Energy used in Manufacturing
Energy is used in the initial preparation of any raw materials for manufacturing:
- Within manufacturing processes
- In distribution.
The production of almost everything requires materials that affect the environment:
- Forests that take hundreds of years to replace are used for timber
- Metals and ores are mined
- The extraction of oil which is used for plastics
Natural resources are being used at increasing rates and we are not replacing them at the same rate. This is having a detrimental effect on the planet.
The amount of energy needed to manufacture products is enormous. Emissions from large plants or factories are at a dangerous level (this can cause serious environmental damage in some areas).
The disposal of products must be considered when it reaches the end of its life.
Manufacturing requires the use of energy. Until recently, little attention was paid to the way in which energy and the earth’s natural resources were being used. Levels of consumption and pollution have increased dramatically during the last 50 years.
Energy and Manufacturing - what are the problems?
Non-renewable resources are cheaper.
Regularly changing styles and fashion promotes a throw away approach – therefore consumers want more products.
Cheaper products are preferred.
High levels of packaging are expected.
Recycling is often too time consuming and inconvenient.