Silicone v plastic: which is better for the environment?

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As people become more concerned about the environment, there is a move towards using less plastic. People often think that silicone is a plastic, but there are some vital differences. However, silicone is indeed a very versatile material.

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Composition and essential features

Plastic is made up of repeating units or polymers. Although silicone is also made up of polymers, it has a chemical backbone of silicon, which gives it different characteristics. These include mouldability, flexibility and durability. It can be produced at a level of hygiene that makes it safe to use in medicine and with food and pharmaceutical products.

Because it is so durable, silicone can be used over and over again, whereas many plastics are used only once. Single-use plastic is responsible for a lot of landfill and ocean pollution. For more on the efforts to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastic, see this report in The Guardian.

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Daily use in the home

Many plastic items are disposable, but silicone utensils are found in many kitchens and can give years of service. Silicone items can be used to store food, for cooking and for baking. Silicone has even been used for items like oven gloves as they don’t react in high temperatures. Oven gloves made of plastic would melt or burn.

Some work still needs to be done on making silicone more biodegradable, but it has many applications in industry and manufacturing. Aviation uses silicone for seals as it can be depended on in freezing temperatures. Plastics often become brittle and break when they are very cold. Silicone hose manufacturers also produce a range of products that have uses in transporting fuels or gases at a wide range of temperatures. Food-grade silicone can be used where hygienic delivery is important, such as in hospitals. If you are looking for reliable silicone hose manufacturers, look to leading suppliers such as https://www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacture, where you can get guidance and advice on the best kind of hoses for your needs.

Using less plastic is a good idea for sustainable living. When faced with the choice of plastic versus silicone in everyday life, it is probably worth remembering that silicone is tough, easy to clean and can be counted on to deliver great performance in varying climactic conditions.

 

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