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Did you know that acrylic plastic is often called plexiglass?

How to Swap out Glass for Plastic Items

It makes sense that today, our use of plastics should be modified. Environmental issues are one of the things in the forefront of most of our minds these days. Making a difference, even small, can be important to you or your family. So, it makes sense for some to reduce their plastic use and purchases. But what if you swapped out the use of glass for plastics? You may be confused now, but we can tell you why you should, and how you can swap out glass for plastic items.

Why plastic?
Overuse of packaging and plastic can lead to filled landfills, there’s no denying it. But not all plastics are equal, and, in some cases, plastic is better than glass. Some plastics have a bad reputation—and in this case—rightfully so, especially those that leak chemicals. BPA-free plastics, however, are a healthy, fantastic choice. BPA is an industrial chemical that’s been used to make some plastics since 1960. PET, or Polyethylene Terephthalate is an excellent, BPA free plastic for plastic that meets food, or food-grade products. Polypropylene (PP) is a synthetic resin, and has even lower density than PET. Generally, more can be made with PP than PET. PP also is the lightest option of all polymers, resulting in lower fuel consumption and lower emissions. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), a resin produced from gaseous monomer ethylene under high pressures and temperatures, is the most common. A wide variety of HDPE plastic is used as bottles, milk jugs, containers, cereal box liners, and more.

Almost all of these plastics have been FDA approved and sanctioned their recycled form for food contact.
  • PET manufacturing leaves behind only hydrogen and water—nothing toxic that would pollute the environment, even when recycled.
  • Infinite recyclability: Some plastics upon recycling once or twice simply break down to their component molecules. PET and PP can be recycled over and over and over again with minimal processing. This is why so very many recycled items are made of PET or PP. Toothbrushes, car batteries, curtain hooks, yogurt containers, plastic utensils, carpets, couches, even shoes just to name a few.
  • PP and PET do not leech. So no harmful chemicals will get into the products it contains.
  • PET and PP are lightweight, meaning they made smaller carbon footprints in transportation. Lighter and more compact than glass, it reduces the need of bulky protection materials.
  • Glass can easily break or shatter. Ever have a glass tabletop that shattered? Or worse—dropped a glass bottle in the shower? PET and PP plastics don’t do that obviously, and that’s a lot safer than glass.
So, these kinds of plastics are lightweight, tough, easily molded and can be shaped in complex ways. They are infinitely recyclable and made at low cost. Transparent plastics can be substituted for glass too in many ways:
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Consumer and healthcare goods
  • Construction
For example, using a transparent plastic in place of glass for a window, plastics have several advantages over glass, such as lower density, higher toughness and durability, and lower processing temperatures than glass itself.

Another advantage these plastics have can be found right in eyeglasses, too! Using these newer materials can give the same eye correction as glass but are far thinner and less weighty than lenses with glass.

Going back to a point we made about glass breaking, plastics in general are simply a safer option. Glass is fragile, and fragile takes on a very different meaning with food when it is stored in say, a glass container and a toddler grabs a hold of it. Or what happens when a glass bottle is accidentally knocked on the floor? Pieces fly everywhere, some of them too small to be easily seen and then can be easily missed which may end up embedded in a foot. Couple that with the fact that glass is often slippery to the touch compared to plastic, that means you are far more likely to drop it than glass.

Factory workers, shop owners and even those who transport glass run the risk of dangerous cuts due to glass breaking too. Plastic is safer to handle overall.

Some other great benefits of plastics:
  • Plastics don’t get damaged in storage like a cardboard box would, repelling moisture and being heat resistant.
  • Plastic canisters are airtight so long as the lid is closed, keeping whatever is inside fresher, longer. Clear plastic can be preferred because it’s easy to identify what’s in it immediately.
  • Plastic bottles compared to ceramic or steel are lightweight, which makes them easier to carry and less likely to break when they get dropped or banged around. Plastic in general is a brilliant thermal insulation as well.
  • Keep food properly sealed to remain fresh longer using a plastic food container. Plastic can be frozen and often used in the microwave too.
  • Plastic containers can allow you to buy food in bulk that allows you to save money and get access to other price reductions.
  • Plastics can help keep strong spice and food odors under wraps, so you can still enjoy that garlic bread but not make the whole fridge smell like it.
  • Plastics are recyclable and re-usable.
  • Save money and establish your brand or business with plastic. Since plastic is the most common material, and super easy to print on and is durable, they last longer—saving money in the long run and enabling you to promote your brand easily.
So how to swap them?
This is the easy part! Start looking for high-quality, BPA, recycled or recyclable PP, PET, or other BPA-free plastics. Easily replace your glass spices, dry goods and food canisters with airtight plastic. Organize your makeup drawers or q tips and bathroom or first aid supplies with plastic containers for a great look and without the worry of breaking. Use PP or PET containers for shampoo, conditioner, and body washes in the shower and replace any containers made of glass. Check out lighter, more durable versions of steel or ceramic water bottles to keep your bottle with you on any rough terrain or survive any accidental dropping.

It’s as easy as looking for the same item, but in plastic. And if you can’t find it, then check out all the ways you can build custom items entirely unique to you with our customization options! The possibilities and usefulness of plastic over glass is near endless!