Plastics Make it Possible® Shares Tips to Reduce Outdoor Water Waste

WASHINGTON (August 25, 2015)—A debilitating drought plaguing many regions of the nation has Americans scrambling to save water, especially during the peak water usage months of summer. While the average family uses 320 gallons of water per day, water use in the summer can spike up to 1,000 gallons per day, primarily due to lawn and landscape care.

Yet not all of that water winds up where intended. An estimated 50 percent of outdoor water is wasted, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drought affected areas are implementing measures – including mandated water use reductions – to rein in over-watering of lawns and other wasteful practices.

“The drought has focused attention on outdoor water saving techniques, many of which are readily available and inexpensive,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible® initiative. “Waterproof plastics enable many of the outdoor products that help cut back on water use and waste.”

Plastics Make it Possible® is sharing some tips on curbing outdoor water use and waste that can lead to substantial water savings.

  • Water The Roots, Not The Air: Compared to typical sprinklers, drip irrigation systems and plastic soaker hoses deliver water more conservatively to outdoor landscaping through flexible and durable plastic hoses. They can reduce evaporation and runoff and deliver water more directly to plants’ roots. Gardeners often layer mulch over the soaker hose to further focus the water on the roots.
  • Retain The Rain: Make the most of infrequent rainfall by installing a plastic rain barrel or two to collect and store water from gutters for later use. These durable containers (some are made with recycled plastics) last a long time even in harsh outdoor elements. Collecting rain helps cut back on outdoor water needs and helps reduce water bills. 
  • Stop Watering The Lawn: Virtually eliminate landscape watering by installing synthetic grass in all or parts of a lawn. Modern synthetic grass and lawns are similar to the synthetic turf that has been used for decades in sports stadiums. Each individual blade of grass is made from durable plastics – sometimes even recycled plastics – to mimic the soft but sturdy texture of natural grass. This turf eliminates the need for watering, although it may need to be cleaned with a hose occasionally.
  • Evade Evaporation: Evaporation can rob swimming pools of lots of water, but plastic pool covers provide a barrier between the water and air to help reduce water lost to evaporation. Some covers even act as electricity-free solar water heaters by trapping heat from the sun, much like a greenhouse.

For more information on plastics and sustainability, visit

Plastics Make it Possible® highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems and help us design a safer, more promising future. This program is sponsored by America’s Plastics MakersTM through the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council.

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The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is an $812 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation’s economy. It is the nation’s largest exporter, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.