Plastic is called a series of substances that have a molecular structure and are similar in chemical and physical characteristics.
The most relevant virtue is that during a temperature interval they have flexibility and elasticity, which allows them to be adapted and molded in different ways. Its name derives from its plasticity which allows it to easily create certain structures.
These synthetic materials are derived from petroleum and are obtained by processes of proliferation, which means that a semi-natural multiplication of long chains of carbon atoms is carried out in order to give rise to a type of substance that resists cold temperatures. high and can be molded
After development, a product is obtained that is pleasant to the touch and resistant to both environmental and biological degradation, except for ultraviolet rays, since with strong exposure it can melt.
Plastic is the most widely used element in the history of human invention, however, having such properties also makes it a problematic factor, as it is the main source of solid pollution on earth. Fortunately, it can be recycled, although its production is less expensive than the process that must be carried out in order to use it again.
Most Common Uses of Plastic
Plastic has a variety of uses, including:
- In the construction of insulating polystyrene foams, in pipes and sealing.
- In industries: garbage bags, textile fibers, sporting goods, toy packaging, toys, furniture, among other uses.
- In applications in the industrial sector, such as bodywork, engine parts, electrical appliances, among others.
Consequences of using plastic
Plastic is very polluting.
Subjected to heat, this material mainly releases gases rich in furans, dioxins but also in carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Subjected to direct heat, most plastics release gases which have the capacity to suffocate people.
Another aspect in which it causes a great effect on marine ecosystems when they degrade.
- The different types of plastics take long periods of time to decompose, which implies a great danger for aquatic species, many have even died because they are trapped in a product made with this material.
- The ocean is the most affected because it receives the highest percentage of plastic waste, around 200 kilos per second, according to reports.
- Moreover, when studying climate change, scientists discovered a total of five islands formed by plastics in the sea between 2010 and 2013 (two in the Atlantic Ocean, one in the Indian Ocean and two others in The pacific).
- As a result of the above, many species and ecosystems are threatened, such as the cases of seabirds and turtles, whose deaths have been caused by the ingestion of plastic, suffocation, malnutrition, among others.
The recycling of plastic products has been set up on the understanding that the waste of this material is not likely to be assimilated again into the environment.
This process consists of their collection, their cleaning, their selection by type and then their fusion to use them as additional raw material or as a substitute in the mold of other products to be manufactured. In this way, the human being tries to control the contamination caused by this material.
types of plastic
According to their molecular structure: according to the shape of their particles, they can be classified into:
- Crystallizable: its form of crystals resistant to deformation and rigid; Depending on how fast it cools, more or fewer crystals may be produced.
- Semi-crystallizable: it is the happy medium between crystallizable and amorphous, it has ordered and disordered zones.
- Amorphous: they have no structure because their molecules have no organization, light penetrates them because they leave wide spaces, and with that they make transparent plastics.
- Elastomers: they are also called “rubber”. Its properties are elastic, which allows it to take different shapes, it can deform against a force and then regain its rigidity.
- Due to their reaction to heat: there are thermoplastics, which are those that harden when cold and obtain a liquid consistency. On the other hand, there are thermosets which, after being melted, have the ability to acquire a solid consistency that is then impossible to remelt.
- Due to its origin: there are artificial plastics, derived from petroleum or other hydrocarbons, and natural plastics, derived from substances of plant origin, such as cellulose.