How Plastic is Taking Over the World
While just a few decades ago, seemingly every product was manufactured using metal, we now live in a society surrounded by plastic. This is mainly due to its ease of use, versatility, and cost-efficient production methods.
In fact, custom plastic moldings are such a popular choice, that the global market just for flexible plastic packaging is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 3.4% between 2015 to 2020. In total, this would make the market worth a whopping $248 billion.
The ability to shape this material through a process of plastic injection molding, has helped implement plastic containers, packaging, and other custom molded products into almost every industry.
For example, the pharmaceuticals industry has taken advantage of plastic injection molding to create child-safe plastic bottles. Everyday, hospitals receive more than 1,100 emergency calls due to a young child getting their hands on medication or ingesting too much. Bottle with child safety lids could help save the lives of many kids.
Plastic food packaging has also been a booming product, currently occupying more than 70% of the global consumer flexible packaging market. In recent years, food waste has become a prominently discussed topic with so many regions around the world lacking access to enough food. Even just a few extra days added to the lifespan of food goods could save huge amounts of it from being thrown out,and in turn may even save lives.
For those who may be concerned with environmental conservation, improved plastic injection molding techniques have allowed companies to produce containers and other products using less plastic but offering the same structural integrity as before. Water bottles are now thinner and allow less plastic to end up in nature, and new types of plastics are not as harmful to plant life and animals.
With the advent of 3D printing technologies, the quality, efficiency, and productivity of plastic will only continue to increase. There is no telling what products could soon be made entirely of plastic. Who knows, in the next few years we could all be driving completely plastic cars.