The word “Plastic” was derived from the Greek word “Plastikos” which means that it is fit for molding. Plastic has become one of the most important materials in which almost every object nearby us is made of plastic. It is cheap and easy to mold and it can be used to make other types of objects. The most important thing is that it is fully made by a chemical process called polymerization. Nowadays, if we look around we find that there most of the objects near us are made of plastic-like for example the bottle or the chair that you are using are made of plastic. The chair might be not but still, before we bring back the product or the chair home, plastic is used to cover the chair. According to the plastic statistic research of 2020 says that more than 1 million plastic is used every minute that means that
Plastic is based on two types, they are of synthetic and biobased. Synthetic fibers are derived from the following things:-
1. Crude Oil
2. Natural Gas
The most used typed of plastic is synthetic because the process of making is quite easy and simple as compared to the other bio-based one. Biobased plastic is made of starch, vegetable fats and oils, bacteria, and other microorganisms that are used to make bio-based plastic.
According to the British Platic Federation, the steps to make plastic are as follows:-
At first, the raw materials for the process the plastic is gathered in a lab or factory.
In the second step, the raw materials are extracted on the basis of complex compounds that need to be processed.
In the next or third step is the refining process that converts into different petroleum products – these are converted to yield useful chemicals. In this process, crude oil is heated in a furnace, which is then sent to the distillation process in which the crude oil is distilled or separates the heavy and light crude oil into components called the fractions. This whole process is known as Fractional distillation.
The fourth step is polymerization, the petroleum industry is where the light is Gasoline such as ethylene, propylene, butylene, etc are the names monomer who are converted higher molecular weight hydrocarbons also known as polymers. This happens when the monomers are chemically bonded into chains.
The next step is compounding where various materials are blended to make formulations for plastics. Extrusion is used in the molding then it transforms it into pellets into a finished or semi-finished product.
That’s the process of making plastic. The process. The process of making looks complex but it is easy to make plastic with the help of the artificial technology of the era.
Our mind might wonder that is possible to make plastic without the use of oil or petroleum? The other plastic-based is made of other materials such as vegetable fats and oil, carbohydrates, and recycled food waste, or maybe bacteria can be used to make bio-based plastic.
Why is it used?
Plastic was first invented by the scientist/chemist name called Dr
Leo Hendrik Arthur Baekeland is also known as the “Father of the Plastics Industry” .He was the first who invented Bakelite/Baekelite or the polymer polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride was the first synthetic plastic made from synthetic components. The packaging industries used in plastic is the most. The top country to manufacture the highest amount of plastic is China, the country produces more than 60 million tons of plastic. That’s the reason that the products that are consumed in China are much cheaper because there is the mass production of plastic and the production rate of the polymerized product is more. The most commonly produced plastic products are high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene, it is mainly used in the process of packaging Food.
How it becomes a waste?
Because plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin—a figure that stunned the scientists who crunched the numbers in 2017. The quantity of waste plastic or recycled was large so it was made to be sunk in the ocean. The waste plastic in the ocean has harmed the animal lived in the marine of the ocean and endangered are included as well. The pollution of plastic is mostly from household waste, which is poorly recycled and is dumped in the soil, rivers, landfills, and the natural disaster like floods carried away the plastic to the rivers that may lead the waste to the ocean and the animals living in the ocean was affected. Some people even burn the wastes which produce some toxic gases like dioxins, furans, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls into the atmosphere which may harm the living organisms if inhaled. To decompose plastic in the soil it may take more than 10000 years to decompose it. The safest plastic is high-density polyethylene because it is durable as well as recyclable. There are many ways of trying to prevent the use of single-use plastic. We can use other types of materials instead of single-use plastic.
The ways of reducing the use of plastic are some of the following reasons:-
i) One of the most important thing to reduce the use of plastic is avoid using single-use plastic such plastic cups and straws that can only be used for only one time.
ii)We should use other recyclable material instead of plastic to reduce plastic pollution like using of cloth handbags for shopping grocery.
iii) We should drink water from an ordinary steel or bronze material bottles or directly through an water tap because if we drink water from the bottle made of plastic then it may contain microplastic, and of it is consumed by a human is harmful such as not working of an vital organ properly. By doing this will also help to reduce the use of plastic as well.
The most important term is how to convert a waste plastic into wealth and that may be by recycling the waste but what about the waste plastic that cannot be recycled like single-use plastic is by converting the plastic into fuel, and the process of converting a plastic into fuel is plastic pyrolysis.
The process of plastic pyrolysis was discovered by Jayme Navarro, in this process we can decompose the waste plastic into fuels that can be used in vehicles ,gasoline and kerosene .It is one of the most efficient and easy way to recycle the waste plastic and to convert the plastic into fuels like petrochemical, diesel ,and jet fuel etc.
The word ‘pyro’ means ‘heat’ and ‘lysis’ means ‘breakdown’. Plastic pyrolysis is a chemical reaction that involves the molecular breakdown of larger molecules into smaller molecules in the presence of heat. Pyrolysis is also known as thermal cracking thermolysis, depolymerization etc. The frequency at which molecules vibrates is directly proportional to the temperature of molecules. When the molecule of the plastic is at high temperature then it results of high molecular vibrations. As of the high molecular vibrations lead to the breakdown of the molecule into smaller molecules that results in producing of diesel and petrochemicals as well as jet fuel with diesel content on it. Therefore we get fuel in exchange of waste material by applying heat to some extent.
At last, I want to express my words as a human in my world of living organism like humans, plants, animals and microorganisms. The most important goal of writing this essay was to save the environment from the pollution of plastic that is caused by the human beings so it is our responsibility to control the use of the plastic and save the environment where we set our foot on.