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Disposing of Materials made of Polymers. As we are using so many polymers we need to reuse them and dispose of them in an environmental way.

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Introduction

Disposal of Polymers Polymers are an essential material in today's society used in everything from clothing to engineering components. They provide an environmental problem when they are past their useful life. Many polymers that are finished with are normally disposed of wastefully. As we are using so many polymers we need to reuse them and dispose of them in an environmental way. How different types of polymer may be disposed of One of the useful properties of polymers is that they are un-reactive, so they are suitable for storing food and chemicals safely. Unfortunately, this property makes it difficult to dispose of polymers. Most polymers are not biodegradable. This means that micro-organisms cannot break them down, so they may last for many years in rubbish dumps. It is difficult get rid of plastics, if you bury them in a landfill site, they'll still be there years later. Landfill sites fill up quickly and they are a waste of land. Soon there wont be any land to put them in. Addition polymers are the type of polymer which cannot be broken down and biodegraded, due to very strong carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds. ...read more.

Middle

This means we need different methods to dispose of polymers. Landfill sites: many polymers are simply placed into landfills; however these are not always biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down causing overfilling of landfills and damage to the natural environment and animals around it. However some are fully biodegradable and can be successfully broken down in the landfills quickly and sufficiently. Recycling: scraps of used plastics are separated into groups of similar polymers and are shredded and melted down to be reshaped and reused in different shapes and jobs, causing a lot less damage to the environment and much fewer resources such as crude oil being wasted in producing endless amounts of new plastics for packaging food etc. Combustion: polymers can be broken down through combustion which involves extremely large amounts of heat to reduce the number of toxic gases being produced however the oxidation does still produce a large amount of by product and CO2 emissions which are very unpopular with the world at the minute. We know that toxic gases are produced, unless the polymers are incinerated at high temperatures. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is probably most environmentally friendly and so is likely to be most effective. What is the impact on society if they are not disposed of responsibly? If polymers are not disposed of responsibly it can cause massive damage to the natural environment around us. We will end up with a very big amount of polymers just being dumped and wasting space. Many plastics bags for example end up in the sea which can be wrapped around coral reefs, seabirds or fish and kill them off. Misusing polymers in this way has a devastating impact on our society as not only can they kill harmless creatures but it also means we are wasting the resources we have; as plastics come from crude oil. We also spend a lot of money making more polymers so we could save a lot of money if we dispose of them properly and safely. This will not cause any hazards and we would have an effective system to lower the amount of polymers produced. We do not have endless supplies of oil and therefore we need to consider the way we dispose of our polymers seriously or we could end up doing more damage than we intend to. By Daniel Chen ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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