Essay Recycling Plastic

Plastic Recycling Essay

History:Plastic is a material that is used widely throughout the world. We can find plastic everywhere in our daily lives. It has changed our lives a great deal; however often its importance is forgotten. There are many things in today's world that are made of plastic.

Within the last years, plastic has evolved immensely. There exist more than 1,000 different plastics that vary widely and can be used for different purposes. We can define plastic "as a group of synthetic resins or other substances that can be moulded into any form" (1, p.10). Molecules determine the structural form of the plastic as well as their physical feature. Plastics are also known as polymers or resins.

A polymer is a large molecule of high molecular mass formed by the joining together of a large number of molecules of low molecular mass (2). The individual molecules forming the polymer are called monomers. Polymers can be divided into 2 categories; extendable polymers and cross-linked polymers (1). Extendable polymers are thermoplastic and cross-linked polymers are thermoset. Both groups differ in their structure, properties, and chemical processes (1). The most important difference between both is that thermoplastic can be remelted after processing and can be remoulded where as thermoset plastics cannot be remelted. Thermoplastics are elastic and flexible; they "are the most important class of plastics material available commercially and account for more than two thirds of all polymers used in the world today" (1, p.14).

The polymer industry began in the 1870s; however the first synthetic polymer was created in 1909 by Leo Baekeland (3). Following this discovery there was a great amount of research "to understand the molecular structure of polymers" (3, p.3). In 1920, their unique properties were discovered by Hermann Staudinger although this was only accepted in 1928. "The 1930s were the glory years for the development of new synthetic polymers" such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS) (3, p.3). With the discovery of 'accelerated' polymerization in 1953 making plastics a superior product, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) were created (3).

Below is a table outlining some of their uses:PVCIt is used in piping, vinyl siding, oil bottles, and clothing and upholsteryPSApplications include computer housings, kitchen appliances, foam packaging, and plastic utensilsPPIt is found in dishwater safe food containers as well as diapers, carpeting, and screw on lidsPEIt is used in bottles, food trays, grocery bags, textile, and children's toys(1)Plastic Resin Codes:As discussed previously, there are many different types of polymers. To help categorize the major polymers that are recyclable, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) developed a resin identification code system in 1988. The SPI was founded in 1937 and represent the entire plastics industry supply chain. They host a number of different shows and publish various different...

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Importance of Recycling

Recycling is important in today’s world if we want to leave this planet for our future generations. It is good for the environment, since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us. Recycling begins at home. If you are not throwing away any of your old product and instead utilizing it for something new then you are actually recycling. When you think of recycling you should really think about the whole idea; reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ve been careless up to this point with the way we’ve treated the Earth and it’s time to change; not just the way we do things but the way we think.

We should recycle because:

  • To Make Environment Clean
  • Conservation of Materials
  • To Save Energy
  • Reduce Garbage in Landfills

Recycling is good for the environment, in the sense, we are using old and waste products which are of no use and then converting them back to same new products. Since we are saving resources and are sending less trash to the landfills, it helps in reducing air and water pollution. Energy saving is important if we are to reduce the future effects of global warming. If we recycle one aluminum can, we are able to save enough energy to run a TV for around 3 hours. This will obviously depend on the energy consumption of your TV, but it gives you a great idea as to just how much energy can be saved during the process of recycling products.

It is believed that (the U.S.) cut approximately 40 million newspapers each day, leading to the equivalent of about half a million trees ending in landfills every week. We’ve been careless up to this point with the way we’ve treated the Earth and it’s time to change; not just the way we do things but the way we think. Paper, plastic, glass, aluminum cans are examples of some products that are recycled in large quantities.

When you think of recycling you should really think about the whole idea; reduce, reuse and recycle. Think about it; if you don’t need it, don’t get it. If you have to get it, get something that can be used again and if you get something that needs to be recycled by the professionals, put it in the recycle bin. Conservation is an important part of recycling issue. When you produce less garbage it helps in reducing the landfills and also helps in giving the land back to the nature.

Recycling serve 2 purpose: First, it avoid landfills and helps in reducing air and water pollution and secondly, valuable material like aluminum cans and plastic and glass are reused in other forms and not wasted. Be mindful of what you do, pay attention to the items you buy and always check yourself to see if you really need it or if it comes in a package with less waste. We can all do our part and we will make a huge difference.

What We People Can Do?

There are handful number of things that you could do to save this planet.

1. Throw away all the garbage in your house that is of no use to you or you think you can’t utilize it in some other way. If you don’t have these boxes, you can easily purchase a suitable container for each recyclable product (e.g. paper, plastic, and glass), and then take these down to your local recycling center.

2. Try to avoid the use of plastic bag and plastic paper as much as possible. They not only pollute the environment but also helps in filling landfills. Also, when you shop try to look out for the products that have least packaging. Every millions of dollars are spent only in packaging of these products which ultimately go to the garbage sites.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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