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Global Cycles: Plastic . Carrie Welker and Haiyan Fu November 8, 2011. Plastic: definition, history and production. Definition: a synthetic polymer capable of being molded into various shapes or films History:

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global cycles plastic
Global Cycles:Plastic

Carrie Welker and Haiyan Fu

November 8, 2011

plastic definition history and production
Plastic: definition, history and production

Definition:

a synthetic polymer

capable of being molded

into various shapes or films

History:

first plastic in 1862. production took off during mid 1900s. Many new plastics developed.

Production:

Most plastics made from petroluem

monomer  polymers

global plastic cycle
Global Plastic Cycle

Raw Materials

(mostly petroleum, plant materials…)

250 million tons per year

Plastics In process/ Use

Landfills and Incinerated

Recycled

~ 10 %

Exported

plastic residence time u s 2006 data only
Plastic Residence Time (U.S. 2006 data only)

Res. Time = amount in resevoir ÷ flux in

= 240 million tons ÷ 55 million tons/year

= 4.36 years

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