SINGLE USE PLASTICS - This is just a small sample of the plastic packaging that you will find in retails stores all over the world. A good proportion of this packaging - around 8 millions tons a year, will end up in our oceans, in the gut of the fish we eat, in the stomachs of seabirds and in the intestines of whales and other marine mammals.
plastic has many uses in our modern society and cannot easily
be replaced. For example, PET is a very energy-efficient packaging material. Although its raw materials are derived from
gas, it enjoys a very favorable sustainability profile in comparison to glass,
and other container materials.
The PET Industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the last 10 years, to a degree that has seen the output of PET bottle manufacture double in this period. Consequently, the industry at large now boasts combined production figures in excess of 120 billion units worldwide. Such growth can only occur if there is robust infrastructure to support well orchestrated efforts that have supply meeting demand. Strange as it may seem though, this industry is still somewhat adolescent to a certain degree. It is forever developing and with the prospect of emerging markets looming on the horizon, full potential is yet to be realised.
In an age of environmental concern, PET is a preferred material for packaging worldwide because of its recyclability. The ability to recycle is much improved where the PET container in question is made entirely from PET as there are then no contaminants in the PET entering the recycling process as with a separately attached handle container.
main issue with PET soft drink bottles is when they enter the
oceans as marine litter. As yet there is no effective way to
recover such waste for recycling, though it is a business in
its infancy that provides an income for those bounding the
South Atlantic and Indian
For example, if ocean cleaning dustcarts were deployed
effectively by way of a SeaNet,
even plastic in the ocean could be recovered in an acceptable
way that environmentalists would find difficult to argue
against. Unfortunately, we are at least ten
years away from that ideal in terms of technology
ART - Czech artist Veronika RichterovŠ uses the near indestructible nature of plastic PET bottles to her advantage. By snipping, twisting, and heating the drinking vessels, she forms long-lasting sculptures that visually mirror the qualities of glass. This similarity inspired her series of PET luminaries, a project composed of fully functioning light systems in the form of chandeliers and lamps.
The included works are decorated with tulip-shaped light bulb covers, scalloped edges, and long, twisted segments of recycled bottles that imitate electrical cords. In order to protect these heat-sensitive sculptures, RichterovŠ installs her works with bulbs and cables that produce minimal heat.
A few of RichterovŠís plastic chandeliers are currently included in the 50-artist exhibition Eden Unearthed at Sydneyís Eden Gardens through February 2018. You can see more recycled works in the form of cacti, animals, and more on the artistís website. (via Lustik)
RESIN ASSOCIATION - PET is approved as safe for contact with foods and beverages by the FDA and health-safety agencies throughout the world. The safety of PET for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and medical applications has been repeatedly demonstrated through extensive studies, regulatory approvals, testing, and its widespread acceptance for more than 30 years. PET does not contain bisphenol-A (BPA) or phthalates (plasticizers).
Plastic bottles made from PET are widely used for soft drinks. For certain specialty bottles, such as those designated for beer containment, PET sandwiches an additional polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) layer to further reduce its oxygen permeability.
RECYCLING - PET is completely recyclable, and is the most recycled plastic in the U.S and worldwide. More than 1.5 billion pounds of used PET bottles and containers are recovered in the United States each year for recycling. PET can easily be identified by the #1 in the triangular "chasing arrows" code, which is usually found molded into the bottom or side of the container. No other plastic carries the #1 code.
PET - can be commercially recycled by thorough washing and re-melting, or by chemically breaking it down to its component materials to make new PET resin. Almost every municipal recycling program in North America and Europe accepts PET containers.
LINKS & REFERENCE
FOAM & BOTTLES - Expanded polystyrene is used to package household electrical goods, while soft drinks and water is sold in PET plastic bottles by the billions every year. The numbers are staggering. It's no wonder then that some of this plastic will end up on our plate in one form or another, potentially as a toxin carrier. Copyright photograph © 22-7-17 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd, all rights reserved.
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