In a previous article, we looked at some uses of plastic in the automotive industry that would have been thought impossible just a few years ago. The use of plastic no longer needs to be perceived as cheap. Because of the advances being made, plastics may be a better choice; they are often more durable, longer lasting, and usually lighter in weight.
Because plastic is easily recycled, it is being used in more creative ways all the time, which results in less waste. Consider plastic alternatives to wood used to construct park benches, picnic tables, playground equipment, furniture, even decks and boardwalks. As treated lumber has received bad press for making people sick, plastic is an attractive option.
When used as an alternative to wood, there are no splinters, no harmful chemical releases, and no maintenance costs. Taxpayers are saved the expense of refinishing and other maintenance, replacement, pulling items in for winter storage, and then having to set back up again in the spring.
Many plastic products are resistant to ultra-violet rays from the sun. They do not warp, crack, peel, chip, rot, or give you slivers. That might be bad news for the tweezer industry, but it is something to consider when building your next patio deck or play center for the kids. With some of the plastic products available, you will not have to sand, stain, or paint.
Once you build that deck, you can furnish it with plastic furniture in every style and price range. You could buy simulated wood with all the benefits already listed. You can leave it out all winter if you want to. You can buy inexpensive chairs that easily stack, are lightweight, attractive, and durable. Unlike metal, they will not rust.
If you want a breathable furniture cover material far superior to canvas, a plastic coated polyester mesh will dry quickly after a rain, it will not rip or tear, and it never rots. If you wanted an umbrella that softens the rays of the sun on your patio table, this would be a nice option.
Are those things real?
Plastic manufacturing techniques are getting so advanced that plastic is increasingly finding its way into homes, offices, and even structural interior design. Acrylic can be made with sharp edges and sculptured features that rival crystal chandeliers and glass block, and at a fraction of the weight.
You might think you are walking on ceramic or wood floors. You might think the counter tops are granite or marble. What looks like glass won’t break. You are surrounded by a lot more plastic than you probably ever stop to think about.
Plastic parts for furniture can be manufactured in a single step, saving time, production costs, and labor. It can be integrated with other materials like aluminum and steel into a single step manufacturing process. The look, feel, color, texture, and all other attributes allow for any functionality, or aesthetics, that the human imagination can come up with.
Gentlemen, it has all been rebuilt. It is better, stronger, faster… It usually costs less and lasts longer too.