If we want to protect our planet and our health, which is better plastic or PVC? The truth is that both plastics are problematic. However, only one is more environmentally harmful than the other. While all plastics pose dangers to the environment and human health, PVC is considered to be the most dangerous. Luckily, safer alternatives are available for virtually every use and, in time, PVC will be phased out.
Polymers are the primary component of a wide variety of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials known as plastics. Plastics can be molded, extruded, or pressed into solid objects of diverse shapes thanks to their plasticity. Its widespread use is a result of its versatility as well as a variety of other qualities, including being portable, strong, flexible, and reasonably priced to create. Typically, plastics are produced using human industrial systems. However, more recent industrial processes use variations created from renewable materials, including derivatives of corn or cotton. The majority of modern plastics are made from chemicals based on fossil fuels, such as natural gas or petroleum.
The third most extensively produced synthetic plastic polymer in the world is polyvinyl chloride, also known as poly(vinyl chloride), polyvinyl, or just vinyl (after polyethylene and polypropylene).  Each year, about 40 million tons of PVC are produced.
PVC is available in two basic types: rigid (also known as RPVC) and flexible. PVC in its rigid form is employed in pipe construction as well as in profile applications, such doors and windows. Plastic bottles, non-food containers, food-covering sheets, and plastic cards are also made with it (such as bank or membership cards). Plasticizers can be added to make it softer and more flexible; phthalates are the most popular choice. It is also used in this form for flooring, signage, phonograph records, inflatable items, plumbing, electrical wire insulation, imitation leather, and many more uses where rubber is substituted. It is used with cotton or linen to create canvas.
Between 1950 and 2017, 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic are thought to have been produced. Since 2004, more than half of this plastic has been produced. 400 million tonnes of plastic will be created in 2020. By 2050, it is predicted that yearly worldwide plastic production will exceed 1,100 million tonnes if current trends in plastic demand hold.
Polyvinyl chloride is the third most common type of plastic. Like PET, it has many similar characteristics. It is strong, flexible, and chemically resistant. However, PVC is not as environmentally friendly as PET. However, it offers a wide range of applications and is recyclable. It also holds up to many impacts and is resistant to extreme temperatures. If you’re wondering which material is better, take a look at our detailed comparison.
In plumbing applications, both are good options. PVC, for example, is more flexible and durable than ABS. PVC is often better for cold water applications, while ABS is better at enduring heat and extreme cold. However, ABS can warp if exposed to sunlight. Despite these differences, both types of plastics are relatively inexpensive and versatile. In the U.S., PVC is accepted in most piping applications.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic polymer that has an alternating hydrogen and chlorine atom. The two monomers are produced using a process known as addition polymerization. The process involves arranging the monomers head-to-tail, yielding a linear polymer. The presence of chlorine changes the properties of PVC. In addition to construction applications, PVC is also used for signs and fiber in clothing.
PET is more transparent than PVC, giving you an excellent view of the stored product. PVC is less transparent and breaks up faster, which decreases the visibility of the stored product. While PVC has a lower cost and better clarity, PET is stronger and more durable. Furthermore, it is also lighter and more resilient than PVC, making it an excellent alternative to glass. In addition to being more transparent and resistant to UV rays, PET is also more durable and more expensive.