Plastics have been around for a long time now. It has been said that even before Alexander Parke’s major pioneering contribution to the development of plastics from cellulose nitrate in the 1850’s, plastic like materials have been in use by mankind for centuries. Now life without plastic cannot even be imagined. Almost every piece we use day to day is either a plastic or has plastic components in it. Because plastics can be made into products of different strengths and flexibility we can find plastic products ranging from car bodies, home and office furniture, computers, water bottles and as package materials for almost everything that needs transportation and storage. Besides since plastics are mostly made from the byproducts of the petroleum manufacturing processes, they are very inexpensive. The increasing use of single use plastic has also resulted in it being added to the Municipal Solid Waste according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Single use plastics are basically the plastic products used for packing purposes of almost all manufactured products from the most high tech equipment like computers to the most basic ones like drinking water. Single use plastics may be convenient but at what cost to human life and the planet.
Plastics are manufactured from petroleum products and are 4% of the petroleum consumption with additional 4% in terms of energy used in the manufacturing process. One third of this goes on to be used in packaging material which gets discarded after their first use. One issue is that the toxicity to humans from the single use plastics are mainly due to their use in packing food stuff. Drinking water bottles are often the most talked about sources of toxicity to humans from plastics. Pthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) are the two most known toxins which come from plastics into the contained food or water. In addition, when these single use items are discarded improperly, they often end up in oceans where they continue to release...
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