plastic pollution, the accumulation in the environment of man-made plastic products to the point where they create problems for wildlife and their habitats as well as for human populations. In 1907 the invention of Bakelite brought about a revolution in materials by introducing truly synthetic plastic resins into world commerce. By the end of the 20th century, however, plastics were found to be persistent polluters of many environmental niches, from Mount Everest to the bottom of the sea. Whether being mistaken for food by animals, flooding low-lying areas by clogging drainage systems, or simply causing significant aesthetic blight, plastics have attracted increasing attention as a large-scale pollutant. Objectives
• Students will gain a greater understanding of the need to carefully use all resources in ways that are not wasteful and damaging to the environment —both now and in the future. • Students will gain a greater understanding of the threats facing a variety of organisms, including endangered species, and the need to reduce plastic pollution and aluminum waste. • Students will understand that they can personally play an important role in reducing plastic pollution and increasing recycling rates for a healthier environment. • Students will gain a greater understanding of the different types of plastics, and which can and cannot be recycled. • Students will learn more about different states of matter and how plastic and aluminum can be changed into different states and reformed during the recycling process. • Students will learn that aluminum beverage cans and certain plastics are excellent examples of closed-loop recycling and learn how recycling cans can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. • Students will understand that recycling involves a firsthand commitment to making the environment healthier.
The problem of plastics
Plastic is a polymeric material—that is, a material whose molecules are very large, often...
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