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Responsible plastic

The responsible use of plastics does not mean giving up plastics.

  • Responsibility is effective recycling and material efficient solutions, which have been planned for a clear purpose.
  • The good qualities of light, protective, and easily shaped plastic have multiplied in comparison with its bad qualities.
  • Even disposable plastic has purposes, for example, in health care and food packaging.
  • Plastic belongs in recycling, not in nature!

Modern technological solutions make it possible for consumers´ plastic waste to be processed into new raw-material and given a new life, in a different form.

During 2017 we started to use post consumer recycled plastic as raw-material for our flower pots, bins, buckets and garbage bins.

During 2018 Orthex will change all flower pots to recycled raw-material. 

 

It is not justifiable in any way to end the use of plastics from the perspective of the entire use of natural resources. Giving up plastics would be harmful for people and the environment.

  • About 4-5 % of the world’s oil production is used for manufacturing plastic.
  • The production of a plastic product often requires less energy than the production of a product for equivalent use from other materials (for example, packaging).
  • Plastic and plastic products save energy and cut greenhouse emissions, among other things, by lessening waste, by making transportation more efficient, and by acting as insulation.
  • Eliminating plastics would mean an increase of at least 97 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions from Europe.1
  • If plastics would be substituted with other materials in the area of Western Europe, the annual need for energy would increase with the equivalent of 22.4 million tonnes of oil.2

1 and 2 GUA (Gesellschaft für umfassende Analysen GmbH), Austria: The contribution of plastics to resource efficiency”

 

Plastic has important uses for the functionality
and sustainable development of society.

  • Longer lasting food, more efficient transportation, and less waste. - Plastic packaging protects food from external harm and lessens waste.
  • Clean drinking water and functioning sewers. - A plastic water pipe network transports clean water for our use and directs waste water safely to treatment.
  • Energy production and transfer (heat and electricity). - Plastic is a prerequisite for energy production and transfer
  • Modern health care. - Plastic makes modern healthcare possible and contributes to its efficiency.
  • Daily safety. - Plastic brings safety to traffic and homes in for example car's seat belts, air bags and baby seats, in water transport: life preservers and lifebuoys, in traffic safety: bicycle helmets and reflectors and in the security of homes and buildings: alarm systems and smoke detectors.

 

The climate load from food is nearly always higher than from the packaging.

In practice: 

  • If you throw out half a slice of bread from a nine-slice package because of spoiling, it produces the same environmental load as the whole plastic packaging.
  • If one slice from a 300 gram package of pork is spoiled, it equals the load from the production and waste elimination of the entire packaging.

(Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, special researcher, Natural Resource Centre Finland)