Green Initiative - Plastics

April 20, 2013

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What is plastic?

Nina Nguyen Designs is conscious of the ever worsening pollution of our planet and we want to be part of the effort to steer business in a greener direction. One of the worst offenders is Plastics. A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids derived from Petro-chemicals (oil) and additives such as fire retardants, fillers, plasticizers, colorants, reinforcing agents, etc. These additives make up on average 20% of plastics.  Plastics are usually classified by their chemical structure. Some important groups in these classifications are the acrylicspolyesterssilicones and polyurethanes. Yes, they all come from oil and chemicals.
So why is plastic damaging the environment?
Plastic harms the planet in several ways.  Plastic first causes damage in manufacturing. The manufacturing process uses many toxic chemicals to produce the final product and these chemicals can find their way into the environment. Secondly, plastics decompose slowly, releasing chemicals into the environment. It is easy to think of the environment as streams, rivers, lakes and forests but have you thought about your body as part of the environment?  We have heard about BPA free plastic but few are aware of the long struggle to remove Bispherol A (BPA) from plastics that come in contact with our food. Countless studies have now shown what a great danger it is to our internal environment, yet we have been consuming food laced with BPA for decades while steadily watching the diseases, including cancer, rapidly rise. BPA is just one of many many chemicals used in the production of plastics. Cancer is now the number one killer in China, the most populous nation on the planet and while it’s not all attributable to BPA and plastic, scientists attribute pollution from plastics as major contributor to declining health worldwide.
So what is being done about it?
We are spending billions on a cure for cancer. Sound a little backwards? That’s because it is. We pollute ourselves and the environment with chemicals and plastics and instead of legislating the reduced use of these chemicals, we try to solve the problem with expensive medicine, most of which are manufactured using many many chemicals and are packaged in plastic.
Nina Nguyen Designs has vowed to reduce our use of plastic for packaging with the goal of not using disposable plastics at all within the next two years. Furthermore, we are encouraging our family, friends, employees and customers to please consider using compostable plastics which are made in a more environmentally friendly manner and break down into natural substances. Please refrain from purchasing plastic wrapped items especially food and consumables. Keep plastics away from babies and small children. Children are the most at risk due to the effect plastic chemicals have on developing hormone levels. Nursing mothers need to be especially careful as studies have found that exposure to plastic compounds while pregnant have shown to cause neurological problems in a developing fetus.
While our individual efforts might not make a colossal difference, this conversation with people we care about will help to spread the idea that we have only one planet. If we recognize that the health of our internal environment has a tremendous effect on the environment of the planet, then it is time we started making changes in our everyday lives. Image

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