14 cognitive facts about plastic

1. The first artificial plastic was obtained by the Englishman Alexander Parks in 1855. The plastic, called parkesin, was made from cellulose treated with nitric acid and a solvent.

2. In 1866, Alexander Parks founded the Parkesine Company to produce parkesin, but after 2 years the company went bankrupt due to poor product quality.

3. More extensive plastic production began in the early 1870s, after US inventor John Wesley Hyatt acquired Parks' patent and began experimenting with cellulose nitrate to produce billiard balls, which until then had been made from expensive ivory. In 1870, John Hyatt and his brother patented a new material called celluloid. Later this material began to be used in the production of the first flexible film for photography and film.

4. The name "plastic" means that this material, under the influence of heating and pressure, is able to be molded and retain a given shape after cooling or curing.

5. Conventional plastics are usually obtained from oil and gas, so their production requires more fossil fuels.

6. There are two main types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets. Their main difference is that thermoplastics can be remelted, and thermosets can not, since after curing they cannot go into a viscous flow state.

7. A large Pacific rubbish stain, which is based on used plastic, may contain more than one hundred million tons of garbage. It was formed and continues to grow due to surface currents that pick up waste thrown into the ocean and move it to the center of the whirlpool, which does not let garbage out of its limits.

8. The PET bottle was patented in 1973. All modern plastic bottles that we see in stores - this is the same patent.

9. The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic per year, but only 20−25% of plastic goes for recycling.

10. The most common plastic on Earth, polyethylene, is made from artificial material, and its similar comrade - cellophane - from natural. Polyethylene is obtained by chemical synthesis of gaseous hydrocarbon ethylene, and cellophane is obtained by processing cellulose, the raw material for which is wood.

11. Bisphenol A was recognized as a hazardous substance in plastic. In 2010, it was proved that when heated or stored for a long time in a container containing bisphenol A, it passes into food and can lead to poisoning. Now bisphenol A is found in the third and seventh class of plastics, which are not related to the food industry. It is noteworthy that even before the publication of the report, the production of plastics with bisphenol was banned in Canada and Japan.

12. For the production of disposable tableware, polystyrene (“PS”, the sixth grade of plastics) is used, which, with strong heating, begins to release toxic substances.

13. Plastic containers for food must be marked with such a badge as "glass and fork." If there is no this corresponding icon or it is crossed out, then, regardless of the international marking number, plastic is not food.

14. Nowadays, the concept of “bioplastics” is gaining popularity - these are plastics from renewable sources, for example, plants and microorganisms. However, not all bioplastics are biodegradable.

Post a Comment