What is a Plastic Shovel?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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A plastic shovel is a hand-held scooping tool made from polymers. Polymers, or plastics, are made from chemicals found in crude oil. Plastic shovels are available in many sizes and types; they’re designed for a wide range of uses. A plastic shovel may be as small as a beach toy or as large as a snow scoop. Plastic shovels are sold in many different colors for use both in the home garden and in commercial operations.

Workers in fish processing factories as well as those in chemical plants use plastic shovels for scooping various materials. Many farms and agricultural operations use plastic shovels for animal feed or waste. A plastic shovel is much more lightweight than traditional wood and metal types of shovels; it also tends to be easier to handle in a small area such as a chicken coop. Plastic shovels tend to cost much less than the traditional shovel types.

Many homeowners prefer to use plastic shovels rather than metal ones for general yard work. The bright colors such as yellow, green and pink make these shovels easy to spot in the yard when it's time to store them in a tool shed or garage. A plastic shovel is lighter and easier for children to use than metal shovels. Many people prefer to work with plastic shovels over the traditional metal-bladed types, as rusting isn't a concern when using plastics.


The main drawback to plastic shovels is that they can snap without warning. For instance, some winter backpackers forgo taking along a lighter weight mini plastic shovel in favor of packing a metal one because they don't want to take the risk of the plastic type breaking in the snow. Most regular sized plastic show shovels are heavy duty and don't tend to break too easily. A plastic snow shovel is lightweight compared to other types and many people find them easier to use for long periods of shoveling. Telescopic plastic snow shovels have a mechanism on the handles that allows them to be adjusted to each person’s height.

For many people, the first time they used a plastic shovel was in childhood. A plastic pail and shovel set is still popularly used by many children today for playing in sand boxes or on the beach. The plastic beach pail usually has a handle for carrying sand, water or sea creatures. The plastic beach shovel is sturdy for small hands to handle. Pail and shovel beach toys are often brightly colored and inexpensive.


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