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Can plastic products be replaced with eco friendly options?
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Cellulose is a type of natural plastic extracted from wood, not oil

Cellulose is just one of the materials that's been discovered that can do the job plastic does. Being an organic product it has an easier time breaking down, which might not seem like a benefit, but is when plastic can last millions of years without decomposing.

The Argument

It's not that people haven't been trying to adjust the way the world uses things, it's just that back in 1957, when the idea of disposability started to be promoted, it created this lifestyle and mentality of convenience that's still prevalent in today's culture.[1] Despite this there's still plenty of people working to change this mind set, or at least make it easier on the planet. One of the things invented is called cellulose. Cellulose is an organic compound that can't be consumed by humans.[2] Some of the things it's used to make are fabric and paper but with further studies it's been found it can be transformed into a film that can replace packaging materials like cling wrap.[3] It might not have all the uses of plastic but what it does have is the ability to give people options. When it becomes easy to mass produce not only can it eliminate the excess non-biodegradable waste but it opens avenues to furthering innovations on eco friendly products.[4] Once people move on from this idea of convenience and disposability the way people see and treat things will drastically change. There'll be more importance on durability then replicability and the focus can shift then, to sustainability.

Counter arguments

Cellulose has been a great discovery but it's not without its problems. Cellulose can be just as toxic as regular plastic, even though it's made from organic materials.[5] Part of the reason why most people stick to BPA free plastics and those that are microwaveable safe. Even marketed as environmentally friendly, people will always choose the safer option. Plastic is similar in a sense but it's been around longer than cellulose and bioplastics. People have had more time to study it and it's peculiarities to keep harmful materials and toxic substances out of its processing.[6] Plastic can be processed safely while cellulose is still lacking a proper precession for people to do the same. It's not a bad thing, cellulose still has many uses, just like other materials like bamboo and silicone are used to replace different plastic uses. It's important to remember though that safety is a must for people, not option. If it can't reach the same grade plastic can in safety then it won't be a viable or trusted replacement.



[P1] Cellulose is both organic and has similar uses to plastic. It can also decompose faster

Rejecting the premises

[RP1] Cellulose lacks the uses plastic has [RP2] In some cases, cellulose can be just as, if not more toxic than plastic


This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Nov 2020 at 01:43 UTC

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