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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Plastic bags – Its recycle and reuse can mitigate the environmental problem:

Plastic bags – Its recycle and reuse can mitigate the environmental problem:

Plastic bags are popular with consumers and retailers as they are a functional, lightweight, strong, cheap, and hygienic way to transport food and other products. Most of these go to landfill and garbage heaps after they are used, and some are recycled. Once littered, plastic bags can find their way on to our streets, parks, and into our waterways. Although plastic bags make up only a small percentage of all litter, the impact of these bags is nevertheless significant. Plastic bags create visual pollution problems and can have harmful effects on aquatic and terrestrial animals. Plastic bags are particularly noticeable components of the litter stream due to their size and can take a long time to fully break down. Many carrier bags end up as unsightly litter in trees, streets, parks and gardens which, besides being ugly, can kill birds, small mammals and other creatures. Bags that make it to the ocean may be eaten by sea turtles and marine mammals, who mistake them for jellyfish, with disastrous consequences. In developed countries billion bags are thrown away every year, most of which are used only once before disposal. The biggest problem with plastic bags is that they do not readily break down in the environment. It has been found that, the average plastic carrier bag is used for five minutes, but takes 500 years to decompose.

Production of plastic bags - Plastic bags are made from ethylene, a gas that is produced as a by-product of oil, gas and coal production. Ethylene is made into polymers (chains of ethylene molecules) called polyethylene. This substance, also known as polyethylene or polythene, is made into pellets which are used by plastic manufacturers to produce a range of items, including plastic bags.

Plastics can be broadly split into two groups, those that consist of long strands (thermo softening) and those that also contain short cross-links (thermosetting). Thermo softening plastic will deform when heated and can be remolded into new shapes. Thermosetting plastics are much stronger, but once they have been formed into a shape, they will hold that shape indefinitely, and if heated they will merely burn.

Recycle and reuse of plastic bags - Recycle and reuse of plastic bags can mitigate the environmental problems. Some of the ways of recycle and reuse of plastic bags are suggested:

1) Re-Use as a grocery bag. 2) Re-Use as packing material. 3) Re-Use them as trash bags. They are perfect to line small household waste baskets. 4) Cut into strips to make into a washable placemat or rug. 5) Storage bags. Simply store and hang items you need to put away. 6) Make Into rope by Finger Crocheting. You can use this rope for a clothes line, or a child's jump rope. 7) Hanging Planter. There are expensive plastic bags on the market which are just plastic with some holes speared in them. You can hang the plant anywhere. Just use two or three plastic bags together for strength and then fill with dirt and plants. Water regularly. 8) Emergency Rain hats. Tie one over your coif for rain protection. 9) Washable Shelf Liners. Cut and tack for a nice washable shelf liner.

If you be creative, you can reuse recycle of plastic bags in more attractive way.

You can also refuse using plastic bags. When out for shopping you can take bags with you, rather than using the ones provided by the shops.


sandhya bizconn said...

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