Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Short documentary showing the the pros and cons of plastic in the modern era. Investigating a solution to help us deal with plastic clogging up our planet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Importance of Plastics

Plastics are a subset of materials known as Polymers. These are composed of large molecules formed by joining many smaller molecules together (monomers). Other kinds of polymers are fibres, elastomers,surface coating and biopolymers, such as cellulose, proteins and nucleic acids.
Plastics owe their name to their ability to be shaped to form articles of practical value by various conversion and forming processes. These are some peculiar properties of plastics materials, which make them unique so that products can literally be tailor-made out of these materials.

In fact, plastics have permeated every facet of human life viz. agriculture and water consumption, buiilding construction, communication, small and bulk packaging, education, medicine, transportation, defence, consumer durables to name a few. One of the reasons for great popularity of plastics is due to tremendous range of properties exhibited by them because of their ease of processing. Hence, the demand for plastics has been increasing in modern living. Since last six decades, the Plastic Industry has grown world wide with present consumption of more than 130 MMTPA.

The Polymer/Plastic growth worldwide has been steady around 6% per annum which is much  higher than the GDP growth rate of 3.3%. The higher growth sectors or demand drivers for plastic consumption are consumer and bulk packaging, plasticulturebuilding construction, electrical and electronics, automotive, consumer goods, medical, telecommunication, furniture and household applications. The output value of commodity, engineering and high performance polymers was US$115 billion, accounting for about 7% of total chemical output value globally.

In India, however, the consumption of major plastics is only 3% of global consumption i.e. 4 million tons annually. This is very low as compared to global levels.

Plastics have a very strong correlation with economic growth. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) and NCAER have analyzed various industry sectors for the input-output matrix to study the effect of growth of various sectors  on GDP growth. Out of 115 sectors analyzed, the Plastic Resin and Synthetic Fibres sectors ranks a high 37. The importance of this sector can be gauged from the fact that one unit increase in the output value for the plastics sector reflects an increase of 2.38 units in the economy. Over the years the demand elasticity of polymer growth in comparison with GDP growth has been about 2.4  which is in line with the NCAER study.

The growth of Plastic consumption worldwide as well as in India is inevitable and desirable, because multiple advantages that thesematerials provide. some examples are given below as illustrations.

Plastics help improve quality of life: The Internet, globalisation, increased speed of communication, faster means of transportation, the advance of surgical medicine - all these would not be possible without plastics. Continuous technological innovation by the plasticsindustry means that even more efficient, lightweight and adaptable forms of plastics are being developed for an increasing range of uses. It is these advances that allow plastics to play an important role in the pursuit of sustainable development, by bringing innovative solutions to the full range of challenges facing society.

Preserve land, water and forest resources: Plastics have been provifing help to tackle the world's water distribution crisis, with affordable , easily constructed pipiing providing solutions to clean water shortages for 5.5 million people in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Also the use of plastics drastically reduced the use of traditional usage of wood and other forest products thus resulting in reduction of deforestation.

Enable efficient use of non-renewable energy resources: It is estimated that the use of plastics as a whole actually saves more oil than is needed for their manufacture. At end-of-life, plastics can be a valuable alternative energy source in their own right. Plasticsrecycling continues to increase in world while energy recovery is a responsible use of our oil resources, diverting waste from landfill and helping to preserve fossil fuels. Tapping the sun and wind is already bringing clean and efficient energy to people world-wide and is greatly facilitated by the use of plastics that constitute major parts of the cells and turbines.

Possess a more favourable cost-benefit ratio : Continuous improvements in the material itself and recovery technologies mean that, in the future, packaging will become even lighter and more resource-efficient. The recently introduced Smart Card - largely made ofplastics - is a sign of things to come.

Has a very versatile range of applications: Plastics have proved to have a wide range of applications in a large number of fields and their applications are increasing due to advantage of low cost, high durability and easy availability.

Plastics are treated as versatile materials since the properties of these materials can be tailored to meet specific demands by varying molecular weight, molecular weight distribution and side chain branching. Further making copolymers and polymer blends and alloys provide on mechanism for providing a synergism in properties and tailor making materials for specific applications.

Plastics, therefore, clearly form a material of choice in a large number of commercial applications. The demand of Plastics will be further driven by:
  • Population growth and urbanisation
  • Opening of rural markets
  • Explosive Indian middle class
  • Effective Media Network
  • Increased Purchasing Power
  • Higher Disposable Incomes
  • Successful Marketing
  • Brand Awareness
  • Rising Aspirations

Practical uses for Plastic bags in our day to day Living.

63 Uses For Plastic Bags

Don't you just love the plastic shopping bags? Actually it's not just Wally World that has plastic carry-out bags. In any case, these plastic bags are incredibly useful for all sorts of things other than carrying your purchases out to your vehicle. Plastic bags find themselves reincarnated in a million different ways. I've long thought about starting a list of these uses, some seriously useful and some uses downright funny. So here's a list of uses, not necessarily in any sort of order of usefulness.

1. Make a purse out of them by sewing a bunch of them together
2. Use them as small trash can liners.
3. Use them as containers for soiled diapers
4. Use them as containers for used cat liter
4. Use them as a container for dog poop retrieved out of the yard by turning the bag inside-out, putting your hand in it like a make-shift glove and grabbing the poop. Once you've grabbed the poop, use your other hand to turn the bag right side out and the poop will magically be inside the bag. Be sure to use a bag that doesn't have any holes in it!!!!!
5. Use them as mattress stuffing
6. Use them as pillow stuffing
7. Use them as packing material in lieu of the dreaded white foam peanut
8. Tear a piece of the bag off and use it a seal before screwing a cap back onto a bottle or jar that might decide to leak
9. Use them as a food-stain-proof cook book cover
10. Use large plastic bags to keep lawn furniture covered
11. Use them as small-but-handy lawn clean-up bags
12. Use them to store wet beach towels in
13. Use them to avoid putting money in a parking meter -- put the bag over the meter and tie the bag's handles together, then take a black magic marker and write "broken" on both sides in large block letters. Preferably use bags that are a solid color, such as red or yellow
14. Use them as luggage when traveling. Use the Wally World smiley-faced bags as matched luggage for that  extra designer touch...
15. Use them as you would a rubber glove when you don't have rubber gloves handy
16. Use them to carry large amounts of mail in
17. Use them to help make a credit card or other magnetic stripped card swipe when the card by itself won't swipe by putting it inside the bag. Not sure why this one works but it does. I see people do it in truck stops constantly.
Once we've gone to mandatory hand chip implants I wonder if the tip in number 15. will help make reluctant implant chips scan by using them as a make-shift rubber glove?
18. Use them as a kite to keep a kid (or yourself) amused
19. Use them to catch stray paint droplets when you are painting
20. Use them as flags
21. Use a solid white one tied onto a pole as a truce flag
22. Use a solid white one tied to your car antenna or rolled up in a road-facing window when you are parked on the side of the road in case your car breaks down
23. Use them as rubber boots to keep your feet dry
24. Use them as back packs for kids by putting their arms through the handles
25. Use them as socks
26. Use them as a doggie bag when you are in a restaurant and want to take a piece of chicken home with you in a purse or pocket
27. Use them to store dirty clothes in when you are traveling
28. Use them as a shoe-horn when trying on shoes at a garage sale
29. Use them to protect the plaster cast so you can take a shower after you break your foot
30. Use them as diapers
31. Use them as bandages
32. Use them as freezer bags
33. Use them to wrap up leftovers to keep them from drying out in the refrigerator
34. Use them as bread bags for homemade bread made in an electric bread maker
35. Use large ones to cover clothes in a closet or while traveling to keep the clothes clean
36. Use large ones to slip over ceiling fan blades when cleaning the blades to catch the dust and keep it from falling on the floor
37. Use them as a toy parachute
38. Use them as handy sick bags when someone is sick to their stomach...
39. Use one to wrap your lunch sandwiches in to keep it from getting soggy in a cooler with other items that might sweat
40. Use a small one as a rain bonnet
41. Use a big one as a raincoat
42. Put them on your wiper blades and mirrors in the winter to keep them free from snow and ice
43. Use them as a cheap collectable -- nearly everyone seems to collect plastic bags either in their home or car or both
44. Use one to hold your clothespins when you are hanging your clothes out to dry
45. Use them as a trash can
46. Store your shoes in plastic bags when you have them inside your suitcase to keep from making the rest of your clothing stink like your smelly feet
47. Use one as a makeshift condom
48. Use one to carry popcorn in
49. Store wet paint brushes in them after you've washed out the paintbrush
50. Use them to store rags in
51. Use them as inexpensive home insulation
52. Use them when re-upholstering boat seats between the foam padding and the vinyl upholstery to make the seats semi-water proof
53. Use them to put used oil filters in to keep them from contaminating the rest of the trash
54. Use them as flexible molds for the spray foam that hardens to fill in holes in walls, etc.
55. Use them as kindling to start fires with, even in the rain, since once they start burning the heat is intense -- just avoid inhaling the toxic fumes they give off !!!!!!
56. Use them as a porta-potty liner
57. Use them for emergency toilet paper
58. Use them for emergency tissue paper
59. Use them to carry your Wally World purchases home...
60. Use them as emergency socks
61. Use them as emergency underwear
62. Use them as an emergency barf bag
63. Weave them into an inexpensive rug!!!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oxo Biodegradable Plastic in Flexible Packaging Applications

  • Carrier bags or "shopper-bags" which consumers use to take away their purchases from the shop

  • Refuse sacks, which consumers buy in rolls at the shop, and use for disposal of their ordinary household waste.

  • Aprons, for the protection of garments, in the home, hospitals, restaurants, workshops etc.

  • Bags to contain dog faeces collected in parks, gardens, etc

  • Plastic film for wrapping newspapers and magazines.

  • Bread bags

  • Frozen food bags

  • This environmentally responsible bag is based upon oxo-biodegradable technology and will degrade in the presence of moisture, micro-organisms, oxygen, and soil.

  • Bags are fully tested and certified by Oxo-biodegradable Plastic Association.

  • Bags will degrade in landfills.

  • Bags will not produce toxic residue.

  • Reduces greenhouse gas effects.

  • Creative new formula to enhance strength, function, reduce raw material used and cost saving.

  • Perfect for foodservice operators, schools and hospitals.