By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies to deliver content and services tailored to your interests. In a few cases, though, the choice is clear-cut and obvious, mainly with respect to grounding. Reading, West Berkshire, Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited, University of Aberdeen Festival of Social Science, Hosting Conversations About Ageing: What my Younger Self Should Know, further development of synthetic polymers, Over 70 million tons of thermoplastics per year, generates over 90 pounds of textile waste. — At Curver, we mainly use polypropylene, a plastic material which is very easy to recycle. — Plastic bumpers absorb shock, plastic dashboards and door panels are a little kinder on your head during a wreck, and plastic fuel tanks minimize explosion risks. The average U.S. citizen generates over 90 pounds of textile waste each year. However, the fraction of either natural gas or petroleum used to produce polymers is very low; less than 5 percent of either oil or natural gas produced each year is employed to generate plastics. They can become soft when heated and can return to their original form. Plastics can all be separated into two primary categories: thermoset and thermoplastic. Building and Construction. Over 70 million tons of thermoplastics per year are used in textiles, mostly clothing and carpeting. Here’s why: 1 | Durable and safe Plastic kills thousands of marine mammals and sea birds every year. It is used mainly for films and wraps that need to be impermeable to food odors. Known for its strength and robustness, plastic will withstand all sorts of uses. Plastics could be used to benefit the environment. Polyolefins are dominant for a few reasons. Festival of Social Science 2020 — Plastic is not expensive, and as it is cheaper than wood, metal or glass, we are able to provide you with low cost quality products. Depending upon the region, packaging consumes 35 to 45 percent of the synthetic polymer produced in total, where the polyolefins dominate. Oxygen and heat cause chain damage during reprocessing, while food and other materials contaminate the polyolefin. Eventually, the combination of need, scientific advances and serendipity led to the full suite of polymers that you can now readily recognize as “plastics.” These polymers were rapidly commercialized, thanks to a desire to reduce products’ weight and to provide inexpensive alternatives to natural materials like cellulose or cotton. Our prime concern is the safety and wellbeing of our customers. This is why it is used for pipes and plumbing. The introduction of recycling systems means that trays, baskets, boxes, bins and other bowls can be made into something new! Use rechargeable batteries to reduce buying batteries packaged in plastic. They are easily molded to be formed into fibers, packaging, and films. Extremely strong and shock resistant, plastic is not harmful, unlike glass, for example, which can break. Polyethylene terephthalate, a polyester, dominates the market for beverage bottles and textile fibers. It’s even been used to create bullet proof vests that are stronger and lighter than some of the other materials they’ve been commonly made of … HDPE is a harder plastic and is used mainly in containers, but was first introduced in the hula hoop. In just 60 short years, plastics' popularity has grown considerably. 49. Most do-it-yourselfers prefer plastic electrical boxes, while electricians use both metal and plastic boxes. 45. Finally, they’re easy to shape into products, while robust enough that packaging made from them won’t deform in a delivery truck sitting in the sun all day. Building and construction consumes another 20 percent of the total polymers produced, where PVC pipe and its chemical cousins dominate. “Plastic” has become a somewhat misguided way to describe polymers. You can use it over and over again. Polystyrene can form a harder, impact-resistant plastic that is used for cabinets, computer monitors, TVs, utensils, and glasses. As you can tell, the world of plastics is quite large, and getting larger with the recycling of plastics. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Everything You Need to Know About Plastics, Plastic Definition and Examples in Chemistry, A Brief History of the Invention of Plastics, Learn the Basics of the Plastic Resin Polypropylene, B.S., Business Management, University of Colorado Boulder. This is largely due to just a few reasons. Plastic is highly resistant to aggressive environments and to most chemicals. If you look at this plastic under a microscope, you would see that it has a linear structure with few branches lending to its optimal strength/density ratio. 100 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. every year. Further, ethylene can be produced from sugarcane ethanol, as is done commercially by Braskem in Brazil.


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