover some interesting Twitter accounts in the past few years.

Recently PRW got ‘followed’ by one such account, plasticisrubbish (PIR), which has, shall we say, a less-than-positive attitude towards plastic. Still, we decided to follow them back.

Each to their own of course, and those behind the PIR account are clearly committed to their goals – namely living in a world without plastic – although this stand is somewhat at odds with how I make my living.

But anyhoo – and you probably know where I’m going with this – I was intrigued enough to look more into this outfit.

Here is a list of the plastic products which the organisation behind plasticisrubbish has a strong aversion to (and I quote, directly, from its website):

“Plastic wrapping, bags and packaging and bottles

Throw away, disposable items

Most synthetic fibres, fabrics and leathers.

Trashy items that are cheap and badly made and so have a limited lifespan

Plastic items for which there is a viable natural alternative.

Including these sneaky plastics:

Cans of soda and other drinks

Tetra Paks contain plastic

Disposable paper cups are plastic lined

Glass bottles and jars with plastic lined metal lids

Tin cans of food – they are nearly all plastic lined

Plastic coated paper and foil - a tricky one often hard to spot.

The plastic bag in the cardboard box squeeze and listen for the rustle.

Teabags (Packaging aside), the bag itself contains plastic

Stickers on fruit grrrrr.

Tampons and sanitary towels (packaging aside) are made from mostly plastic. Yuck!

Chewing gum

Plastic in toothpaste – packed in plastic, contain plastic – yes some toothpastes have plastic beads added for colour

Plastic beads can be found in exfoliating creams and washes. Not just excess packaging but micropollution as well!”

Some might consider this list a bit of a wind-up. It might be, but looking through rest of the organisation’s website I doubt it.

I could investigate this some more and maybe pick some holes in PIR’s claims, but frankly I haven’t got the time.

However I would be interested to find out how the people behind it get their message out and into the ether, since I’ve yet to encounter a computer or a keyboard that isn’t made of plastic.

But I digress. The plastics sector is making great strides to produce material that is environmentally friendly. And working with suitably bright brand owners and manufacturers it is going to great lengths to introduce recycled material into the products we use.

And it is campaigning for better knowledge of plastic, what it brings to the world we live in, and how it can be responsibly disposed of once it has passed its useful consumer life.

The PIR lot are perfectly entitled to their views. However they willfully ignore the massive benefits that plastics bring to society.

I’m only glad that we don’t have them and their ilk sitting in the procurement departments of the NHS, etc. Otherwise at the very least we’d be going back to the days of surgery undertaken with a rusty spoon and life-threatening diseases cured by the application of leeches.

Plastic is rubbish? No, I don’t think so.

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