all about plastic
Known as modern plastic
Day wonder is facing increasing scrutiny for its environmental impact.
It is one of the most useful, durable and universal materials known to human beings and permeates all areas of human life.
It protects and stores our food;
It carries our goods;
We brush our teeth with it;
We can find it on the fridge, car, computer and mobile phone;
We can thank our shower curtain, our pipes and the floor we walked through.
In short, it is so ubiquitous and maintains our way of life that it is hard for us to imagine living without it.
We now consume about 100 million tons of plastic a year, compared to 5 million tons of plastic in 1950 years when American housewives have just discovered the miracle of Tupperware.
From this point of view, a ton of plastic represents about 20,000 two-
According to the British website Waste Online, bottles of water or 120,000 handbags per liter are reported.
The estimated number of plastic bags used each year ranges from 500 billion to 1 trillion.
According to reusable bags, even a conservative estimate of 500 billion is roughly equivalent to 1 million per minute. com.
According to the Earth Policy Research Institute, the global consumption of bottled water alone reached 154 billion liters in 2004.
According to Fast Company, 1 billion bottles of water are flowing across the country for any week in the United States, and Americans consume 50 billion bottles a year.
Among them, up to 38 billion of the garbage was sent to the landfill, while 60 million of the garbage was thrown away every day.
More and more critics believe that these numbers will only fuel the opposition.
Environmental protection people in particular think that it is easy for us to live without them.
According to the Earth, the recent debate on bottled water has raised the fact that about 40% of bottled water in the United States starts with simple tap waterPolicy. org).
Greenpeace estimates that more than 1 million birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from eating or being trapped in plastic waste.
There is also the problem of human health.
More and more reports say that double phenol (BPA)
A chemical used in the manufacture of plastic containers such as water bottles, baby bottles, microwave oven tableware and food containers.
A recent study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology found that BPA is linked to female reproductive diseases such as endometrium, cystic ovary, fibroids and cancer.
Some studies of PET in water bottles, plastic bags and food containers have found that after repeated use, it may release a compound-di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate-
This is a suspected human carcinogenic substance.
However, the plastic industry emphasizes the benefits of plastic products.
According to plasticressource.
Com, an educational website run by the American Chemical commission, people benefit from plastics.
It believes that the use of recycled plastic instead of wood will have a positive impact on the environment, because fewer and fewer trees are cutting down trees to produce products such as garden furniture, it said, plastic with more durability and lower maintenance costs can better serve it.
The organization also pointed out that by replacing plastic with different kinds of materials, we may actually create more environmental problems for ourselves.
For example, it says that making a foam polystyrene container costs 30% less energy than a cardboard container.
The organization said that if there is no plastic, an additional 400% of material weight and 200% of the volume will be required to meet the existing packaging needs.
It also pointed out that if plastic bags were replaced by paper shopping bags, transportation demand would increase significantly: paper shopping bags would need to be delivered to stores every 7 trucks --
\"Only one truck is needed to deliver the same amount of plastic bags,\" the website said . \".
According to treehuger, about 90% of plastic bottles end their lives in landfill sites. com.
Even biodegradable waste can be potentially dangerous in the landfill environment.
Many environmental activists worry about one of the plastic assets. -its durability.
No one really knows how long it will take to break down because the plastic doesn\'t take long enough at all.
Environmental activists estimate the uncertainty could be between 500 and 1,000 years.
Burning plastic also does not seem to be a safe option to eliminate plastic waste.
Friends of the Earth say that in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, burning plastic is equivalent to burning fossil fuels (FOE).
FOE actually suggests that a landfill is a better way to contain plastic waste, as it maintains at least the carbon contained in the ground rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.
While recycling seems to be an automatic and safe option, critics complain that recycling is too laborious
Dense and expensive.
Therefore, plastic recycling projects have achieved varying degrees of success around the world: in Sweden, the recovery rate of PET bottles in 2004 was 80% compared with the United States
According to the American Institute of container recycling
In the past 10 years, the plastic recovery rate in the United States has been declining (
Some of these may have to do with the increasing shipment of waste to places like China, which now has the largest plastic recycling plant in the world).
According to recyclable bags.
Com, only 1% to 3% of plastic bags are recycled.
More and more people seem to be the best choice for future plastics, one of two options: reuse or stop production at the source.
The project carried out by the Kerala Road Research Institute in India is certainly a good example of the former, where chopped plastic waste is mixed with asphalt to lay roads, especially when supporters of the plan claim that roads are stronger and more durable than non-roads
Plastic roads, though still to be seen.
As for the latter option, more and more countries are taking measures to ban plastic bags in Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan and parts of India.
But the moves are slow, and some governments are reluctant to force major suppliers of plastics-supermarkets --
They are more willing to encourage voluntary projects in order to stop selling.
Perhaps the most successful strategy so far is Ireland\'s \"PlasTax\", which charges every bag consumers use.
It was launched in 2002, and now the use of plastic bags has decreased by 90%. E-
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Source: Research Institute for container recycling of recyclable bags.
Plastic resources company.
American Committee of chemistry, Tree Man. com, Planetark.
Com, Greenpeace, Christian Science monitoring, Fast Company, Friends of the Earth, New Scientist, Earth Policy, Waste Online)