Plastic is a material that is used to make many different products, including household items and electronics. It is also used to make all kinds of things ranging from plastic films, toys, pharmaceutical bags and some car parts. Basically, it is so widely used that whenever you look around, you can easily spot something made from plastic. Even though plastic may seem like a miracle substance, it poses some serious environmental threats if not disposed of properly.
Plastic is a moldable substance that is sometimes naturally occurring, but more often is made by humans. The composition of plastic varies greatly. Plastic is a polymer, which is a large molecule that contains repeating units of monomers. Monomers are shorter compounds that contain carbon. The composition of plastic varies because chemists combine different monomers in numerous arrangements, thus creating many different forms of plastic.
Plastic has many varying uses and can be molded into just about any shape, which is one of the reasons it is used to make toys, bottles, pens and the many other products that it is used for. It also does not have a chemical reaction with many other substances. Therefore it does not decay and can be used to store alcohol, acid or gasoline, for example. However, because of its durability, plastic poses a threat to the environment. If not recycled properly, plastic waste exists in the environment for centuries. Therefore, it is imperative that all plastics be properly recycled so as not to harm the world we live in.
Huge amounts of plastic waste are gathering in our already full landfills. On top of that, plastic pollution is ending up in the ocean which causes death for many animals. Plastics also contain harmful chemicals that are released into our environment while they are sitting in landfills or the ocean. All these negative elements can be avoided if plastics are simply recycled. Recycled plastic can be reused to make new products, for example plastic chairs and tables. Recycling this substance also saves energy and since plastic contains oil, allows for reuse of fossil fuels.
The future of plastics is being reevaluated and new ways to make this substance are in the works. There are new technologies that are used to make plastics from corn oil, for example, that would be biodegradable. However, until biodegradable plastics are being used regularly, and even when they are, it is important to properly dispose of and recycle plastic products. The use of plastic is so vast that it can not be stopped entirely, but if we choose to live more environmentally, its negative impact can be lessened.