Plastic is another wonder material of the 21st century. It is used in more products than the eye can see, may it be plastic utensils, solo cups, car stoppers, bottles, saran wrap, you name it. Unfortunately this powerfully useful material also comes at a heavy price to the environment. So join me as we discover some incredible facts about plastic.
1. Plastic is actually made from refined components of oil found in the depths of the earth, but more specifically the molecules propane and ethane are used to forge plastic.
2. In order to produce 1 billion plastic bottles,
3. Plastic was first patented/invented in 1862 by Alexander Parkes and was originally called Parkensine. Unfortunately due to the time period there was low to no need for the material so he and his firm went bankrupt.
4. Recycling a single plastic bottle can light a 60W light-bulb for 6 hours.
5. Approximately 13 million plastic bottles are disposed of every year.
6. Plastic bags are currently the 2nd most disposed item in the ocean second to cigarette butts.
7. In fact there is even a massive area of plastic trapped by surrounding currents in the Pacific Ocean, it is nearly twice the size of Texas and can be easily seen from space.
8. Unfortunately plastic takes a long time to break down, many bags may take a few decades while bottles may take a bit longer. But that’s only to break apart, not decompose. The full decomposing process can take an equivocal period of time while also dumping harmful toxins into the oceans.
9. In 1976 just 1.8 gallons of bottled water was consumed by each American, in 2006 that number rose to nearly 29 gallons.
10. Did you know that the numbers located in the center of each recycling symbol actually serves a purpose? They can also be known as Resin Identification Codes, and are located on any recyclable plastic.
11. There’re 7 different main identification numbers, each representing a different kind of plastic; each of the 7 main types are used for different kinds of plastic products, ranging from water bottles to car stoppers, to PVC pipes.
12. In recent times the US has been making major efforts to recycle and re-use plastic, so much that there are more than 1,600 different American recycling industries.
13. As of 2008 around 27% of all plastic bottles are properly recycled.
14. Plastic is used as a resin for 3D printing.
15. Despite what many people seem to think, most of the cost in water bottles is due to the production of the plastic bottle itself and not the water.
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