Chapters :
  • Synthetic Fibers & Plastics – 04


Synthetic Fibers & Plastics – 04

  • Today if we think of storing a FOOD ITEM, WATER, MILK, PICKLES, DRY FOOD, etc., plastic containers seem most convenient. This is because of their light weight, lower price, good strength and easy handling. Being lighter as compared to metals, PLASTICS are used in CARS, AIRCRAFTS AND SPACECRAFTS, too.
  • We know that metals like iron get rusted when left exposed to moisture and air. But plastics do not react with water and air. They are not corroded easily. That is why they are used to store various kinds of material, including many chemicals.
  • Plastics find extensive use in the HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY. Some examples of their use are the Packaging Of Tablets, threads used for Stitching Wounds, Syringes, Doctors’ Gloves and a number of medical instruments.
  • Special plastic cookware is used in microwave ovens for cooking food. In microwave ovens, the heat cooks the food but does not affect the plastic vessel.
  • TEFLON is a special plastic on which oil and water do not stick. It is used for nonstick coating on cookwares.
  • FIRE-PROOF PLASTICS: Although synthetic fibre catches fire easily, it is interesting to know that the uniforms of fireman have coating of melamine plastic to make them flame resistant.
  • A material which gets decomposed through natural processes, such as action by bacteria, is called biodegradable. A material which is not easily decomposed by natural processes is termed as non-biodegradable.
  • Since plastic takes several years to decompose, it is not environment friendly. It causes environmental pollution. Besides, the burning process in the synthetic material is quite slow and it does not get completely burnt easily. In the process it releases lots of poisonous fumes into the atmosphere causing air pollution. How can this problem be solved?
  • Avoid the use of plastics as far as possible. Make use of bags made of cotton or jute when you go for shopping. The biodegradable and Non -Biodegradable wastes should be collected separately and disposed off separately. Practise this in your homes.
  • It is better to recycle the plastic waste. Most of the thermoplastics can be recycled. However, during recycling certain coloring agents are added. This limits its usage especially for storage of food.
  • In some cities and towns municipalities provide separate dustbins for collecting two kinds of garbage. Usually one is coloured blue and the other green. The blue bin is for materials that can be used again – such as plastics, metals and glass. These are the materials that do not rot in the garbage heaps. The GREEN BINS are for collecting kitchen and other plant or animal wastes.
  • Earthworm called REDWORM is used for composting. This method of preparing compost with the help of redworms is called VERMICOMPOSTING.
  • Redworms do not have teeth. They have a structure Called ‘Gizzard’, which helps them in grinding their Food, Powdered Egg Shells or sea shells could be  mixed with the wastes. This would help redworms in grinding their food. A redworm can eat food equal to its own weight, in a day.
  • Redworms do not Survive In Very Hot Or Very Cold surroundings. They also need moisture around them. If we take good care of our worms, in a month’s time their number will double.
  • Some kind of plastics can be recycled, but, not all of them. We often use plastic bags to store cooked food items. Sometimes these bags may not be suitable for keeping eatables. Consuming Food Packed in such plastic bags could be harmful to our health.
  • All kind of plastics give out harmful gases, upon heating or burning. These gases may cause many health problems, including cancer, in humans.
  • People often fill garbage in plastic bags and then throw it away. When stray animals lock for food in these bags, they end up swallowing these. Sometimes, they die due to this.
  • The plastic bags thrown away carelessly on road and other places get into drains and the sewer system. As a result, drains get choked and the water spills on the roads. During heavy rains, it might even create a flood like situation.
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