2212 mots 9 pages
CHEM 208 EC (FALL 2009)






Date November 12, 2009

History of plastic recycling

Today, plastics are found in everywhere and many of the products such as grocery carts, packaging materials, and components of automobiles are made of plastic, due to its enormous production. Though it appear in early times, its real impact was found only in the year 1950 and its continuous usage by number of people in the world, led to fill the lands cause environmental and health concern due to release of toxic materials from them. This initiated to start plastic recycling program in the year 1990s, where many countries started to recycle the plastics leading to new products from the reclaimed plastics (1)


Plastics: It actually comes from greek word, which means “plastikos” meaning moldable (2). Plastics are the group of materials or organic compounds produced by the process of polymerization which are capable of being shaped, extruded, cast through applying heat (3).

Polymers on the other hand are the larger molecules which are made of chains or rings which linked with many monomer units with high melting and boiling point (4).

Thermoplastics are the materials that can be re-melted and reused, by applying high temperature and low temperature it can be softened and hardened respectively with no cross link (5).

Thermo set are the materials, which can form permanent three dimensional strong structures by chemical action of heat, catalyst and ultraviolet rays which are heavily cross-linked (5).

Discovery of 4 popular commercial plastics and their uses

1) Phenolic: This was discovered in the year 1907 by the scientist George Baekland and its is thermosetting resin made of phenol and an aldehyde. They are used in several applications such as to create molds for the consumer products,

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