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Can plastic products be replaced with eco friendly options?
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Plastics are irreplaceable due to their vital uses in jobs like the medical field

In every job and every field, plastic has its uses, and its importance. While protecting the planet is important some jobs are just as vital. Plastic has a hand in taking care of and saving lives. A replacement can't just have versatility but needs to be able to stand up to the stress of these jobs.

The Argument

With the invention of plastic, it changed the game completely. With this new, adaptable, flexible material that could be soft or hard and take almost any shape, there were suddenly new opportunities for jobs and the ease at which they could be done. One that has benefited from this is the medical field.[1] With the medical field, one of the most important things is to prevent infection, contamination, and contact to prevent people from getting sick, both patients, family, and the doctors and nurses themselves. Plastic has been vital in this, and the new standard. It allows for single use swabs and covers that allow for tests to be done safely, but also in a timely matter.[2] It helps shrink the probability of contraction and also prevents cross contamination. Disinfecting is useful but it might not eliminate the contaminant completely or properly if the step is botched. Completely removing the contaminated surface removes this worry. While replacement materials have been invented they don't always meet the same medical grade plastic manages. It's not just about being eco friendly but safe for use. Until such a material is created, plastic will be irreplaceable, not just for saving time, but for saving lives.

Counter arguments

One of the most important things that plastic brought the medical field was cost effectiveness and safety. The prevention of cross contamination and a standard of cleanliness that couldn't be reached with other, multi-use materials, unlike plastics single use. However, as more discoveries and innovations are made, so are new creations that can take plastics place. Biohazards are one of the most dangerous things in the medical field.[3] If there's a breach in protocol or a leak in containment it could spell death for their patients. In the current situation with covid 19 people can understand the importance of this safety. Plastics however, are no longer the only material that can be used to benefit doctors and patients.[4] If the cost of production can be cut down then there's no reason why plastic cannot be replaced. Already new materials and new procedures have been created. Silicone already found a place in the field by coating equipment.[5] The more that's learned about these materials the more the market and fields can change to support ecological innovations.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Plastics are vital in preventing biohazards and keeping people safe

Rejecting the premises

[RP1] Cost production is one of the only things keeping silicone from taking a more active role in the medical field

References

  1. https://www.mpo-mag.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2017-10-09/5-ways-plastics-revolutionized-the-healthcare-industry/
  2. https://www.craftechind.com/the-many-uses-of-plastic-materials-in-medicine/
  3. https://www.bioonetulsa.com/blog2/why-are-biohazards-dangerous
  4. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/10/can-medical-care-exist-without-plastic/
  5. https://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/component/content/article/mdb/features/articles/22575
This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Nov 2020 at 01:47 UTC

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