Plastic is an important material for many sectors, right from the automotive industry to construction and textiles. As a man-made material that’s sturdy, lightweight and flexible, it can be customized and processed in many ways in order to deliver specific benefits for each application.
We rely on plastic for insulation in our homes and offices, mix it with solvents to create paints or adhesives, turn it into thin fibers for nylon, fiber-fill and other synthetic fabrics, mold it into bottles, bulletproof vests, intricate components and parts for vehicles, and even heavy-duty frames for space stations and other structures!
Why Do We Need Plastic Bags?
Plastic bags get a lot of flak, but with modern materials technology, plastic bag manufacturers can ensure that their products are reusable, recyclable and energy-efficient. This offers tremendous benefits for the environment as well as people using them.
Here’s how poly plastic bags may actually help the environment:
- They Reduce Atmospheric Emissions – Oil and coal industry by-products form the primary components for poly bags, and there are tremendous environmental benefits when these are stored and used instead of being burned. As compared to paper bags and other packaging materials, the manufacturing process for plastic bags releases up to 50% less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- They Consume Fewer Resources – The polymers that act as raw material for plastic bags are often made with by-products of the coal, oil and natural gas industry, as well as renewable materials such as polylactic acid, cellulose acetate, etc. Even if they are created with petroleum, the manufacturing process for plastic bags uses up to 70% less energy than similar processes for alternative packaging materials.
- They Can Be Reused Almost Endlessly – Despite being lighter than paper bags and other alternatives, poly bags are generally sturdier and less prone to damage. They are more resistant to liquids and chemicals, environmental factors, and other forms of exposure, so they have very high reusability. They’re not only reusable, but multi-usable as well, ideal for grocery shopping, shipping packages in the mail and much more.
- They Are More Likely to Be Reused – Not only can poly bags be used over and over again, but consumers are more likely to do so. Most people don’t think twice before tossing a paper bag into the recycling bin, but they will generally hold on to a plastic bag and reuse it. Whether for storing items at home or transporting them from one place to another, the plastic bag rarely gets thrown away after a single use!
- They Are Recycled into Many Forms – Just as they can be reused in various ways, plastic bags can also be recycled into a countless array of new products. For instance, recycled plastic is widely used in the construction industry, for the production of composite lumber, insulation and other synthetic construction materials. Poly bags can be sent to processing plants to be recycled into raw material for new bags as well.
- They Help to Cut Down on Litter – Paper bags easily split and tear when they’re used to collect garbage, spreading their contents around litter bins and dumpsters. Since poly bags are sturdier and less susceptible to moisture and other environmental factors, they help to keep litter contained and reduce trash pollution. They also deter pests to some extent, especially flies and other insects that collect around garbage containers.
How Are Plastic Bags Manufactured?
Poly plastic bags are manufactured using oil or natural gas components that are converted into hydrocarbon monomers and then linked together to form a polymer known as polyethylene. This may be blended with additives to provide certain properties such as light/heat/bacterial resistance, color, texture, etc.
This raw material is turned into polyethylene resin pellets and sent to a manufacturing facility, where it is melted, extruded, expanded and flattened into a film. Depending on the plastic bag making machine used, the film can then be shaped, cut and sealed according to the manufacturer’s requirements.
The manufacturing procedure for plastic bags hasn’t changed much, but new materials and techniques have opened up many opportunities over the years. We’re excited to see what the future holds for this modern marvel!
Author Bio: Mohan Naik oversees the digital marketing for XL Plastics, a leading name in the field of plastic converting machinery. On a mission to help entrepreneurs make a high quality choice that delivers value, he efficiently turns even the most technical topics into interesting and engaging content that even a layman can comprehend. He writes to educate his audience and skillfully uses marketing to incite interest even in the most passive of readers. He stays updated with the latest trends and innovations in the industry and is quick to share that with his readers.