Plastic Myths

The production of plastics consumes much of Canada’s non-renewable resources.

The production of all plastics in Canada uses just two percent of this country’s oil and natural gas resource. Plastic resins need much less energy to produce than most alternative materials.

Eliminating plastic packaging through the substitution of other materials would benefit the world environmentally.

Plastic packaging is made of very thin films and containers. The use of plastic packaging is increasing. In fact, substituting plastics for alternative packaging achieves a significant reduction in packaging weight, volume, and cost for the same amount of delivered product. In a world without plastics packaging, the volume of packaging waste would increase over 250%, its weight would increase over 400%, energy consumption would increase over 200%, and costs would increase over 211%.

If we eliminated food and beverage packaging, we wouldn’t be facing such a big solid waste problem.

Packaging is an essential part of the public health, economic well-being, standard of living, and lifestyle of modern societies. It allows Canadians access to safe, fresh foods. Canadians enjoy one of the lowest food spoilage rates in the world—less than three percent. Countries without our sophisticated packaging and distribution systems have food contamination and spoilage rates approaching 50 %—a lot more trash requiring disposal.

Freezing plastic water bottles releases dioxins into the water.

The claim that plastic water bottles will release dioxins when frozen is entirely unfounded. So is the claim that plastic food wraps and containers can release dioxins in the microwave oven.

Recycling plastic bags is too expensive.

The price of not recycling plastic bags is high. Recycling can help save resources and minimize the amount of waste going to landfills. Also recycling helps reduce litter, as bags are contained and stored. It takes 121% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it does to recycle a pound of paper.

Low recycling rate for plastic bags prove recycling them doesn’t work.

Recycling does work. The problem is not everyone knows that plastic bags are 100% recyclable and not everyone has access to plastic bag recycling in their community. A national at-store plastic bag recycling program would bring the recycling solution to everyone and increase rates. Such programs are being implemented.

There is no demand for recycled plastic.

Today there is a growing market for recycled plastic that didn’t exist 15 years ago. Recycled plastic grocery and shopping bags are currently being made into new consumer products such as clean new plastic shopping bags, outdoor decking, and railing products.

Plastic Clothes?