However, challenges lie ahead. For example, people who are unhappy with the appearance of facial sagging can have a facelift to tighten the skin. 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. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Polyvinyl Chloride is perhaps most well known for its use in residential and … There are tens of thousands – or more – of different kinds of plastics and formulations. … Have you ever seen endangered sea turtles … Plastics are used to make bicycle helmets, child safety seats and airbags in automobiles. 7. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. It’s tough, resilient, and excellent at absorbing shock. As this production increases, "sustainable" feedstock for the plastic industry will become more widely available. The first man-made plastic was created by Alexander Parkes who publicly demonstrated it at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. There is a plastic suitable for almost any application. We are getting wiser, and now many plastics can be chemically, mechanically, or thermally recycled. In addition to being recycled into other objects, plastic … Plastic is very useful because it can be coloured, melted, shaped, squashed, rolled into sheets or made into fibres plastics. It has proved so useful to … The word ‘plastic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ which describes something that can be molded. A wave of single-use plastic bans is sweeping the country and the globe—most often on plastic bags, straws, stirrers, and takeout clamshells. Foolproof. Generally by reinforcing fibrous material into plastic … Most of the plastic produced is used in packaging - which accounts for more than 40 per cent of non-fibre plastic, according to a study published … The ability to produce a healthy child is a … Dean West says: 12.20.2019 at 10:38 am Skylar – Yes indeed, the medical applications for plastics continue to expand. This is in contrast to building and construction, where plastic use has a mean lifetime of 35 years. Print this Page. Find more information about specific kinds of plastics, like silicones, fluoropolymers, polyurethanes, vinyl, polycarbonate, or polystyrene. Plastic packaging, plastic bottles and plastic bags are something we need to use - the reasons why we use plastic are because plastic packaging helps protect food and other items, plastic is lightweight, packaging prevents contamination, packaging provides important information, and plastic packaging provides other important benefits to the use of goods today. Plastics don't corrode, though they can degrade in UV, a component of sunlight, and can be affected by solvents. They aren't good for the landfill, as many will persist for hundreds of years; when they're incinerated, dangerous gases can be produced. Perversely, some plastics can be cured (hardened) by UV, which shows how varied their formulas are. They’re in the roofs, walls, flooring and insulation that make homes and buildings energy efficient. Some plastics have additives that make them bacteria- or fire-resistant; or give them a rainbow of colors; or make them flexible; or fill them with bubbles to make them better insulators; or even add fibers to make high-tech composites. ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/uses-of-plastics-820359. Plastic debris is found absolutely everywhere, from the Arctic to Antarctica. They’re in the roofs, walls, flooring and insulation that make homes and buildings energy efficient. We had to work with the materials that nature provided, but no more—we now design our own materials. Plastic also are hygienic and it is not poison to our bodies. After reading this article, I feel much more informed about how useful plastic can be for people. A simplistic definition is that plastic surgery is for aesthetic purposes and reconstructive surgery is to correct some type of deformity. Todd Johnson has worked on the development, commercialization, and sales sides of the composites industry since 2004. There are “organic” plastics, which contain carbon, and inorganic plastics, which don’t. Cheap, capable of being made into any conceivable shape, strong and durable, plastic is something of a wonder material. It helps to reduce the amount of virgin plastic that needs to be manufactured. It … Of course, now you would want to know why. Plastics are used to make bicycle helmets, child safety seats and airbags in automobiles. Johnson, Todd. Some plastics occur in nature, like tree rubber. Practically we can say that plastic is strong material but ideal section of plastic which is useful for structural component is not designed yet. Plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and marine life. It was the plastics industry that offered recycling as a solution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, containers and packaging--including plastic bottles--make up the largest category of produced plastic products. It’s everywhere! Plastic Is One Of The Most Energy Dense Materials To Burn/Incinerate Plastic has a high energy output for incineration or cement kilns because of the petroleum that makes it up. Recycling plastic undoubtedly helps to reduce pollution. The conveniences plastics offer, however, led to a throw-away culture that reveals the material’s dark side: today, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Most modern plastics are based on organic chemicals that offer manufacturers a huge range of physical properties that is still growing. Read more: What Makes Polystyrene Different from Styrene? PVC plastic, for example, is soluble in acetone. Read more: Debunking the Myths: Are there really 84,000 chemicals? Plastic waste generation is strongly influenced by primary plastic use, but also the product lifetime. While plastic bottles are convenient and hygienic, they're also responsible for extensive resource depletion and environmental damage. How2Recycle. Versatile plastics inspire innovations that help make life better, healthier and safer every day. Plastics used in food packaging are chosen precisely because they do a good job: they are considered inert and chemically resistant to the outside environment and the foods and beverages themselves. They’re in the cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronic equipment that makes modern life possible. Leak-proof and child-resistant plastic containers are useful for holding dangerous household products such as bleach, ammonia,and other caustic cleaners. Because many plastics are so durable and don't corrode, they create considerable disposal problems. But only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. Today, more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually. Plastics make possible many things people don’t recognize as plastic at all – like paints, protective coatings and linings, adhesives and glues, and sealants and insulation. Our food … We now have biofuel for automobiles, and the feedstock for that fuel grows on the land. Read more: Six Ways Chemistry Helps Kids Get Back to School, Read more: Answering Questions about Microbeads. Thanks for reading the Craftech Industries posts. A major reason that plastic exists today is because people want affordable and conveniently sourced food on their table. There was a time when anything made of plastic was considered to be of inferior quality, but those days are past. Without the material, innovation is not possible in the field of technology. We used to build ships from wood and planes from string (hemp) and canvas (cotton/flax). We still must solve the disposal issue, which is being actively addressed through materials research, recycling policies, and enhanced public awareness. Many supermarkets now give us one-use grocery bags; leave them in a cupboard long enough and all you will have left is dust because they are engineered to degrade. Whatever mode of transport you pick, you'll find plastic used extensively in: Plastics are even combined with other materials as structural elements in all kinds of transport, even skateboards, rollerblades, and bicycles. Single-use plastic is my biggest plastic-based frustration (it’s always fun to rate and categorise your frustrations). Think for a moment how hard it is to avoid plastic. The versatility of plastic materials comes from the ability to mold, laminate or shape them and to tailor them physically and chemically. Use the search box to find information on the chemicals that are essential to the products you use every day. The label was created by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and a recycling nonprofit called GreenBlue as a way to provide clear instructions to consumers about packaging recyclability. While in Europe the production of plastic has remained relatively constant over the last decade, in developing countries in particular it continues to rise. Learn more about the chemistry in the products we rely on every day, including how and why particular chemicals are used in different products, and health and safety information about these chemicals. Reply. Plastic is a material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of all plastic - water bottles, bags and straws - are used just once and thrown away. Plastic Recycling. It’s the button you have just pressed right now or the computer mouse in your hand. It’s one of the main reasons cars are able to get safer and safer everyday. When it comes to canned beer, though, you will find that the inside of the can is often lined with a plastic polymer. There is a huge percentage of plastic in your television, your sound system, your cell phone, and your vacuum cleaner and probably plastic foam in your furniture. Plastic can take an absolute beating. (For some reason, guys don't like to drink beer from plastic.) Plastic preserves flavour and freshness when used to store food and beverages. Plastic became a special target because, while so many plastic products are disposable, plastic lasts forever in the environment. Some plastics are hard and shatter-resistant, others are soft and flexible. It's clear that modern life would be very different without plastics. sustainable, durable, long-lasting design and construction, From computers and cell phones to televisions and microwaves, durable, lightweight and affordable plastics have helped revolutionize the, Find information on what the number on the bottom of many. Modern air conditioners are molded in plastic to ensure light weight appliances that can be installed in commercial and residential premises. But maybe the threat to human health is reason enough to appreciate why we should reduce the use of plastic. Plastic can — and does — save lives. In fact, it is a conscious effort by everyone as plastic is very harmful for our environment. 1 for beer. Find information on the wide variety of plastics used in hundreds of household and consumer products. Trains, planes, and automobiles, even ships, satellites, and space stations, use plastics extensively. The material, called Parkesine, was an organic material derived from cellulose that, once heated, could be molded and retained its shape when cooled. Now open your refrigerator. You are probably wearing plastic right now, maybe a polyester /cotton mix garment or even glasses or a watch with plastic components. https://www.thoughtco.com/uses-of-plastics-820359 (accessed January 23, 2021). The Many Uses of Plastics. Plastic is in lots of things we use from clothing to crisp packets, and bottles to buckets. » Disposed plastic materials can remain in … The food might be wrapped in PVC cling film, your yogurt is probably in plastic tubs, cheese in plastic wrap, and water and milk in blow-molded plastic containers. From medical devices that keep blood flowing, joints moving and hearts beating to impact-resistant vehicle parts and safer infant car seats, plastic saves lives every day. Packaging, for example, has a very short ‘in-use’ lifetime (typically around 6 months or less). Due to purposefully misleading symbols on plastic packaging and numerous technical hurdles, less than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled. You are probably wearing plastic right now, maybe a polyester/cotton mix garment or even glasses or a watch with plastic components. !” “I’m writing Tesco an angry email when I get home.” You must have observed that grocery shops these days do not use plastic bags. It’s a Matter of Chemistry. They hand out all your things in either paper bags or cloth bags. Print The versatility of plastic materials comes from the ability to mold, laminate or shape them and to tailor them physically and chemically. The reasons why plastic is awesome are almost too numerous to count, but here are five that really resonate for us: 1. How Does Recycling Help Reduce Pollution? In order to meet this … The Ecology Center can help you use less plastic, recycle the plastic that you do use, and learn more about its hazards. Johnson, Todd. Read more: Understanding Risk and Hazard When it Comes to Chemicals. Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. A number of plastics are used to package, deliver, store or serve foods and drinks. ThoughtCo. Known for its strength and robustness, plastic will withstand all sorts of uses. So what happened to the plastic bags that we used? What are you walking on? Unless your floor covering is real wood, it probably has a synthetic/natural fiber blend like some of the clothes you wear. And plastics in packaging help keep foods safe and fresh. He also writes about the industry. Additionally, plastic can be a direct replacement sometimes for burning fossil fuels, and there are other potential benefits to incinerating plastic. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. Johnson, Todd. There are plastics now that prevent gas from escaping pressurized soda bottles, but cans and glass are still No. Additionally, because many plastics are based ultimately on crude oil, there is a continuous rise in the cost of raw materials that chemical engineers are trying to workaround. That is very fitting, as today we have molded our world from so much plastic. These retailers send the plastic to recyclers, who use the material in products such as composite decking. Everything You Need to Know About Plastics, The Safest Type of Water Bottle to Drink From, Examples of Petrochemicals and Petroleum Products, A Brief History of the Invention of Plastics, B.S., Business Management, University of Colorado Boulder. "The Many Uses of Plastics." The mass use of plastic started in the 1950s and has steadily grown ever since. Plastic is ubiquitous. Plastic is used to make optic fibers that are laid under the sea to provide high speed internet connection to the users. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/uses-of-plastics-820359. They’re in the cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronic equipment that makes modern life possible. Plastics Can Cause Fertility and Reproductive Problems. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Since all materials in contact with foods can have tiny amounts of substances transfer into the food, the FDA reviews scientific tests to determine how much is transferred and that any transfer does not pose a risk to human health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews materials to be used in food contact before allowing them on the market using a rigorous safety standard. Take a look in the kitchen and you might see a plastic chair or bar stool seats, plastic countertops (acrylic composites), plastic linings (PTFE) in your nonstick cooking pans, and plastic plumbing in your water system. 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