Plastics and users

Plastics have had a profound influence on the way we live our lives.  They have infiltrated almost every walk of life: technology, building, transport, fashion, banking, medicine, the domestic environment and even our bodies.  This wide-ranging group of materials has made objects more affordable and accessible improving our enjoyment of the world around us in many ways. 

 

Enhancing safety

Personal safety has been greatly improved by the use of impact and fire resistant plastics materials.  Its use as casings, switches and handles exploits its ability to insulate against electrical current and heat.  The thermal insulating properties of some types of plastics have enhanced food storage. Sealed packaging and pharmaceuticals with tamper proof lids have provided quality assurance and appropriate access to the contents.

 

Increasing accessibility

Plastics offer affordable alternatives to traditional materials and benefit from lower production costs whilst retaining aesthetic appeal.  By replacing traditional, usually more expensive, materials, plastics have greatly increased access to design, contemporary fashion, sports and pastimes for everyone. They enable the enjoyment of things and experiences, which might otherwise be out of reach financially for many.

 

Offering convenience

Plastics have had a significant impact on the availability of a wide range of consumer products and on our everyday lives.  They enable mass production of affordable single use products including materials that extend the life of perishable goods.  Plastic cards for financial transactions have reduced the need to carry cash.  The development of small, personalised technology in protective plastic casings allows us to stay connected and informed.

 

Improving hygiene

Plastics are widely used in health care. Easy-clean anti-microbial surfaces and single-use disposable apparatus (used to deliver treatments and to monitor patient health) contribute to infection control.  In the home, laminated surfaces make floors and work surfaces easy to clean and maintain; airtight plastic containers enable the safe storage of food.  Closed plastic containers greatly extend the life expectancy of those without access to piped water.