Saturday, 19 November 2011

Are Plastics Really Fantastic?

This was the title given to the annual Horners' Company Lecture which I attended last week. The event was held in the Royal Society of Medicine's building in Wimpole Street. I can say unreservedly it is a fabulous venue. It has recently undergone wholesale refurbishment and internal reconstruction and is now offers state of the art lecture and entertainment facilities. Even the raked seats in in the super modern lecture theatre have individual microphones in the arm of every seat.
The lecture was given by the Master, a man with 45 years' experience in the plastics industry and an industry titan. He explained that he was continuing the theme of last year's lecture in explaining why plastics are indeed fantastic. Too often we hear in the media headlines : ''Ban plastic bags''; ''Pacific ocean plastic waste dump''; ''Ban PVC''; Plastic feeding bottles poison babies''. The image is one of plastics wasting valuable resources and polluting the world.
In response to such claims the speaker robustly explained the advantages of plastic with its low carbon footprint and eco efficient manufacturing. The many advantages and disadvantages were discussed . For example the the green benefits of light weight bottles over heavier glass; the myriad uses of plastic from bio degradable bags to the advanced composites in used in aeroplane construction. He stressed the recyclable nature of plastic enabling it to be used over and over again in different guises. All food for thought making plastics, he said, too valuable to be thrown away.

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