Plastic vs. Metal Fasteners: A Sustainable Future


With Plastic-Free July well under way, let's take a look at some of the ways in which metal fasteners are better than plastic ones...


Plastic fasteners are all the rage, making an appearance in almost every product you can think of. Take IKEA, for example - purchase a basic bed-side table from the world-famous company, and you’ll be endowed with plastic pieces that’ll be forever lost under your sofa!

That said, as we’re sure you’re aware, plastic has become a major problem in today’s world. Shockingly, plastic pollution has reached exponential amounts, weighing 269,000 tons in the ocean alone.

With this in mind, and with “Plastic-Free July” in full swing, are there more sustainable ways for the fasteners industry to function?

Black screws and gold screws, all in two cardboard boxes

Why Are Plastic Fasteners so Popular?

With the fastener industry changing so rapidly, companies are always finding new ways to keep up with the competition. With the demand for smaller, lighter, easily portable technologies, furniture, and equipment, plastic fasteners are the way forward. But what exactly makes them a credible option?

  • Smaller and lighter: compared to their bulkier, stainless-steel alternatives, plastic fasteners are much smaller, weighing a lot less. This makes them ideal for furnishings, clothing, and the like, which needs to be easily carryable and movable.

  • More aesthetically pleasing: they’re a much more discrete option for objects, like furnishings, that hinge on their aesthetics for sales.

  • Good tensile strength: in comparison to metal screws, nuts, and bolts, which are super rigid, plastic is a little more forgiving, making it a more flexible option that can really go with the flow. Over time, this may lead to less breakages, compared to metal, which may snap with too much pressure.

Four screws covered over with grey plastic

All these positives aside, the excessive lifetime of plastic goods make them a somewhat permanent, not to mention harmful, addition to our landscape. The solution? It’s right in front of us...

Get on Board With “Plastic-Free July”

Considering this month is all about the plastic-free initiative, we’re bringing sustainability to the forefront. With our fasteners exhibition, we want to raise awareness to this month’s purpose, by promoting some more eco-friendly fastener options. Could metal be the answer?

Plastic vs. Metal

Yes, plastic is strong and durable, lasting more than a lifetime, with a predicted lifespan of hundreds and hundreds of years. Nevertheless, it simply isn’t as strong as metal, which is often used in the hardware of important machinery in the aerospace, thermal, and automotive worlds; this is where metal fasteners really come into play.

To add to this, metal is a natural material compared to plastic, taken directly from the earth itself, so it can be fully recycled over and over again. This makes it a really viable alternative to the toxic plastics that are making their way into our oceans.

Our Exhibition

At our Fasteners Exhibition and Conference, we have a fantastic collection of companies who are inadvertently supporting our call for a sustainable future through manufacturing metal fasteners. For example, Hangzhou Ltd. mainly focus their efforts on metal fasteners, alongside Best Quality Fasteners, and BSC Corporation.

This just goes to show that, even with the innovations in plastic fasteners, metal fasteners can still keep up with the competition of the adapting industry.

A large collection of silver bolts

Fastening a Sustainable Future

Our growing need to find sustainable ways to live on this planet we call home have called for causes like “Plastic-Free July”. Thanks to big brands and companies, like McDonald’s, Costa, and ASDA and events, like Glastonbury, who are all taking the initiative on board, awareness is being raised, and the everyday person can truly get involved.

It’s down to big businesses, like yourselves, to spur this force forward. Will you join the plastic-free movement?

If you think your company might be able to add something to our plight for a sustainable future, we’d love for you to get in touch. Our Fasteners Exhibition and Conference, on 11th and 12th September at the NEC in Birmingham welcomes businesses, big and small, to get involved. If you want to join our fantastic group of exhibitors this September, to showcase your goods or services, please get in touch with Henry Kirkpatrick via his email address,, or by calling +44 (0)117 929 6087.

On another note, if you’re in the fasteners business, and just want to check us out to see what we’re all about, we have free visitor tickets available, so you can come along and join us. Please get in touch with Harry Stephenson on, or call him on +44 (0)117 990 2097, for further enquiries. We look forward to seeing you there!