Chemistry Extra Credit Paper Armstrong

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Samuel Cho Word Count: 754 words
The two articles I have picked from the Science Daily website are titled “Plastic Packaging Industry Is Moving Towards Completely Bio-Based Products” and “Turning Pine Sap Into 'Ever-Green' Plastics.” I have decided to write a cumulative summary on the two articles because of my prolonged interest in environmental conservation and sustainable living.

The first article “Plastic Packaging Industry Is Moving Towards Completely Bio-Based Products” is an analysis of the viability of the new research VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has undertaken to significantly improve the quality of bio-based plastic packaging. Currently, the volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. And of the five per cent approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging. This puts special pressure on the EUR 500billion packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.

Alleviating such heavy reliance on petroleum, the use of renewable natural resources in industrial applications will reduce carbon footprint attributable to consumption. However, undertaking the movement to create more environmentally friendly plastic should not compromise the quality or economic competitiveness of the products. As a solution to this problem, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland “has developed a technique that enables the production of the PGA monomer glycolic acid from bio-based materials more efficiently than before.” At current development levels, which is still in its primary stages, bio-based PGA plastic is between 20 and 30 per cent stronger than PLA, most popular biodegradable plastic at the moment, and is able to withstand temperatures 20 degrees Celsius higher. It is estimated that when bio-based PGA plastic enters the...
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