The Importance Of Plastics

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Plastics come primarily from petrochemicals. Plastics are generally organic polymers of high molecular weight. The vast majority of these polymers are based on chains of carbon single atoms or with oxygen, sulphur, or n as well. The spine is the part of the string on the main "path" linking a large number of repeat together units. To customize the properties of a plastic, different molecular groups "hang" of the spine (usually they are "hung" as part of the monomers before monomers are connected to form the polymer chain). The structure of these “side chains” influences the properties of the polymer. This development of the molecular structure of the base unit affects the properties of the polymer. Plasticity is the General property of all…show more content…
However, the current levels of use and disposal generate several environmental problems. Approximately 4% of the world's oil and gas production, a non-renewable resource, is used as a raw material for plastics and 3 to 4% extra are deployed to provide energy for their manufacture. A high proportion of plastic produced annually is used to make disposable objects packing or other products of short durations that are thrown into the year of manufacture. These two observations only indicate that our current use of plastics is not sustainable. Plastic waste are two broad categories of plastics; (i) thermoplastic and thermosetting plastics (ii). Thermoplastics are recyclable plastics include; Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Poly ethylene low density (LDPE), Poly Vinyal Choloride (PVC), high density Poly ethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) etc. most of the types of plastics are not biodegradable and are indeed extremely durable and therefore the majority of polymers manufactured today will persist for at least several decades, and probably for centuries, even millennia. Therefore, significant amounts of end-of-life plastics are accumulating in landfills and debris in the natural environment, resulting in management of waste and damages issues to the environment. The plastics on…show more content…
Here are the prices of the polymer recycled compared to Virgin polymers and the cost of recycling compared to alternative forms of acceptable disposal. The price of Virgin plastic is influenced by the price of oil, which is the principle feedstock for the production of plastics. The quality of recovered plastic is generally lower than that of Virgin plastics; the price of virgin plastic sets the ceiling for prices of recovered plastic. Since the price of oil has decreased significantly in the last few years, recycling has become relatively more financially unattractive. There are additional issues associated with variations in the quantity and quality of supply compared with virgin plastics. Lack of information about the availability of recycled plastics, its quality and suitability for specific applications, can also act as a disincentive to use recycled material. Nevertheless, technological advances in recycling can improve the economics in two main ways—by decreasing the cost of recycling (productivity/efficiency improvements) and by closing the gap between the value of recycled resin and virgin resin. The latter point is particularly enhanced by technologies for turning recovered plastic into food grade polymer by removing contamination—supporting closed-loop recycling. This technology has been proven for rPET from clear bottles, and more recently rHDPE from milk

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