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Edited and Published by 'The Leaders Hub' 13th October, 2021
What is plastic? Plastic is define as a materials that contains an essential ingredient which are made up if organic substance of large molecular weight. They are polymers of long carbon chains.
Plastic was discovered by a famous German Chemist. Christian Schonbein in 1846. Plastic were discovered accidentally. Christian was performing in the kitchen and by accident he spilt a mixture of nitric acid and sulphuric acid. To mop the solution, he took a cloth and after moping he kept it over the store.After sometime, the cloth disappeared and form their plastic got its name. Types of plastics Plastic are divided into two types depending on it physical properties. They are as follows: i. Thermoplastic = They are plastic that can be deformed easily upon heating and can be bent easily linear polymers and a combination of linear and cross-linked polymers come under Thermoplastics, Example are PVC, nylon, polythene, etc.
Thermosetting: They are plastics that cannot be softened again by heating once they are mould. Heavily cross-linked polymers come under this category. Examples of thermosetting plastic are Bakelite for making electrical switches.
And the other example of thermosetting is melamine which is use for floor tiles.
Properties of plastic 1. Strong and ductile 2. Poor conductors of heat and electricity 3. Easily mould into different shape and size 4. Resist corrosion and are resistant to many chemicals 5. Low processing cost 6. Good transparency and wear resistance. Polyethylene. They are the mostly commonly used thermoplastics in the world. The primary application of polyethylene (polythene) is in packaging. It is often use to make plastic bags, bottles, plastic films, containers. Etc
Polyethylene Properties 1. They exhibit strong creep when placed under a persistent force. 2. The mechanical strength of polyethylene is comparatively lower than other plastics. 3. They are very good insulators of electric current. 4. The rigidity and the hardness of the polymer are relatively low. 5. They exhibit strong creep when place under continuous force. Types of polyethylene 1. High-density polyethylene. (HDPE) High-density polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer produced from the monomer.
2. High-density cross-linked (HDXLPE) is a form of polyethylene with cross-links that is used for building services pipework system.
3. Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE) medium density polyethylene, are raw granulated sheet that do not compromise on the quality of the developed products at last long.
4. Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cross-linked polyethylene is a polymer with a unique molecular structure that is comprised of link-chains.
5. Low-density polyethylene, are soft flexible light weight plastic material.
Use of polyethylene - It is used in packing products - It is used for cable jacketing because it is a good insulator of electric current - LDPE is also used in pipes, fittings, garbage bags, food packaging etc. - HDPE is also used in rope, fishing and agricultural nets and industrial fabrics. Uses of plastic 1. Plastic are used to manufacture products that are used in our homes, products used in our homes, products used for building construction and infrastructure.
2. Plastic help to keep food safe and fresh
3. Plastic are used for the manufacturing of our computer, cell phone, television and microwave. Almost all appliances around us are made from plastic.
4. Plastic are used to make safety gear
5. Plastic are used in making toys.
6. Plastic is used to store water
7. Plastic is used for coating electric wire
What is Plastic Waste Plastic waste, or plastic pollution, is the accumulation of plastic objects (e.g. plastic bottles, plastic bags) in the Earth environment which later has adverse effects on the ecological system. As human population expand, the demand for plastic product increases. Manufacturers continue the production of plastic products which now resulted into this plastic waste dumped indiscriminately around our ecosystem causing environmental degradation.
What is Plastic Waste Recycling. Plastic waste recycling is the process of gathering waste plastic and reconverting them to new and useful and useable plastic product. Plastic waste recycling ensures that waste plastic does not go to waste. The waste are reprocess into another product for better use. Plastic recycling take less energy them making plastic from raw materials while helping to reducingfossil fuel consumption, rechanneling discarded plastic from the refuge stream and turning them into new goods, as such taken the material out of our natural environment. ENVIRONMENT IMPACT OF PLASTIC WASTE More plastic production keep increasing as the population of human keep expanding. And as such plastic waste is also increasing rapidly, and this increase commonage to more damage to our ecological system. Plastic usage and production have affected man’s daily living especially in most low-income nations. The quality and unique of plastics have also become a concern when it comes to the way they are disposed. For instance when plastic are use and dumped on the environment, they endure for long time in the surrounding to the that they are durable, and while thrown into the water bodies they continue to float on the surface because they are low density. More plastic production keep increasing as the population of human keep expanding. And as such plastic waste is also increasing rapidly, and this increase commonage to more damage to our ecological system. Plastic usage and production have affected man’s daily living especially in most low-income nations. The quality and unique of plastics have also become a concern when it comes to the way they are disposed. For instance when plastic are use and dumped on the environment, they endure for long time in the surrounding to the that they are durable, and while thrown into the water bodies they continue to float on the surface because they are low density. 1. Impact of Plastic Waste on Aquatic Life The life of earth’s living creatures is largely sustained by water bodies such as rivers, streams, oceans etc. as they provide most of the oxygen it breathes. The negative effective plastics had on these water bodies, is causing a concern over the condition of life and especially aquatic animals.
The rate at which the ocean is been polluted with plastic is around 12.7 million tones of plastic a year. The demand our action cause to marine life and our ecosystem is becoming irreparable. More than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year. 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic on their stomachs. Everyday around 8 million pieces of plastic makes their way into our oceans. The tones of plastic used daily flows through our drains, ends up in rivers and makes its way into our oceans. At the rate we’re still using plastic, the problem is set to increase tenfold, the impact this has on the ecosystem, marine life and humans are potentially irreversible.
2, Impact on the Plastics Waste on Land Animals. It was recorded that more than 250 species of living organisms and invertebrates are either caught off in plastic or directly digested them. Man is at risk if they happen to consume plant that has been inflected with toxins from contaminated basically via ingestion and entanglement.
3.Impact of Plastic Waste on Human Life When plastics waste reaches the sea, it strangulates, kill or contaminate seafood. Animals can be poisoned by plastic pollution and thereafter contaminate water source and human food. Environment Hazard Associated with Plastic in Nigeria It has been estimate that plastic demand rose globally from over 320 million tons in 2015 to more than in 2020. This implies that plastic waste is rapidly increasing damage to our ecosystem. Plastic pollution is capable of affecting land, water ways and oceans as a large percentage of marine and land creatures have died due to the fact that plastic is non-biodegradable and it cause hazards to soil. Waste plastic, blocks drainages lines and fill up land space causing floods and erosion there by causing deterioration if the Nigeria roads. Land Pollution Plastic are present in large volume in human residential environment. Human is a social animal, all the plastic products which man consumed as a result of socialization are dump on the land. These products contaminate and damage the ecosystem which subsequently transferred to the aquatic environment
Water pollution: Millions of tones of plastic are annually released into the ocean, with about trillion plastic pieces floating in the ocean. The process of plastic degradation release toxic chemicals like polystyrene and BPA into the water causing water pollution
Air pollution: During the process of plastic waste decomposition on the land filled, it releases carbon dioxide and methane which are release into the atmosphere. Burning of plastic and plastic products CO2 is release in the atmosphere when trapped is capable of causing global warning.
Blocking of Waterline The indiscriminate deposable of waste is damaging the street, as well blocking the drainage system during the raining seasons. Plastic are dump on the street, when rain falls it carry these plastic into the drainage as a result of the erosion ,and it end up the blocking and resulted to flooding
Economic Benefit of Plastic Recycling To reduce pollution, by recycling plastic material we can hand fully reduce air pollution and as well as water pollution scientist have said by 2050, the numbers of plastic in the ocean will be more than the number of fishes. When plastic are recycle, they reduce the amount of green house and toxic emission release into the air as a result of burning plastic. Recycling require muchless energy and therefore helps to preserve natural resources The benefit of recycle 1. Reduce pollution across ecosystem = When plastic are manufacture, the amount of green house gases are very high as a result of petroleum that is burn. These gases are trapped in the air and pollute the ecosystem. When the plastic are recycle, emission that are hazardous to the environment is reduce. 2. Help conserve natural resources = Manufacturing of plastic from the scatter requires much more energy compared to producing products from recycled plastic. The manufacturing from the scatter requires more natural resources: water, petroleum, natural gases and coal as raw material. Recycling save more previous natural resources. 3. Promote a sustainable life style = When business create awareness and promote positive impacts of plastic reuse and recycling, they are sure to bring a change toward environment conservation. Proper waste management approach should be greatly adhering to in preserving our precious environment. Effective way of waste management There are three ways for management of plastic waste. They can be management through the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling). But one of the most effective methods of plastics waste management is through recycling from a proper waste management system were waste dump are always taking to landfills. What is recycling? Recycling is simply collecting and process waste plastic materials that would have been thrown away as trash and reprocessing them into new products that produce wealth. Recycling is commonly known as “waste to wealth”. Recycling is the process of recovery operation on our environment by which waste that are harmful to our environment are collected and reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or for other usage. Recycling involves two ways: it can be reuse, and recovery. Recycling picture ii. Recovery waste means any operation in which the principal waste is serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfill a particular function, waste being prepared. Recovery waste system is one way we can effectively help our environment by taking away waste products. Materials that would have rot in landfill or float out to become an environmental hazard can be reprocessed into usable materials for future products.
Plastic waste has become a menace in our society with a lot of increasing challenges everyday in Nigeria which cannot be over emphasized. The best way to manage plastic waste is through recycling. Plastic waste have tremendous benefits in various industries like construction, clothing making, Art and designed, among many others. What is a waste can become wealth tomorrow if they are properly managed. An empty plastic of milk today can be chair tomorrow. Recycling is what will need for a sustainable environment. Recycling is highly prescribed means of reducing greenhouse gases. According to intergovernmental panel on climate change, advertising waste then, is an obvious and proven means for conserving land and resources. Take a look at some of your waste milk jugs, shampoo, laundry detergent and household plastic can become. They can be lightweight and tough.
REFERENCES Heliyon (2020) Plastic Waste: Environment Hazard and Instrument for Wealth Creation in Nigeria. Plastic in the Ocean Statistic 2020 – 2021 Condor Ferries (2021). The Ecology of Recycling. Marian Chertow (2012). Okehinde O.J. Ramonu and L.D. Justin (2020). Plastic Waste: Environmental Hazard and Instrument for Wealth in Nigeria. Economic Benefits of Recycling. Mark Poberts (2017). Plastic Chemical Compound (1990). Ferdinand Podriguez. Sustainability in the Workplace: 5 Major Benefits of Plastic Recycling Nalalie K. Macvanish. Google photos

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