Let’s Talk About Innovation

Plastics make cars safer, keep food fresh longer, replace limbs and even enable people to hear. A new initiative from the Plastics Industry Association highlights these and other innovations—aiming to change the conversation around plastics.


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The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is taking NPE2018 to introduce This Is Plastics, an online resource designed to arm plastics-industry employees with information and talking points to answer consumer questions and correct mistaken beliefs they may have about the material.

Many consumers take for granted—or are simply unaware of—the array of benefits plastics offer. All too often, those in the industry are left wondering what to say when conversation with family or friends turns to ocean debris, BPA or plastic bag bans.

This Is Plastics (ThisIsPlastics.com) is a feature-rich resource designed to frame that conversation with facts. Articles, infographics and interactive quizzes highlight five key topics—Plastics 101, Environment, Safety, Innovation, and Economic Impact.

On the Innovation front? Plastic has so many astonishing uses. It takes on an integral role in building, construction, food packaging, transportation and additive manufacturing.

Perhaps it is in the medical field that improvements from plastics are the most profound. Mia Quinn, vice president of communications for the Plastics Industry Association, says, “I am most impressed by the everyday plastics that we take for granted, like plastic implants that can help bring sound back to the ears of people with severely impaired hearing, and pill capsules that create time-release dosages of medicine.”

A peek at a few more cool facts from the site: Plastic is now the primary material used in the construction of artificial limbs, and the special properties of plastic will enable the creation, in the near future, of mobile limbs with plastic muscles and even self-healing artificial skin. Plastic is also a superior material for hip-socket replacements, and can even be used to create artificial corneas using extremely thin, highly transparent silicone.

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is also responsible for amazing medical inventions. Doctors have used 3D-printed plastic to replace 75 percent of a person’s skull. Furthermore, according to Quinn, “With vibrational therapy, a 3D-printed cast can heal bone 40 to 80 percent faster.” Seizure medication has even been created using additive manufacturing, a process which allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than normal medication.

These are just a few of the awe-inspiring results of an industry that continues to generate new uses for plastics every day. Visit ThisIsPlastics.com to check out the online toolkit and arm yourself and your team with pride in the industry you serve.