In today’s age of environmental awareness, mention of the word plastic immediately brings to mind toxic chemical compositions and non-biodegradable substances that lead to land, water and air pollution. Plastic as material though is not totally evil because its functionality has brought economic improvements and convenience. Use of plastic-made products had presented advantages; but in the long run, such advantages were outweighed by the overall serious damages that its chemical compositions bring to the environment and human health.
In light of the continuing concerns over the effects of the chemicals emitted during processing of plastics, as well the tendency of chemicals to leach during usage, different kinds of plastics were developed using organic substances; albeit still incorporating some of the chemicals used in their production. Nonetheless, the new kinds of plastic materials reduced the environmental impact of the material by becoming biodegradable and by having less toxic emissions during manufacture.
The remaining concerns that need addressing are the appropriateness of the type of plastic used in order to minimize health risks and of reducing the amount plastic wastes degrading the natural resources. Another area that needs improvement are the disposal methods, including applicable techniques for plastic reuse and recycle.
Improved Methods of Plastic Waste Disposal
Certain industries like hospitals cannot forego the use of plastic-made and/or plastic-held substances, since their use largely contribute to safety and efficiency of medical practices and undertakings. Some examples include sterile packaging necessities, intravenous bags and disposable syringes. The healthcare industry therefore has to resort to methods reusing and recycling plastic wastes in order lessen the volume of healthcare plastic wastes that go to landfills.
Waste management is usually carried out with the help of disposal companies that will undertake the distribution of wastes to entities that can recycle plastic wastes into new polymer or monomer materials. This method requires mechanical separation, washing, preparation and recycling in order to avoid contamination.
Another unloading point for plastic wastes is at waste incineration facilities. Such facilities vary, for having different types of furnaces. Some either primitively burn waste materials, or designed to recover energy through steam. Energy recovered from wastes can be directly used for municipal heating systems, or as supplementary energy for generating electricity.
Addressing Misuse of Plastic for Food Packaging and as Food Keepers
Monitoring of how plastic materials are has been deemed necessary, as analysis of certain food packaging materials and food keepers still have potential to release the harmful chemical component of the plastic material.
Studies of microwavable food containers and baby bottles made from plastic is one example of plastic misuse. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, gives advice that microwaving, putting into a dishwasher, or heating plastic may cause break down of chemical compositions and subsequent release of a harmful chemical called BPA into foods.
Baby bottles in particular are regularly subjected to heat as part of the sterilization. Although some of the best anti colic bottles for infants are touted as made from BPA-free materials, the best choices of baby bottles are still those made from glass.