Environmental Hazards of Plastics with Reference to Polythene



The world faces enormous environmental challenges today.   We are reducing the available oxygen by 10%.   In the globalized context, ’USE and THROW’ culture has seeped into even the ordinary people.   The life style, food habits, relationships have been changed.   The eco-system and nature have been totally damaged by mankind.
In our closest environment, the plastics exist in the form of furniture, cups, bags, food and drink containers etc.   Our main concern is the plastic pollutants, like plastic biscuit boxes, quencher bottles, soft drink cans, sweet wrappers, polythene bags and other form of plastics.
These serve many purposes but are now the waste material. Accumulation of such wastes can results in hazardous effects to both living beings and to the green life.   Therefore the present study is under taken to bring out the effect of plastic hazards to the limelight to public health and how to manage these dreadful plastics into better way of life.
Plastic had an inauspicious birth. An Englishman, Alexander Parkes, looking for collodion in his medicine cabinet to staunch a wound, discovered that it had gelled into a tough rubbery substance.
Parkesine, the first synthetic plastic, was launched in 1865, and the Xylonite company was formed a year later.
In the USA, the Hyatt brothers were working on the same lines, and invented a similar material, which they called celluloid. The year was 1869. In 1877, the Hyatt Company and Xylonite merged into the British Xylonite Company, which exists today as BXL Plastics Ltd.
The man who influenced the plastics industry more than any other, however, was a Belgian, Leo Beakland, who immigrated to the USA in 1889 to better use his talents. In 1907 he invented Bakelite which would dominate plastics for the next 50 years. By 1930, gramophone records, billiard balls (originally made from elephant tusks!),...