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Can we use a better Polymer

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Introduction

Can we use a better polymer? A polymer is a term used to describe large molecules consisting of repeating structural units, or monomers. The word derives from the Greek words poly (many) and meros (parts) - (many parts). There are two types of polymers - natural and synthetic. Examples of natural polymers include:- DNA, skin, hair and keratin. Examples of synthetic polymers include:- plastic, nylon, polyethylene and polystyrene. The Chain Structure of a Polymer Synthetic polymers are made by reacting together small molecules called monomers. When the monomers join together they form a polymer. We make polythene by joining together molecules of ethene. The main properties for a material are: * Strong * Tough * Flexible * Tension * Soft * Density You could test a material for a specific property in many ways, ...read more.

Middle

There are some ethical issues to do with using plastic and include: * Expensive * Non-Biodegradable There are also some ethical issues to do with using synthetic materials and include: * It uses chemicals to make the material * It is extra materials being used to create the material For the boat hull, the sail and the poles used to be made from wood. Nowadays, they are made from polyester, a lighter material which doesn't require you to cut down trees to make the sails and poles. This way the forests are sustained. The shopping bag used to be made from paper, but this meant cutting down lots of trees, so polythene carrier bags were created and these don't require the cutting down of trees. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that synthetic polymers are better than natural polymers. I have several reasons to believe this. First, using natural polymers uses the Earth's natural resources and soon there will be no resources left. For example when a tree is cut down to make wood it harms the environment, habitats, causes global warming and adds to the greenhouse effect. Also, the use of chemicals to make a polymer creates jobs, as chemical factories would want employees to run the machines. However some natural resources are the most important in life. To decide which option (natural or synthetic) is best, you should use the Life Cycle Assessment. The factors to consider are: 1. How the material is transported 2. How the material is manufactured 3. How the material is packaged 4. How the material is used 5. How the material is disposed of 6. ...read more.

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