The Softer Side of Plastics

May 01, 2018


Plastic is misunderstood. Don’t get us wrong — everyone knows it’s one of the most versatile packaging materials out there! It’s sturdy, and it can take a beating, which is probably why nobody really gets that warm, fuzzy feeling when they think about plastic. Snuggle up, because today we’re going to change your mind by showing you the more tender side of this packaging power player!

Soft plastics are all around us. We use them to wrap sandwiches, to package chips, and for dozens of other uses around the house. One room you might not expect to find them in, though, is the bedroom. If you’ve ever purchased a pillow stuffed with polyester, you’re resting your head on soft plastic every night!

So how does a piece of plastic go from the recycling bin to your bed? Easy. Recycling facilities shred materials up into fibers which are so fine that they’re soft to the touch. Those fibers are balled up and stuffed into a pillowcase, making for a super sustainable product and a good night’s sleep.

pile of towels

Photo: Emirates

If that doesn’t make you feel like cuddling up with plastic, then check out these plastic blankets! What you see here is nothing more than 28 plastic water bottles that have taken a different shape. The bottles were recycled, chopped into chips, then pressed into what’s essentially plastic yarn. Those yarns are woven together into blankets that are 100% sustainable and 100% snuggly.

These blankets were pioneered by the forward-thinking Emirates airline, so right now you’ll only find them in your overhead compartment — but it’s impossible not to think of the possibilities for the future! What if those recycled plastic blankets were used to keep the homeless warm? It would be an inexpensive way to do a lot of good in the world, that’s for sure. It wouldn’t be the first time packaging materials were used to stave off the chills, either!

We’ve talked a lot about plastics on the Ernest blog this year, but their versatility keeps us coming back again and again. Ernest Packaging Solutions knows packaging materials, and it’s our privilege to get the most out of them for our partners. Check out how we’ve pushed packaging to the limits for customers in every industry.