Recycling Plastic

Plastic Facts!
• 2.7 Billion plastic bottles were recycled in 2006 • However 13 billion bottles were disposed of in total, meaning only about 20% is recycled • 20,000 plastic bottles weigh 1 tonne! • For each tonne of plastic recycled, 1.5 tonnes of CO2 is saved. • For every bottle recycled, the energy saved can power a 60W light bulb for 6 hours • 2.7 Billion bottles recycled saved enough energy to run a 60W bulb for 16.2 Billion hours. Which is 675,000,000 days. Or 1,849,315.07 years!

Plastics are a type of polymer
A polymer is a long chain of molecules made of repeated units called “monomers”

Monomer
for example: ethene

Polymer Monomer
polyethene for example: ethene

Make a monomer
You will need: 4 tooth picks One ball of one colour Four balls of another colour

As a table:
Join together your monomers

What is Recycling?
The concept of recycling is putting materials to effective re-use…

Recycling is a lengthy circular process……….

A company picks up the material

Plastics is transported to a factory

Benefits of Recycling…
• Less waste goes to landfill
• Less waste is burnt which translates to fewer toxic fumes e.g carbon monoxide • Carbon monoxide is a green house gas which causes Global warming

• Less raw materials are use e.g To create plastic a vast amount of crude oil is used which is a non-renewable source
• A decrease of deforestation which in turn effects oxygen levels, food chains and natural habitats.

What happens if we don’t recycle!
• Due to the fact that it has such a huge impact on the environment if fewer people recycle then the global temperature will increase and polar ice caps will melt which in turn causes sea levels to rise • Food chains will be effected meaning some species will be endangered or made extinct and habitats will also be ruined • The local authority is charged on how much waste is put into landfill sites – more waste equates to issues such as higher council tax charges • We will run out of natural resources

How is plastic recycled?
Mechanical Recycling • • • • • Sorting Shredding Washing Melting Pelletizing

Shredding
Once sorted the plastic is fed into a shredder to break the plastic down into small lumps. Why do we do this?

Washing
The plastic is washed before it is melted. Why do we do this?

Melting and pelletizing
Both of these processes are usually completed using the same machine

Feedstock recycling
This breaks the polymers down into their constituent molecules using heat or pressure. These molecules can then be used to make different plastics or chemicals. What do you think are the advantages of this? And the disadvantages?

Task:
Your local council has put in a new requirement for the public to sort plastics in the home. The plastics need to be sorted into four groups: 1.polyethylene terephthalate, 2.high density polyethylene 3.polyvinyl chloride 4.‘other’ Your job as a designer is to design an exciting new recycling box to go in the home. Think about where in the home the box will be kept. Will it be on view? What size will it need to be? How can you minimise the space it takes up?

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