Last Updated 18 Apr 2017

Plastic and Specific Technical Needs

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Answer: Plastic was thought to be a boon but it turned out to be a curse. Plastic can be very harmful as it produces harmful gases when it is burned. As it is non bio degradable, it is harmful to the soil and takes hundreds of years to degrade or decompose. Plastic is a boon for man but it is a curse for the master. It makes life comfortable for man but life tiring for the environment. Once animals have eaten it and due to choking they die Plastic is very harmful to living things. We should decrease the use of plastic. In India use of plastic has been banned.

Packaging represents the largest single sector of plastics use in the world today. Benefits of plastics-Boon The considerable growth in plastic use is due to the beneficial properties of plastics. These include: Extreme versatility and ability to be tailored to meet very specific technical needs. Lighter weight than competing materials, reducing fuel consumption during transportation. Extreme durability. Resistance to chemicals, water and impact. Good safety and hygiene properties for food packaging. Excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties. Relatively inexpensive to produce.

Plastics makes up around 7% of the average household dustbin. Effects of plastic-Curse. Plastics production also involves the use of potentially harmful chemicals, which are added as stabilisers or colorants. Many of these have not undergone environmental risk assessment and their impact on human health and the environment is currently uncertain. An example of this is phthalates, which are used in the manufacture of PVC. PVC has in the past been used in toys for young children and there has been concern that phthalates may be released when these toys are sucked (come into contact with saliva).

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Risk assessments of the effects of phthalates on the environment are currently being carried out. The disposal of plastics products also contributes significantly to their environmental impact. Because most plastics are non-degradable, they take a long time to break down, possibly up to hundreds of years - although no-one knows for certain as plastics haven't existed for long enough - when they are landfilled. With more and more plastics products, particularly plastics packaging, being disposed of soon after their purchase, the landfill space required by plastics waste is a growing concern.

Plastic waste, such as plastic bags, often becomes litter. For example, nearly 57% of litter found on beaches in 2003 was plastic. Recycling plastic -Advantages. Conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels - Plastic production uses 8% of the world's oil production, 4% as feedstock and 4% during manufacture. Reduced consumption of energy. Reduced amounts of solid waste going to landfill. Reduced emissions of carbon-dioxide (CO2), nitrogen-oxide (NO) and sulphur-dioxide (SO2)

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