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Causes of Plastic Pollution

Q. What are the causes of plastic pollution? How does it affect our environment and human beings? What are the chemicals used in plastic?

Praveena Ndeleted
- Chennai, Tamilnadu, India


 

A. C'mon, Praveena :-)

I'm happy to help you if you are stuck, and will be pleased to assist you after you show some effort, but have you no theory at all on even one of these three questions?! Sounds like a homework requirement that you cut & pasted without spending even 10 seconds of your own time thinking about yet. The point of your homework is not to harass you on claptrap, but to teach you to think problems through. Good luck.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


 

A. Heck, Praveena, you sure did get a good reply from Ted ... and probably deserved his answer, too.

It's thanks to Plastics that many industrial areas are not polluting so much as they have replaced many metals ... the advantages far, far exceed any disadvantages. They have, to answer your question, benefited mankind.

The chemicals used? Mainly oil derived, (e.g., PVC's), some from natural gases (Pe and PP), others from compounding or synthesizing various gases/solvents but virtually ALL relate to carbon and, like a parrot, all are Poly this or Poly that meaning that they have been polymerized by chemists for a certain function and end use.

freeman newton portrait Freeman Newton
- White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

freeman newton died


 

A. I really think that you should look around you at the lakes and rivers Praveena. You could see garbage in them. The causes of plastic pollution is that careless self absorbed people don't care about any pollution as long as it doesn't effect them. But wait and see what happens when it gets to be too much!

Cecilia Pdeleted
- Redding, Connecticut


 

There is certainly truth to that Cecilia; thanks for the idea! But it's also a bit of a simplification of a complex problem, and implies that the solution to the problem requires nothing more than police officers writing citations. It actually requires people to think quite deeply.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

 

thumbsup2I am pleased to find a site concerned with plastic. Or at least lapping at the edge of the pool. Plastic pollution (just in its manufacture) is far greater than other very wasteful processes, aluminium included. Plastic has changed man-kind but we need to address how it will continue to do so.

Atilladeleted
- Melbourne, Australia


++++++

Q. Respected sir,
please answer my question I am a student, next month I submit a project for plastics pollution but no clear idea in this topic so please clear my doubt
My questions are following:
1.introduction to plastics?
2.who first discovered plastics?
3.what is plastic pollution?
4.what are the plastic pollution controls and recycling methods?
5.what is plastic rood?
6.what are the plastic rood method?
Please give me answer

K.Vijayalakshmi
I am a student - Kovilpatti


+++++++

Q. YOUR INFORMATION IS VERY NICE. I WANT TO MAKE A PROJECT ON PLASTIC POLLUTION. SO PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT IT.

THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION.

R SHAH
- MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA


+++++++

Shah, we explained the problem with Praveena's posting, but Vijay and yourself are ignoring what was said. If you have a specific stumbling point, we will be pleased to help you over it; but to simply post the subject of your homework essay and expect me write it for you is another matter :-)

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

+++++++

Q. Hello my name is Caleb. I am writing an essay on the effects of waste plastic on the environment and I have searched through many newspapers, books, and hundreds of web pages trying to find out if plastic, when it decomposes, leaves chemicals that effect the ground or water where it decomposes. The closest answer I have found to my question was from a high school teacher, he said that there was a possibility that when plastic breaks down it might leave chemicals that could pollute the ground or water around it. If you have any knowledge on this matter it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Caleb

Caleb vdeleted
student - Guelph, Ontario, Canada


+++++++

A. I think part of your problem is that there are thousands of different plastics, Caleb. What may be true of one isn't true of the other. But if you google "when plastic decomposes", you will see some great topics.

As long as the plastic has deteriorated into small enough pieces that it is not in troublesome shapes that living things choke on or swallow, and it is non-toxic, it may not be a really major immediate concern. But the basic issue is that many plastics are long chain molecules which no living organisms can "digest", that is, they are not biodegradable. Thus, they may persist for a very long time. It can't be a good idea for this stuff to just accumulate, no matter how finely it is ground up.

We now have several biodegradable plastics based on plant fibers instead of petroleum oil, and current thinking is that it would be best to use them when their properties suit the application because they can be digested by some living organism and be converted to a non-plastic.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

 

Plastics and the Environment


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February 1, 2008

Q. Does plastic pollution have a good side?

Martha Rdeleted
student - Palmdale, California


February 1, 2008

A. There are usually two sides to everything, Martha, but there is also such a thing as an "oxymoron" (a statement or phrase that is inherently self-contradictory). Look up the word "pollution". Depending on the definition you find, you may discover for example that "pollution" may be defined as a waste product in a location where it is harmful. So in this sense it simply can't have a good side, because if it did, we couldn't call it "pollution".

I think the "advantages" are few and small. But here is one for an example: plastic lumber probably would not exist if we didn't have plastic waste to start from.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 18, 2008

Q. Sir, I am a student and I got a project work on plastics uses and causes of problems please help me sir for this topic

shaneed k
student - hamdan,abu dhabi, UAE


January 12, 2009

Q. I need some information about the plastic pollution & it waste. Give some remedies for that & how to control this.

Nilesh K
- Mumbai, India


January 12, 2009

Shaneed, Nilesh: we went through this twice already on just this one page. If you get stuck on something, we'll help. But you don't just pass your homework assignment on to us to do for you :-)

Go to google news and search for "plastic pollution". Pick one or two of the news articles that capture your interest and work your way through them for further sources leading to greater details and deeper insights. It is so drop dead easy today.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 31, 2009

Q. If completely neglected.... what can the worst possible effects of plastic pollution be?

Prerana Nair
- Chennai, India


August 2009

A. Hi, Prerana. This is completely subjective. Some people even think the earth would be better off without mankind, so would think that a horrible epidemic spread by plastic would be a good thing for the world. So tell me what you think the worst possible catastrophe that could happen would be, and I will try to explain how plastic pollution could be involved in that.

But please tell us your grade level because if we try to explain at kindergarden level and you are a post-doc student you will take offense; whereas if we try to explain at too high a grade level for you, we may not be able to communicate.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 12, 2013

Q. What is the definition for plastic waste?

Vijay Shivkarran
- Guyana


January 17, 2013

A. Hi Vijay. That one is easy. Draw a circle and label it "plastic". Draw another circle of the same size so that it partially intersects the first circle, and label it "waste". Look up the definition of plastic, and look up the definition of waste. Plastic waste is defined by the intersected area. But you probably knew that and just needed your memory refreshed.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 30, 2013

Q. Respected sir,
I have to construct a project on 'causes and hazards of plastic pollution on land and water'. I would be highly obliged if you could give me a brief writeup on this.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Yours faithfully,
Carrie

Carrie Rodrigues
- Margao,Goa and India


June 30, 2013

A. Hi Carrie. I already explained 3 times why we're not going to do that :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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