Are We Addicted to Plastic?
The Dirty Facts Behind One of our Most Prized Materials
The world we live in is addicted to plastic now more than ever. Everywhere you look there is some form of plastic product around you. “In the last fifty years, more than one billion tons of plastic have been produced, which is equivalent to the weight of around 3,000 Empire State Buildings. According to research from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the world’s ocean vessels dump around 639,000 containers of plastic every day “(SPI-About Plastics, 1). You may wonder, how could these statistics possibly be true with the recycling programs set up across the United States and in other countries of the world? Plastics consume our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. Credit cards, ID’s, tooth brushes, medical instruments, automotive parts, electronics, and even building and construction materials; plastics are all around us. For over a century now plastic has made our lives safer, from improving the strength of our cars, to the development of new and improved medical devices. However, the degradation of these plastic products is a long process when simply dumped into landfills with general trash, or in other cases, dumped into our precious oceans. In order to maintain our consumption of plastic, save money, and protect our environment, there must be a more efficient system set up for recycling the majority of plastics consumed around the world. Plastics are quite possibly the most important material used throughout our daily lives, and without it we could not accomplish much of what we do every day. The development of plastics can be credited for the widespread commercialization of electronics over the past century. According to the American Chemistry Council, computers, microprocessors, cell phones, and TV’s all contain important components made from plastic. Plastics are used for these electronics because it is a cheap, light weight, and durable...