Use the above information to answer the questions below
PET or PETE
HDPE or PE-HD
PVC or V
LDPE or PE-LD
OTHER or O
Other plastics such as acrylic,
nylon, polycarbonate and polylactic
1. Write about how plastics impact wildlife and humans, how microplastics eventually get into the food chain
Plastics are made with toxic chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol that get released in the environment when plastics degrade. This chemicals affect
the working of hormones in living things and hence affect both animals’ and human beings’ health. These chemicals get absorbed by plants and wildlife and
hence humans end up consuming contaminated food.
Plastics pollution harms wildlife through entanglement hence affecting movement as well as through ingestion that result to death.
Photo degradation of plastics breaks then to smaller pieces but they still remain polymers. Continued breakdown results to smaller and smaller polymers of
five millimeters or less. Finally this pieces become small enough to be ingested by aquatic organisms in the ocean. When more of these pieces gets into the
bodies of marine organisms, they end up getting concentrated in neuston, and hence, enter into the food chain.
2. Describe the processes involved in recycling of plastics
Recycling of plastics starts with the process of collection. Once the consumer is done with plastics, they are consolidated in collection centers. The collected
plastics are then taken to factories for sorting. Due to the different properties of various types of plastics, some can be mixed for recycling while others are
sorted and recycled according to type. Sorting involves separating plastics according to their type and then prepared for processing. Preparing for
processing involves removal of impurities such as the bottle stickers and dirt. The sorted and cleaned plastics can now be grounded up and crushed to
small chips for making of high quality products. When plastics are mixed recycled, they are then grounded into small chips and mixed to make low quality
products such flower ports, park benches and any other products.
3. Write about applications of recycled plastic waste with specific examples. Write minimum of 5 examples.
a) Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE): recycled and used to make bottles for packaging detergents and drinks, making clear film for packaging and
b) Polyvinyl chloride (V): applied in making packaging for food, textile, and medical material and drink bottles.
c) High density polyethylene (HDPE): making detergent bottles, mobile components, agricultural pipes, compost bins, pallets and toys
d) Polypropylene (PP): making compost bins, kerbside recycling crates
e) Polystyrene (PS): making disposable cutlery
f) Low-density polyethylene (LGPE): making bottles, plastic tubes and food packaging
4. Write how the city where you live recycles plastics. Are there any rules?
There are rules in San Francisco city that makes waste management a requirement for businesses and residents. Residents and businesses are required to
collect all single use plastics for recycling in the provided blue collection bins. Once the plastic waste is collected, it is taken to Recycle Center at Pier 96
where it’s sorted to remove wastes as well as separate the materials per type. The plastics are baled and taken for recycling by recycling plants within and
without the city. The city management gives incentives to businesses to reduce production and usage of single use plastics as well as encourage residents
to reuse plastics to reduce wastes production.
5. What company is collecting and how much is the cost of recycling?
The company dealing with waste management in San Francisco is called Recology.
The cost of recycling is met by the residents and companies producing that waste as well as from sales of the sorted wastes to recycling companies. The
recycling cost is estimated to be around a hundred dollars per ton of plastics
6. What are the benefits of recycling?
a) Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
b) Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals.
c) Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials.
d) Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
e) Saves energy.
7. What other products can be and are recycled?
b) Newspaper, magazines and mixed paper
c) Corrugated cardboard
d) Steel cans
8. Write about ways to reduce production of waste and what’s your contribution to that.
a) Reducing the use of plastic disposable bags and storage containers and instead use reusable bags for shopping and for storage at home.
b) Reducing the amount of food thrown away as waste by only buying food that one will consume without much wastage.
c) Composting waste food to use as manure.
d) Repairing broken things for continued use rather than throwing them away.
e) Reduce and at best stop the usage of disposable cutlery and plastic water bottles.
f) Stopping junk mail to reduce the amount of paper used ...