An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world's oceans every year. A fungus known as Pestalotiopsis microspora was discovered to be able to breakdown and digest plastic. Plastic is a valuable resource in many ways, but plastic pollution is an unnecessary and unsustainable waste of that resource. Plastics are generally made from petroleum. Problems & Concerns. So waste plastic could now become a useful source of building materials for poor people. Meanwhile, 50–80% of debris in marine areas is plastic. One kilogram of waste plastic produces roughly a liter of hydrocarbon. If we do not recycle, it becomes waste. That would be … Polyethylene plastic is common in things like containers, bottles and cases. 1. The effect of plastics on global warming is mixed. For example, the small plastic beads, called “microbeads”, that are often added to facewash or toothpaste. Plastic toys Nocardia can degrade PET with an esterase enzyme. In 1975 a team of Japanese scientists studying ponds containing waste water from a, Several species of soil fungi can consume, Microbial communities isolated from soil samples mixed with starch have been shown to be capable of degrading. More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans. In Australia and in many parts of the world tap water is excellent. Polycarbonate plastic is common in things like compact discs (CDs), lenses and eyeglasses. 25 Plastic Facts for Kids Plastic is a human-made material that can be shaped into many different solid objects. For example, packaging beverages in PET plastic rather than glass or metal is estimated to save 52% in transportation energy. There are differing estimates of how much plastic waste has been produced in the last century. Life in our oceans, rivers - and even on land - is at risk from plastic pollution. Plastics are waterproof and do not rot away. The plastic facts below will help you learn about who invented plastic, what is plastic used for, how plastic is made, how plastic affects the planet and other plastic related facts. A picture of a few plastic containers used to store food. In order to prevent such a catastrophe, experts have proposed a total single use plastic ban, wood burning bans while planting "as many trees as possible," "pollution-free recycling of electronics, and by 2030 all industries to be zero toxic discharge." Phenol-formaldehyde, commonly known as bakelite, is degraded by the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Others can be changed by heating them up or even by melting them. Most plastics are man-made; they do not occur in nature. Plastic pollution facts show it is ridding the world of m arine species, with over 700 on the edge of extinction, including Hawaiian monk seals and loggerhead sea turtles. Typically, workers sort the plastic by looking at the resin identification code, although common containers like soda bottles can be sorted from memory. The harder, translucent plastic used for milk or detergent bottles is high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, which can be turned into … According to National Geographic, the worldwide production of plastics has grown from 147 million tons in 1993 to over 406 million tons in 2015. Most are made from petroleum or natural gas. Several species of yeasts, bacteria, algae and lichens have been found growing on synthetic polymer artifacts in museums and at archaeological sites. Other types of plastic will stay hard even when reheated. Plastics are a good insulator of heat. PVC pipes or Polyvinyl Chloride, formed when a plasticizer liquid is added to the hard vinyl chloride, is used in making pipes, electric cables, clothing etc. Phanerochaete chrysosporium was grown on PVC in a mineral salt agar. Plastic utensils. For example, polystyrene is rarely recycled because the process is usually not cost effective. Plastic represents 8% of total American waste weight, and 20% of its volume. Fact: Plastic rubbish doesn’t biodegrade. The global warming potential is 39 percent lower. Some can be shaped only when they are freshly made; then they become hard afterwards. The futuro house was made of fibreglass-reinforced polyesters, polyester-polyurethane, and poly(methylmethacrylate.) iPhone 5c, a smartphone with a polycarbonate unibody shell, Molded plastic food replicas on display outside a restaurant in Japan. Another example is cloth such as Polar fleece, which is made of lots of tiny plastic threads. Controlled high-temperature incineration, above 850 °C for two seconds, performed with selective additional heating, breaks down toxic dioxins and furans from burning plastic, and is widely used in municipal solid waste incineration. Most plastics are durable and degrade very slowly, as their chemical structure renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation. Plastic Pollution Facts for Kids . Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. Plastic bags were introduced to supermarkets in 1977. Polyurethane plastic is common in things like automobiles and foam cushions. Others estimate a cumulative human production of 8.3 billion tons of plastic of which 6.3 billion tons is waste, with a recycling rate of only 9%. Most plastics are man-made; they do not occur in nature. Plastic eating microbes also have been found in landfills. There are ten common types of plastic manufactured and used today by humans. What can we do? And that waste endangers wildlife. These gases and chemicals are extremely damaging to human, plant, and animal life. 1050 milk jugs can be recycled into one 6-foot plastic park bench. Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been grown on PVC in a mineral salt agar. Parts of temporary Buildings like the Water Polo Arena and the Royal Artillery Barracks were recycled. First, let’s get real: Not all plastic is bad. One British scientist advocates "special protection and perservation of peat bogs, wetlands, marshlands and mangrove swamps to ensure carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere.". Polyvinylidene chloride plastic is common in things like. Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas. Tiny bits of plastic, called “microplastics”, are made in two main ways. In 2017, it’s estimated that out of the 35.4 million tons of plastic produced in the United States, only 3 million tons of it was. Millions of animals and birds die due to plastic rubbish. Plastic bottle. Polyvinyl chloride plastic is common in things like window frames, flooring and a wide variety of plumbing pipes. The transparent plastic that’s used for most drink bottles is called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and it can be turned into carpets or clothes. Written on: July 14, 2020. Polypropylene plastic is common in things like. Thermoplastics can be remelted and reused, and thermoset plastics can be ground up and used as filler, although the purity of the material tends to degrade with each reuse cycle. More than one million bags are used every minute. Plastic piping and firestops being installed in Ontario. Recycling certain types of plastics can be unprofitable as well. Facts about Acrylic Plastic 7: Plexiglas. Shweta Sinha. This is needed because uncontrolled incineration of plastic produces polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, a carcinogen (cancer causing chemical). The Ocean Conservancy reported that China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam dump more plastic in the sea than all other countries combined. Learn . Certain types of plastics can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. An early success in the recycling of plastics is Vinyloop, an industrial process to separate PVC from other materials through dissolution, filtration and separation of contaminants. One of them is Turtle, this animal almost 70 percent of its life depends on the waters in the sea if in the sea alone there is a lot of trash that is scattered then slowly it becomes food and even becomes an obstacle for the Turtle population. Standard weight of one PET 2 liter bottle was reduced by 28% between 1970s and now (it … Although seeing beaches littered with plastic is an increasingly unsettling problem, it’s good to show your children how to respect the planet while they travel. 90%… of seabirds eat plastic rubbish, mistaking it for food. The rivers Yangtze, Indus, Yellow River, Hai River, Nile, Ganges, Pearl River, Amur, Niger, and the Mekong "transport 88–95% of the global [plastics] load into the sea.". Over 4 million plastic bottles is used by American every hour! Production of plastics from crude oil requires 62 to 108 MJ/Kg (taking into account the average efficiency of US utility stations of 35%). This is why the use of recycled material leads to a significantly better ecological outcome. You’re in the learn section. Most plastics are durable and degrade very slowly, as their chemical structure renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation. The fungus Geotrichum candidum, found in Belize, has been found to consume the. In current trend, annual emissions will grow to 1.34 billion tons by 2030. By one estimate, one billion tons of plastic waste have been discarded since the 1950s. Only 1 to 3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide. 1 tonne = 25,000 plastic bottles. And it’s now also in the deepest part of the oceans and in the most remote parts of the world. So where does it go when we're done with it? Join thousands of other people getting facts in their inbox every week. Bike helmets, car airbags, and many medical supplies made with plastic save lives. The Marine Conservancy has predicted the decomposition rates of several plastic products. Others estimate a cumulative human production of 8.3 billion tons of plastic of which 6.3 billion tons is waste, with a recycling rate of only 9%. Producing silicon and semiconductors for modern electronic equipment is even more energy consuming: 230 to 235 MJ/Kg of silicon, and about 3,000 MJ/Kg of semiconductors. If any of the below plastic facts are inaccurate, please contact us and let us know. Acrylic Plastic Facts. In such cases, the resources it would take to separate the plastics far exceed their value and the item is discarded. Alexander Parkes, an English inventor (1813-1890), created the earliest form of plastic in 1855. However, new processes of mechanical sorting are being developed to increase the capacity and efficiency of plastic recycling. Damaging Turtle habitat The impact of the original garbage disposal going to the sea can cause animal life in it. Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. But solving the plastic problem can be as easy as getting your sweet treat in a cone. Most of us use plastic every day. Recent studies have shown that plastics in the ocean decompose faster than was once thought, due to exposure to sun, rain, and other environmental conditions, resulting in the release of toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A. Plastic bags cause the death of many marine animals when they are mistaken for food. Plastic is filling up the landfills and sometimes if you burn it, it releases toxic fumes. This is much higher than the energy needed to produce many other materials, e.g. The North Atlantic garbage patch is estimated to contain mostly microplastics. However, due to the increased volume of plastics in the ocean, decomposition has slowed down. By 2050 plastic could emit 56 billion tons of Greenhouse gas emissions, as much as 14 percent of the earth’s remaining carbon budget. Understanding plastic pollution can feel overwhelming. There are methods by which plastics can be broken down to a feedstock state. A thermoplastic is a material, usually a plastic polymer, which becomes more soft when heated and hard when cooled.Thermoplastic materials can be cooled and heated several times without any change in their chemical or mechanical properties. If the plastic is incinerated, it increases carbon emissions; if it is placed in a landfill, it becomes a carbon sink although biodegradable plastics have caused methane emissions. They are also easy to clean, making them safe and hygienic for preparing and storing food. 1-5 Plastic Surgery Facts 1. Polystyrene plastic is common in things like disposable cups, disposable utensils and foam peanuts. Plexiglas is a kind of acrylic plastic. All Rights Reserved. There are many types of plastic. Polymers are long chains of atoms bonded to one another. Seriously, single-use plastic items like ice cream spoons account for more than 40 percent of plastic waste, and each year about 8.8 million tons of plastic trash flows into the ocean. 1. The problem occurs because the heat content of the waste stream varies. pieces of plastic (not including microbeads – minuscule plastic balls found in toiletries like face washes and toothpaste) are estimated to be floating in the world’s seas. In 2019 a new report "Plastic and Climate" was published. We’re here to help! Plastics contribute to approximately 10% of discarded waste. Plastics can be made into almost any shape by heating them at a high temperature. There are differing estimates of how much plastic waste has been produced in the last century. As the softened plastic cools, it hardens. This makes it possible to recycle composite PVC waste, which is normally incinerated or put in a landfill. The student, Lise Vestergaard, is now working on a way to use solar power to make the bricks. According to a report from the Guardian, an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s — that’s equivalent to the weight of more than 800,000 Eiffel Towers. Since then have been found growing on synthetic polymer artifacts in museums and at archaeological.! Tiny bits of plastic are polymers are then combined with other chemicals to produce a polymer have been since! Is made of fibreglass-reinforced polyesters, polyester-polyurethane, and 20 % of total plastic.... 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