By Frank J Costantino
Whether you’re in the world of culinary, art, writing, design, or any field of work, the right tool for the job is pivotal. But when deciding what tool is the best fit, the first thing most look to is the material. Wood and plastic are some of the most common ones used in our everyday lives. But when you stack the pros and cons of the two, which material stands above the other?
Durability is a compelling factor to consider when buying a product. Wood cutting boards are more durable than plastic, as plastic wears out and gets permanent grooves scratches while wood is stronger and durable. The actual strength of wood or plastic varies, so always look at the specifications of each product you buy. But most of the time, you'll have an easier time trying to find more durable wood products.
When every penny counts, price is always an essential factor. While wood will cost a bit more, plastic is often a budget-friendly option when it comes to net cost. But when factoring in durability, plastic falters with tools and cutting boards. While slightly outdone in price, wood is the better value in the long run.
Now more than ever, environmental crucial to many people when making a purchasing decision. Plastic is a non-renewable resource, but trees can regularly be regrown, making the wood more sustainable. Wood decomposes over time, but plastic often finds itself in our oceans. According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans a year, leading to the harm and possible death of Marine Species after ingesting or getting caught on these plastics (IUCN Study). Not only does plastic negatively impact the planet, but it also has a direct health effect on humans.
Costly Effects on our Health
According to an American Forest Foundation (AFF) report, wood is better for the environment, helps reduce energy consumption, and improves our efficiency. It also sustains our forests and stores carbon (American Forest Foundation Report). Micro-plastics infest the ocean and plastic products and give off harmful pollutants and chemicals to humans. These can negatively affect the foods we eat. Using plastic products in any place has a more negative effect on our health than wood does. Cutting boards also fall victim as plastic cutting boards can leave grooves that catch bacteria while wood cutting boards, when properly cared for, are way more durable.
When you stack the pros and cons, wood stands tall. Plastic, while sometimes cheaper, is a negative contributor to the safety of the environment and our health. Along with being more durable, wood is the most environmentally beneficial and health-conscious material for most tools.