Be forewarned there are substitutes for your plastic products. I hope some of you are old enough to remember a world without plastics.
Rubbermaid just made a statement about making products from other materials. Don't you all remember metal trash cans behind the garage that lasted for 10 years before they rusted out and the metals man would pay you for it? My plastic one lasted two years in the sun, and the bottom busted out of it and it cracked on the sides.
Do you remember your grandmother's or mother's wicker clothes basket she carried the dirty laundry in to the old-fashioned washing machines?
Can you see your product being made of natural materials again in the future? Can you envision a time when we are not a throwaway society? Can you see a future without CD players and DVDs, when all entertainment is digital and free by broadcast satellite to your home or moped or bicycle or personal computer, wired into your hat or belt or cell phone?
My point is simple, folks. Plastics are a product of an oil-and-natural-gas industrial age that is dying.
I have written to Plastics News in the past suggesting a few books for you folks to read, hoping you will be prepared for this paradigm shift away from an oil-based economy, and hence the shift away from plastics in consumer goods.
I recommend you read The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg, core faculty member of New College of California in Santa Rosa. He is renowned for his writing on energy resource-related issues and the dynamics of cultural change. It is easy reading and it will give you insights on how to survive now and in the future.
One other book I recommend for everyone to read is Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, by Kenneth S. Deffeyes. It is a bit dry and purely scientific, but accurate, and again you will come away with new insights into the future.
If you are really interested in being ahead of the curve, if you are interested in making a quality product with a long life cycle, if you are interested in the future lifestyle of your children and grandchildren, you need to determine substitutes for your products.
I am not saying all plastic products are bad. I am saying plastic should be used only when there is not a good substitute for the application. Plastics in health applications are a must. But I don't need plastic coat hangers, a plastic counter or plastic flooring.
Agency Fibers Ltd.