Plastics Part 6: Poly is Popular

Guest blogger, Jessica Connolly of Recology San Mateo County explores plastics and her relationship to them in this series.

Photo by Polycart via flickr

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most versatile plastics available. It has a variety of uses and is made into many types of manufactured products. This plastic is used because it is very durable, has a high melting temperature, can be hydrophilic (be absorbent), and is relatively resistant to solvents and some chemicals.

                 PP is used in packaging, textiles, reusable food containers, electronic exteriors, automotive interiors, car batteries, and even the filling in baby diapers, and other sanitary products! Some textiles that PP is made into are carpets, ropes, synthetic thermals, and long underwear. Companies like Rubbermaid, Ziplock, and Tupperware use PP in their reusable containers, as they can withstand high temperatures in microwaves and dishwashers. The caps on PET soda and water bottles are made of PP as well.

                 PP is used as the exterior of car batteries because it is more resistant to corrosion from toxic materials and because the plastic can withstand high temperatures.

                 PP is also used as the main plastic in baby diapers because it can be manufactured to have high liquid-absorption properties, where the liquid binds to the plastic and becomes semi-solidified. It is also used for synthetic dish towels where the towel acts like a sponge, drying objects better than cotton or wool towels would.

                 PP is usually recycled into other hard plastics. However, it is not generally recycled into disposable or reusable food containers because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems recycled materials in food containers as unsafe. Many times electronic exteriors for computers, TVs or DVD players are made from recovered PP.

 Because of its more durable and resistant properties, it is often reused much more than other types of plastic. It also has fewer chemicals and additives than other food ware plastic, making it safer for food to come in contact with. Compared to other plastic, PP is better for the environment, our health, and reduces our usage of disposable plastic, taking some ease off our consumption of petroleum.

2 Responses to “Plastics Part 6: Poly is Popular

  • Krishna Jaimes
    9 years ago

    LOL! Classic. But it is correct, its not a small cheat that hurts, its those many small cheats in a row that add up.

  • Kovaleski
    9 years ago

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