Life Cycle of Plastic: From its Birth to – Eternity?
Plastic is virtually everywhere. Anywhere you look, plastic seems to be present. I guarantee you that almost everything that you own right now has plastic in it. If not, plastic covers it. Indeed, it is the way-to-go material for all sorts of things.
Its abundance, reliability, and flexibility stand out among the rest. However, have you ever thought how long this material lasts? Does it last forever? Let us take a good look at its life cycle.
A quick intro about plastic
Plastics are synthetic, semi-synthetic, or intervened materials that can be used for different purposes. Examples are various plants, roots, twigs, or leaves mixed with lab-made particles. These are organic compounds from the polymerization process to develop malleability.
Plastic also boasts an almost endless lifespan because of its composition and ability to not degrade throughout time. Industry players make use of this material to manufacture enormous amounts of products. Due to its high production, wastage is prevalent. So, junk removal Baltimore companies work for the community to haul junk like unused or disposed plastic products from homes. Is plastic that indestructible? Let us dive into the life cycle of plastic.
The life cycle of plastic: Looking into it
The first stage is creating plastic pellets with additives. These additives add to the mix to form plastic pellets. These are necessary for such processing techniques such as extrusion, injection molding, and blow molding. All of these processes share the same purpose. That is to form raw plastic pellets into a tangible product that will benefit the end-user. From manufacturing, this goes to the distribution process to retail stores and commercial centers.
Next is the product use. Consumers purchase products that are made of plastic or associated with it. Plastic can be seen literally everywhere. You can see plastic from the water bottle that you bought from the local supermarket. Plastic is also present in the fruit bags. Even the packaging from your new smartphone that just came this morning has plastic. This is where consumers use the actual product and dispose of it when it loses its importance or usage. Product usability depends on a variety of products. Consumables encased in plastic have different stories compared to electronic packaging and the like.
The end life of plastic is either recycling or discarding. Ideally, you would recycle because it benefits the environment. Unfortunately, the latter takes the cake. For most of us, our efforts are insufficient. For instance, we often neglect our plastic electronics when they’re unusable and dysfunctional. Where do they go? Into the landfills, yes. In fact, by 2050, the overall weight of plastic in the oceans will be more than that of the fish. That is just shocking and depressing.
Wrapping it up: what can we do?
We can always start in our own homes. It is never late to perform the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Plastic degrades in around 500 to 1,000 years. We should do everything to repurpose it and not let it go to waste!