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        The Benefits of Plastic
     Plastic has benefited our society in a number of
•   plastic has helped aeronautics technology take
    giant steps forward over the past 50 years
•   advancements in satellites, shuttles, aircraft, and
•   civilian air travel has improved, as well as military
    air power and space exploration
•   building and construction
•   electronics, packaging, and transportation
        Plastic in Aeronautics
• first introduced to the world of aerospace during World
  War II
• other materials were limited, used as a substitute for
  rubber in items such as fliers' boots and fuel-tank linings
• used with airborne radar systems
• able to withstand heat, used in the solid fuel boosters
  from rockets and in the shields for reentry of space
• used in the making of helicopters because they are rigid
  and durable, yet flexible enough to withstand the
  vibrations made by helicopters
• the weight of the aircraft can be reduced by using
  plastic. This results in improved aerodynamics, which
  leads to improved fuel efficiency and performance.
     Plastics in the Building and
        Construction Industry
• used for items such as pipes and valves
• used for decorative elements and heavy-
  duty uses because they are so easy to
  handle and are durable
• plastics are commonly found in bathroom
  units, plumbing fixtures, flooring, siding,
  panels, insulation, windows, doors,, and
   Plastics in the Building and
      Construction Industry
• in piping and valves, plastics are highly
  used because of their superior resistance
  to corrosion
• they can be used for everything from
  freshwater to saltwater, from crude oil to
  laboratory waste
• they are much lighter than other materials
  and easier to install
• They are less expensive.
         Plastics and the Use of
• ideal for use in house wiring due to the thermal
  and insulating properties
• nearly all modern homes use plastic electrical
  connectors, switches, and receptacles
• great for making small appliances such as can
  openers, food processors, microwave ovens,
  mixers, coffee makers, shavers, irons, and hair
• refrigerators use a special plastic foam for
  insulation purposes, while the interior is made
  from plastic that is durable and easy to clean
• Computers as we know them today would
  probably not exist without plastic.
• Plastic made smaller computers possible by being
  able to house all of the electronics necessary
  within a dust free and well-insulated environment.
• Components such as circuit boards and computer
  chips are able to be miniaturized without losing
  their abilities - or while also improving their
  performance - thanks to the use of plastic.
• plastic has also made it possible to introduce
  electronics to children at younger ages
• electronic toys can be made to be safe and
     Plastics and Packaging
• Plastic is versatile, can be used for a
  variety of packaging purposes.
• If the product needs to be well protected,
  the plastic can be rigid and tough.
• If the packaging needs to be convenient to
  carry, the plastic can be flexible.
• The packaging can be designed into any
  shape or size desired and it can be clear
  or any color imaginable.
      Plastics and Packaging
• Plastic packaging helps keep people, the earth,
  and animals healthy in a number of ways.
• plastic packaging is used by medical facilities to
  dispose of needles and other items that may be
• fragile medical devices are often shipped in
  plastic containers to prevent them from being
  damaged during shipping.
• Intravenous bags are also made with special see-
  through plastic to help the medical staff monitor
  the flow and intake of important nutrients and
     Plastics and Packaging
• Plastic is also used to store a variety of
  goods commonly found in the home.
• By creating shatterproof bottles with
  plastic, family members are protected if
  the product should accidentally fall.
• Leak proof and child-resistant packaging
  can also be created with plastic.
    Use of Plastic in Transportation
• a popular choice when making modes of
  transportation because it is tough, resistant to
  corrosion, durable, lightweight, and easy to color
• found in the fenders, bumpers, trunk lids, housings
  for headlights and sideview mirrors, grilles, hoods,
  doors, and wheel covers.
• Through the use of plastic, the average passenger
  car has lost 145 pounds since 1988. The lighter
  weight translates to better fuel efficiency and has
  saved approximately 21 million barrels of oil.
  Use of Plastic in Transportation
• Trains and busses also take advantage of plastic.
• Modern designs use plastic in the window and
  door frames and in the seating.
• Subway cars use plastic for the seats, the seat
  covers, in making the carpeting, in creating the
  handles, in the interior panels, and even in the
  polycarbonate windows.
• bicycles, roller skates, kayaks, canoes,
  skateboards, snowboards, surfboards,
  motorcycles, and even some athletic shoes take
  full advantage of plastic in their creation
    Advantages of using plastic
• Plastic bags require less energy to make
• Plastic bags use 40% less energy to produce
  and generate 80% less solid waste than
  paper, according to United States EPA
• Plastic bags are more weather friendly than
  paper bags
• Recycling plastic bags is more efficient
• it takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of
  plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of
  paper, according to United States EPA.
    Disadvantages Of Plastic Bags
•   Environmental Damage
•   One bag – 1000 years
•   Threat To Animal Life
•   Suffocation
•   Pollution
•   Fumes
•   Smoldering plastics can release toxic fumes
•   Non-renewable
 Great Pacific Garbage Patch
• also described as the Eastern Garbage
  Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex
• is a gyre of marine litter in the central North
  Pacific Ocean located roughly between San
  Francisco and Hawaii and estimated to be
  twice the size of Texas
• An oceanic gyre is any large-scale system
  of rotating ocean currents, particularly
  those involved with large wind movements.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
 Great Pacific Garbage Patch
• The patch is characterized by exceptionally high
  concentrations of suspended plastic and other
  debris that have been trapped by the currents of
  the North Pacific Gyre.
• Despite its size and density, the patch is not
  visible from satellite photography because it
  consists of very, very small pieces, almost
  invisible to the naked eye and most of its
  contents are suspended beneath the surface of
  the ocean.
        Sources of pollutants
• 80% of the garbage comes from land-based
  sources, and 20% from ships
• A typical 3,000 passenger cruise ship produces
  over eight tons of solid waste weekly, much of
  which ends up in the patch.
• Pollutants range in size from abandoned fishing
  nets to micro-pellets used in abrasive cleaners.
• Currents carry debris from the west coast of
  North America to the gyre in about five years, and
  debris from the east coast of Asia in a year or
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
            Impact on wildlife
• end up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals including
  sea turtles, and the Black-footed Albatross.
• the floating debris can absorb pesticides from seawater,
  including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.
• Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) -1 to 10 chlorine atoms
  attached to biphenyl, which is a molecule composed of two
  benzene rings

• used for many applications, especially as dielectric fluids in
  transformers and capacitors and coolants
• Paul Muller receives a Nobel Prize for his
  discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT in
• DDT (dichloro-dipheynl-tricholoethane) was first
  synthesized 1873.
• might help control Colorado potato beetles
• one hundred times more toxic to mosquito
  larvae than any alternative (malaria)
• used in agriculture, sprayed on fields and
  beaches, sometimes from the air
           Rachel Carson
• has written an emotional plea about
 harm to wildlife, humans health and the
 balance of nature
• DDT is persistent in the environment
• seems to affect wildlife and non-target species
• a contact toxin to animals
• can possibly accumulate in the food chain,
  leading to neurological effects.
• Carson claims it is a carcinogen, possibly
  poisoning food
• Polyaromatic hydrocarbons
• fused aromatic rings
• typically formed during the incomplete
  burning of organic material including coal,
  oil, gasoline and garbage
• found in crude oil, coal tar, creosote and
• associated with human activities (the
  combustion of fossil fuels) and natural
  occurrences (such as forest fires)
            Impact on wildlife
• These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by
  jellyfish, which are then eaten by larger fish. Many of
  these fish are then consumed by humans, resulting in
  their ingestion of toxic chemicals.

• Aside from toxic effects, when ingested, some of these
  are mistaken by the endocrine system, causing hormone
  disruption in the affected animal.

• Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive
  species that attach to floating plastic in one region and
  drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems.
What Happens to Birds when
     They Eat Plastic
Many birds have been examined and found to
contain small debris in their stomachs, a result
of their mistaking plastic for food
•   Plastic bottles
•   Batteries
•   Condoms
•   Aluminum cans
•   Paper bags
•   Plastic bags and rings
•   Cigarette butts
•   Aluminum foil
•   Diesel oil
•   Broken glass
•   Plastic wrappers
•   Paper cartons
The scale of the phenomenon is
• Plastic debris in now the most common
  surface feature of the world’s oceans.
• Because 40 percent of the oceans are
  classified as subtropical gyres, a fourth of
  the planet’s surface area has become an
  accumulator of floating plastic debris.
• What can be done with this new class of
  products made specifically to defeat
  natural recycling?

              Recycle Plastic
                         • this house is made
                           of 8,000 plastic
                           bottles and is one of
                           many bottle homes
                           built by Honduras-
                           based Eco-Tec. The
                           bottles are filled with
                           mud and bound
                           together with a
                           cement mixture,
                           offering low cost,
                           long lasting

              Recycle to bicycle
    This team of
    4 Appalachian University
    students is already
    brainstorming the
    possibilities of a plastic
    bottle car after winning
    first place in the Juicy
    Ideas competition
    sponsored late last year
    by Google. Their winning
    entry was a plastic bottle
    bike that worked

              The Junk Raft recently
              voyaged from California to
              Hawaii to raise awareness
              about the amount of plastic
              polluting our oceans. Six
              pontoons, filled with 15,000
              plastic bottles, sit below
              salvaged sailboat masts
              and the recycled Cessna
              cabin. After 3 months
              afloat, the plastic bottles
              beneath the raft were still in
              excellent condition – more
              than can be said for the
              shriveled stomach of the
              fish caught on the trip,
              sporting “14 fragments of
              plastic in it’s stomach”.

              a math professor in
               Serbia, built this house
               with 13,500 plastic
               bottles and a little
               cement. The
               foundation, support
               pillars, and roof are
               cement – the rest of the
               construction is nothing
               but rescued plastic
Recycled plastic fencing