Posted On March 4, 2017
Plastic Bag Recycling
Plastic is a non-biodegradable product and a harmful pollutant of? the air, land, and water bodies. Each day tonnes of plastic wastes are disposed off into the surroundings which has proved to be harmful to the nature and the living organisms. Though plastic bags served for better replacement of paper bags to prevent deforestation,? it has turned out to be a health hazard with its non- degradable property. Plastic bags are made from monomer ethylene, the molecules of which are made into polyehtylene. Three types of plastic bags are made depending on the density, which provides tensile strength and clearness or crystallinity of the plastic.
Reusing Plastic Bags
First step in recycling plastic bags is by reusing them before disposing off for recycling process. The manufacture of plastic bags has been encouraged because it consumes less energy for to manufacture compared to paper bags. Moreover, they have light weight, compact, reusable, fully recyclable, and have high fuel value. State recycling reports show residents diverted more than 540 thousand tons of recyclables from landfills in 2008 whose number has reached beyond 576-thousand tons in 2009.
Plastic bags are collected for the recycling process. These are then cut into pieces and washed. It is then passed through an extruder; a device, which moves the bits of plastic to heat it to temperature till it melts. It is then burnt. High temperature is ensured for its melting. A screw device facilitates the movement of this melted plastic through a tube with electric heaters, which is further pushed
out the end through holes. The strings that look like spaghetti is chopped into little beads which are then cooled and collected into large bins.
These beads are mixed with other plastic beads to make new plastic bags or other products. Sometimes a dye is added to beads. The beads are then allowed to pass through a hopper to make new plastic bags. The hopper full of beads undergoes the same process of heating and melting. Air pressure is applied to form rolls and then into sheets to produce new plastic bags.
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Advantages and Disadvantages:
Advantages of plastic over other materials:
??? Advantages of plastic are light in weight.
??? They can be easily moulded and have excellent finishing.
??? They possess very good strength and toughness.? They possess good shock absorption capacity.
??? Advantages of plastic are corrosion resistant and chemically inert.
??? They have low thermal expansion of co-efficient and possess good thermal and electrical insulating property.
??? Advantages of plastic is very good water resistant and possess good adhesiveness.
??? Plastic is strong, good and cheap to produce.
??? Plastic is a recycling process and it does not decompose.
??? Plastic bottles can be reused and restored over again and again.
??? Plastic is one of the unbreakable.
??? Plastic is an odourless.
??? Plastic is used for building, construction, electronics, packaging (gladwrap) and transportation industries.
??? Used to make – Water bottles, pens, plastic bags, cups etc.
??? Advantages of plastic are Very cheap to make.
??? Chemical resistance.
??? Advantages of plastic are used to produce another product.
??? Used to reduce soil and wind erosion.
Disadvantages of plastics:
??? Plastic is a nonrenewable resources.
??? Plastic is softness.
??? Disadvantage of plastics are embrittlement at low temperature.
??? Disadvantage of plastics are deformation under load.
??? Disadvantage of plastics are low heat resistant and poor ductility.
??? Disadvantage of plastics are combustibility.
??? Avoid plastic is very helpful to us because it destroys soil.
??? It is a recycle process, but it is very costly.
The pollutants that are of major concern in today??™s world are non biodegradable pollutants that do not degrade or degrade very slowly in the natural environment.
Polythene pollution? is an example of non biodegradable pollution and they persist on our earth years after years affecting even future generation.
Polythene pollution? is mostly created by polythene bags, plastic syringe, pesticide containers, medicinal bottles.
Effects of Polythene pollution
Polythene pollution? has widespread and myriads of effects on ecosystem:
??? Polythene pollution? through biomagnifications enters the food chain and increases along the trophic levels.
??? Polythene obstructs the drains, natural water bodies, landfills.
??? Plastic bags may be carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes polluting te surrounding regions
??? Most facial cleansers are made of polyethylene microplastics which are too small to be removed by wastewater plants and therefore easily get entry into into waterways and ocean.Additionally these microplastics in presence of UV ray can absorb PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) causing a greater toxic effect in water.
??? Polythene debris can transport organic pollutants in the seas and oceans.
??? Many marine organisms like bryozoans, barnacles, polychaetes, crabs and mollusks inhabit on plastic and are transported along with the ocean current to the new sites where they act as alien species upsetting the ecological balance of the site.
??? Polythene , a petroleum product is a suspected human carcinogen or cancer-causing agent. In studies with mice, polyethylene has been linked to cancer of the colon. When these bags come in direct contact with food, as in packaging, chemicals within the bag can leach out into the food and contaminate it. When burned they release cancer-causing gases.
??? Polythene can also cause AIDS and thrombosis.
??? About 1 billion? sea animals die each year by ingesting polythene bags mistakenly. The plastic bags on ingestion may wrap around their gut or they choke them to death.
Steps to combat polythene pollution
??? Plastic polythene bags must be banned altogether or by levying tax on plastic bags, polythene pollution may be checked.
??? Polythene materials may be considered for recycling. Very few fractions of polythene containers can be recycled like polythene containers for soft drink, milk, water bottles.
??? People must be encouraged to use wax paper instead of polyethylene products, to use cloth or hemp or jute or paper bags instead of plastic bags.
??? More public awareness has to be created explaining about the harmful impact of polythene pollution.
The world faces enormous environmental challenges today. ? We are reducing the available oxygen by 10%. ? In the globalized context, ??™USE and THROW??™ culture has seeped into even the ordinary people. ? The life style, food habits, relationships have been changed. ? The eco-system and nature have been totally damaged by mankind.
In our closest environment, the plastics exist in the form of furniture, cups, bags, food and drink containers etc. ? Our main concern is the plastic pollutants, like plastic biscuit boxes, quencher bottles, soft drink cans, sweet wrappers, polythene bags and other form of plastics.
These serve many purposes but are now the waste material. Accumulation of such wastes can results in hazardous effects to both living beings and to the green life. ? Therefore the present study is under taken to bring out the effect of plastic hazards to the limelight to public health and how to manage these dreadful plastics into better way of life.
HISTORY OF PLASTICS
Plastic had an inauspicious birth. An Englishman, Alexander Parkes, looking for collodion in his medicine cabinet to staunch a wound, discovered that it had gelled into a tough rubbery substance.
Parkesine, the first synthetic plastic, was launched in 1865, and the Xylonite company was formed a year later.
In the USA, the Hyatt brothers were working on the same lines, and invented a similar material, which they called celluloid. The year was 1869. In 1877, the Hyatt Company and Xylonite merged into the British Xylonite Company, which exists today as BXL Plastics Ltd.
The man who influenced the plastics industry more than any other, however, was a Belgian, Leo Beakland, who immigrated to the USA in 1889 to better use his talents. In 1907 he invented Bakelite which would dominate plastics for the next 50 years. By 1930, gramophone records, billiard balls (originally made from elephant tusks!),…
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