All plastics are made mostly from crude oil.
Look at what you're buying in the store. Nearly everything sold is made from plastic, and/or wrapped in plastic. Nearly any liquid is sold in plastic containers, such as detergents, beverages, and so much more. And right before you leave the store, you get umpteen plastic bags which have a life span of less than one day. Then you get into your car which is made from at least half plastic, and drive home carrying your plastic bags of plastic merchandise up your plastic stairs, grab your plastic door next to your plastic siding, and trip over some of the kids plastic toys on the plastic (vinyl) flooring. Then you put your groceries in your mostly plastic refrigerator or on the shelves in your cabinets which are likely made from parrticle board (saw dust and plastic binders), covered with a thin layer of plastic (fake woodgrain) coating. Finally you walk over to your plastic cabinet tv set, and sit on your couch made of some or mostly plastic.
If you think it's bad now, consider that new homes are becoming more made of plastics every day. Plastic siding is the top sold siding, plastic windows and doors, plastic plumbing (Pex and Pvc), plastic coated wiring (romex), and it seems the wooden decks of the past few decades are now made of plastic lumber, with plastic railings. The houses are insulated with styrofoam (a type of plastic), and it dont stop there. Your furnishings all contain at least some plastic is not fully plastic. Are your curtains and fabric covered couch cushions made of cotton, or a plastic derived plastic, just like much of your clothing. Amd you know those plastic lawn chairs that rarely last one summer..... did you ever see one of them burn? Compare the fire to dumping a 5 or 10 gallon can of oil into a fire....
What ever happened to wood, paper bags, metals, clays, glass, etc.
Sure it takes oil to mold metal, but look at the lifespan of metal objects compared to plastic. Heck, children's metal and wooden toys from the 1950s and even older are still around. You wont be passing on their plastic toys to their children, most dont last one year.
I'm not saying to eliminate all plastics, but at least half of them could be eliminated. To begin, it's time to get rid of all disposible plastics, no more plastic store bags, plastic soda /water/ beverage bottles, cut back on plastic containers for household liquids, get rid of many plastic toys, go back to decks made of real wood, and what ever happened to all the other sidings that have been replaced by cheap looking ugly plastic siding. And all that plastic packaging in the stores should ALL go, particularly those clamshells. And what ever happened to real metal bumbers on cars? The ones that could take a 5mph hit and show no damage. I dont even understand the reasoning of the cheap shattering plastic bumpers???? And why so much plastic fabric, when cotton was always reliable.
Ok, pvc plumbing is a winner for drainage, plastic wire insulation is superior to the old cloth covered wires, and plexiglass is safer on door lites than standard glass. But why the plastic electrical boxes, plastic light fixtures that often deform from the heat, and are those plastic door knobs, plastic toilet seats, and plastic window frames really necesaary, when the old ones lasted much longer.
We need to start re-thinking what we're doing with oil. As consumers, we need to begin to pressure manufacturers to stop using plastics in many things. Begin by refusing all plastic store bags, take your own cloth or papers bags. We're constantly being told to cut back on driving, and many people can. But what most people do not realize is the amount of oil that used in everthing we buy, and how much of that plastic is just worthless packaging that goes right in the trash.
In about a month we'll be celebrating Earth Day. While it's known that most plastics will be in our environment for centuries, so it's a good cause to work toward elimination of the plastic packaging. However, it's not just a matter of saving our planet, it's a matter of saving our oil, saving money, and cleaning up all the plastic pollution at the same time. We've become a society which lives in a world composed of more plastic than other materials, and one where nothing lasts anymore because most plastics have a short lifespan.
What can YOU do to cut back on plastics, thus cutting back on oil usage?