Plastic in our World

Plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic, semi-synthetic or organic solids used in the manufacturing of industrial products. The word plastic is derived from the Greek(plastikos) meaning capable of being shaped or moulded.

The raw materials needed to make most plastics come from petroleum and natural gas. Plastic packaging is growing due to the cost effectiveness and the demand due to the population pressure on planet earth.

Environmental Issues

Plastics are durable and degrade very slowly, the molecular bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural processes of degradation. Since the 1950s, ONE BILLION TONS of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years. If we do not address the issue now many generations to follow will suffer due to our actions. Thermoplastics can be remelted and reused, unfortunately, recycling of plastics has proven to be a difficult process.The biggest problems are the collection and transport of plastic to recycling depots.Also the lack of automated sorting facilities for plastic wastes, making it labour intensive.

Environmental concerns are the release of toxic pollutants, greenhouse gas, litter, biodegradable and non-biodegradable landfill impact as a result of the production and disposal of petroleum and petroleum-based plastics. Of particular concern has been the recent accumulation of enormous quantities of plastic trash in ocean gyres.

 

Plastic in our landfills and oceans

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