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“Life in plastic… it’s Fantastic”

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Presentation on theme: "“Life in plastic… it’s Fantastic”"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Life in plastic… it’s Fantastic”

2 Polymer vs Monomer Polymers are large molecules composed of
many similar smaller molecules linked together. The individual smaller molecules are called monomers. When small organic molecules are joined together, giant molecules are produced (aka macromolecules)

3 Polymer vs Monomer

4 Biodegradable vs Nonbiodegradable
Biodegradable – able to rot naturally garden and kitchen waste like potato skins and banana skins. Newspaper is also biodegradable! Nonbiodegradable – unable to rot naturally Plastic bags, synthetics, plastic bottles, tin cans, and computer hardware

5 Waste Plastic There are many different types of plastic that we use every day These are split in to 19 different grades – bottles are made of grades1 and 2 plastics Plastics can be very difficult to recycle Grades 1 and 2 are the easiest to recycle Plastics can take over 500 years to breakdown

6 Uses of plastics - Statistics
About 7% of all household waste is plastic. Annually, 3 million tons of plastic rubbish are produced. 57% of litter found on beaches is plastic. In 2001 only 7% of all plastic was recycled. Is this the case in your household?

7 Plastic Codes Started in 1988 by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) To help ID the plastics in garbage Is voluntary. However, 39 states have adopted the system as mandatory The arrow symbol is misleading – just because it has it, it does not mean the item is recyclable or came from recycled items

8 Polyethylene terephthalate
PET or Polyethylene terephthalate Description: Safe, strong, transparent and versatile Light weight, resealability, shatter resistance and recyclability Clear tough plastic, may be used as a fiber Uses: Beverages, food items … cups Recycled into carpets, tshirts, fleece jackets, sleeping bags, dog beds, car bumpers and door panels…

9 HDPE High Density Polyethylene
Monomer: Description: Very common plastic, usually white or colored Uses: Bottles, crates, buckets, pipes, toys, fuel containers, bags Plastic grocery bags cause problems at recycling plants and therefore are not accepted Recycled into: Plastic lumber, truck cargo liners, trash containers, rope, piping, and toys

10 UPVC Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride
PPVC Plasticized polyvinyl chloride Description: UPVC Hard rigid plastic, may be clear PPVC Flexible, clear, elastic plastic Uses: Pipes, fences, windows… Monomer:

11 Low density polyethylene
Description: Soft, flexible plastic Uses: Carrier bags and bin liners Monomer:

12 Polypropylene Description: Hard, but flexible plastic – many uses
Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays. Monomer:

13 Polystyrene PS EPS Description:
PS Rigid, brittle plastic, may be clear, glassy EPS foamed, lightweight, energy absorbing, thermal insulation Uses: Yogurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys Monomer:

14 Polystyrene Description:
Other. Use of this code indicates that the package is made with something other than the previous 1-6 types or is made of more than one of the above in combination Uses: All else


16 How are polymers recycled?
Mechanical recycling of plastics refers to processes which involve the melting, shredding or granulation of waste plastics. Plastics must be sorted prior to mechanical recycling. At the moment in the UK most sorting for mechanical recycling is done by trained staff who manually sort the plastics into polymer type and/or color. Boulder County Colorado Video

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