Environmental effects of disposed Styrofoam and plastic containers Done by: Tan Jun Xiang
What is a Styrofoam? Styrofoam is also known as Polystyrene, which is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomer, an organic compound. Polystyrene is a light-weight material, about 95% air, with very good insulation properties and is used in all types of products from cups that keep your beverages hot or cold to packaging material that keep your computers safe during shipping.
Disposable Plastics Disposable plastics, including plastic containers and bottles, are usually made from polyethylene terephthalate, PET (from the polyester family) Why is polyethylene terephthalate commonly used as disposable plastics? This is because they cheap and light weight
Harmful effects of Styrofoam During production of Styrofoam, large amount of air pollutants, liquid and solid waste, are released into the atmosphere. This makes the factory workers making Styrofoam prone to many respiratory problems and illnesses Also, most Styrofoams are Non-Biodegradable. This poses a great threat to the environment , including the disruption of marine life as large amount of toxic wastes are released into oceans
Harmful effects of Styrofoam Styrofoams that were made in the past contains CFCs, which were extremely hazardous to the environment and they are known to break down the ozone layer. Now, although styrofoams are CFC-free, they still contain some substances (like HCFC) and greenhouse gases which still pose a threat to the environment. HCFCs are believed to be 5 times more destructive than what it appears to be
Harmful effects of plastics Plastics have been known to cause various illnesses to humans, including eye irritation and skin rashes. They are also suspected to contain human carcinogen, capable of causing cancer in living tissue About 100,000 animals such as dolphins, turtles whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bottles, etc. This animals mistaken them for food, thus, they got choked to death. Moreover, plastic bags and bottles are non-biodegradable. The decomposition of plastic bags takes about 1000 years.
How much plastic bags do Singaporeansand the World use each year? Singaporeans use about 2.5 billion plastic bags a year for their purchases, or an average of 2,500 bags per family, for each year. These 2.5 billion plastic weighs about 19,000 tonnes or 0.8 per cent of the total waste disposed of in Singapore annually. In a global context, A common estimate is that over 500 billion plastic bags are used annually. That is about 500,000,000,000 plastic bags used per year. In other words, about 1 million plastic bags are used per minute
Some useful VideosHow plastic bags are made- A detailed video that explains the process on the manufacturing of plastic bagshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CfL5xl2N1QHow plastic bags get recycledhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6hzhKmw4EY