Few realize how important plastics are to our environmental future. Plastics help conserve our resources – water, land, fuel, oil – and through their intelligent application in agriculture, help maximize food production to feed a hungry world.
And plastics are critical in the fight against climate change.
As we transition to a low-carbon economy, intelligent plastics will play a pivotal role enabling significant energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions through greener buildings, lighter-weight cars and new green solar and wind energy.
Being 85% lighter than most other materials, plastics' use in packaging already contributes to significant energy and emission reductions in transportation. A Trucost Study estimates that substitution of plastic components with alternative materials in passenger vehicles sold in the North America in 2015 would lead to an increase in lifetime fuel demand for those vehicles of over 336 million liters (89 million gallons) of gasoline and diesel, and at an environmental cost of $2.3 billion. This equates to an environmental cost increase of $169 per gasoline or diesel passenger car sold in North America in 2015.
Plastics in vehicles and other methods of transport conserve fuel efficiency.
Innovation and plastics are the name of the game in the automotive industry as car companies constantly strive to improve fuel efficiency, performance, safety, and style.
Versatile, strong, and lightweight, plastics make up 50 percent of the volume of new cars but account for only 10-12 percent of the weight, so they help make cars lighter and more fuel efficient. For every 10 percent reduction in weight, fuel economy improves by 5-7 percent, saving you money at the gas pump and resulting in fewer C02 emissions.
Modern plastics – whether made to be resilient and flexible, soft and cushioned, or tough and shatter-resistant – play a critical role in helping to improve automobile safety. And auto designers rely on the versatility of plastics when designing today’s stylish cars. Read more >