Essay on The Effects Of Plastics On The Environment And Human Health

1281 Words Jul 13th, 2015 null Page
Plastics are a material currently being used all around the world. As the production of this synthetic polymer has increased, it has become almost impossible to completely avoid interaction with a plastic material. With the discovery of this practical material, positives and negatives were discovered too. Plastics have a strong effect on the environment and human health. During manufacturing, additives are put in that can be harmful to each of these important aspects. Due to their synthetic nature, plastics are also unable to biodegrade under typical anaerobic conditions of landfills (Stephen Lower, 2009), which is a large problem for the environment. The evolution of recycling has reduced this negative effect, but even recycling has negative aspects of its own.
Plastics are a type of polymer. Polymers can be described as large molecules that are made up of smaller ones, called monomers. Monomers undergo polymerization reactions to be linked together, forming polymers. A common polymerization reaction used for monomers containing a C=C double bond is called an addition polymerization (Evans, et al., 2012). A example of this is the polymerization of the common alkene; Ethene (C2H4). Ethene (also known as ethylene) undergoes an addition polymerization reaction to form a polymer called polyethylene. The monomers are added together under special conditions and a pair of electrons from the double bond are shared and form a chain of C-C bonds (Evans, et al., 2012). This is shown…

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