Natural Beauty (Paper v. Plastic)
When shopping people tend to be equally interested in aesthetics as they are in the product’s functionality. The naturally flawed beauty is an element that I particularly enjoy with the Swell product line – no two pieces are exactly the same, because the usage of naturally occurring materials.
However, another thing I consider when choosing products is whether or not they contain plastic. According to the Harvard study there are many reasons not to use plastics when possible. It can only be down-cycled, or repurposed and, “in 2008, 34 million tons of plastic was disposed in the United States. Of this, 86% ended up in landfills. However, ‘disposal of plastics in landfills is ultimately unsustainable and diminishes land resources fit for other uses of higher societal value. Incineration results in the release of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and of other air pollutants, including carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxins.’” This illustrates the importance between form and function.
There are a couple of other times to choose wood-based products instead of their plastic counterparts: Q-tips and matches. Lighters are generally made of plastic, use butane fuel, and about one and a half billion end up in landfills yearly, making matches a better choice. Also, did you know that if ten percent of households in the U.S. switched to paperboard-spindled cotton swabs we would save energy equivalent to one hundred and fifty thousand gallons of gasoline.
Looks like in the battle of paper v. plastic the winner is obviously paper.