About Plastics
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Plastics are responsible for countless facets of the modern life we enjoy today.  From health and well-being, nutrition, shelter and transportation to safety and security, communication, sports, leisure activities and innovations of industry.

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Plastics are responsible for countless facets of the modern life we enjoy today. From health and well being, nutrition, shelter and transportation to safety and security, communication, sports, leisure activities and innovations of industry – plastics deliver bountiful benefits to you and your world. The men and women of the plastics industry make it all possible. In the United States, the plastics industry accounts for more than $374 billion dollars in annual shipments and directly employs nearly 900 thousand people.



  • The plastics industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States
  • The U.S. plastics industry employs more than nearly 900 thousand workers
  • The U.S. plastics industry creates $374 billion in annual shipments

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Can you imagine if everything you depend on in your life that is made of plastic suddenly disappeared? Your iPod, computer, medical device or even large parts of your car and home? Most likely, cherished items that you did not even realize were made of plastic would be gone. Plastics’ flexibility and adaptability enable them to be used in so many different ways that make our world better, safer and more fun.

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Can you use plastics in the microwave? Do the number codes on plastic bottles tell you anything about how they should be used? Several myths about plastics have emerged over the last decade that may alarm the public without just cause.  Get the facts about the safe use of plastic products directly from the experts in government, academia and manufacturing.

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From medical devices and hospital supplies to bicycle helmets, airbags and the packaging that keeps food safe from bacteria, plastics are critical to keeping you and your family in good health. Did you know, for example, that more than 70 percent of disposable medical applications (such as blood bags, tubing, catheters, examination gloves and inhalation masks) are made of vinyl or polyurethane?

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The plastics industry realized more than 20 years ago that recycling plastics was an eco-friendly endeavor. That is why SPI created the resin code numbering system for bottles and containers in 1988.  Did you know that recycled plastics are used to produce new products like lumber for outdoor decking, carpeting, fleece jackets and t-shirts? Or that every ton of plastic bottles recycled saves about 3.8 barrels of oil? Learn more about how plastics recycling contributes to a more sustainable world.

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Recycle Plastics 365 - Pursuing Zero Waste