Dianne Pajo 1m 324 #plastic
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
If you take a look around any room in your home, you’re likely to find something made from plastic. Plastics are polymers that we mold and shape in a seemingly endless combination of styles, shapes, and consistencies. However, different plastics excel at different things, so it’s a good idea to understand the most versatile plastics and their uses to see what best fits your needs.
Acrylic plastic, also known as polymethyl methacrylate, is a hard, clear, durable plastic with many uses. Because of its durability and resistance to weather, it’s often one of the most common substitutes for glass. Manufacturers make acrylic panels for windows, light fixtures, and display cases. Acrylic is also a common plastic in sporting equipment such as running shoes or basketball hoops. This form of plastic is also a vital part of the composition of acrylic paint, where the plastic helps give it a bit of glossiness to create a unique look.
Vinyl is the most versatile plastic, and its uses aren’t to be understated. One of the most common compositions of vinyl is polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC. Companies use PVC to make plastic tubes for plumbing and industrial work. PVC is popular because it’s lightweight, durable, and practical. Vinyl is also a popular crafting material with thinner adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, both working as thin, reliable materials for decorating cloth, wood, ceramic, or other surfaces.
Manufacturers commonly use polyethylene plastic for disposable, mass-produced goods. Many plastic grocery bags, disposable straws, or plastic rings on six-packs are polyethylene. This is a common plastic because it’s cost-effective and easy to produce and work with. However, because it’s not biodegradable, much of it winds up in landfills or the ocean. Many companies are seeking to limit the production of polyethylene for more practical and important purposes and find biodegradable alternatives to many of the currently common uses.