What is polymer?
A polymer is a very large, chain-like molecule made up of monomers, which are small molecules. It can be naturally occurring or synthetic. … Since poly- means “many,” a polymer means “many parts.”
What is polymer plastics?
Polymers can exist organically or be created synthetically, and consist of chains of joined individual molecules or monomers. Plastics are a type of polymer composed of chains of polymers which can be partially organic or fully synthetic.
Simply put, all plastics are polymers, but not all polymers are plastics.
SIDE EFFECTS OF POLYMER PLASTICS
One of the most common environmental problems associated with synthetic polymers pollution is that 44 percent of seabird species are known to have ingested synthetic polymers that have been mistaken for food, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health — with millions dying from this ingestion every year. This broad reaching death of shore birds presents a significant environmental problem because shorebirds play a vital ecological role in maintaining the population sizes of fish and crustaceans.
Synthetic polymers can also present environmental problems in the process of their production. The Environmental Working Group organization shows that the DuPont chemical company leaked contaminates used in their production of Teflon into local watersheds for several decades. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this chemical accumulates in the gills of fish and can travel in high quantities up the food chain.
Even beyond their persistence in oceans and water pollution from their production, synthetic polymers are a significant challenge on land because they are often disposed of in landfills where they will remain for centuries into the future slowly leaking toxins into soil as time passes. According to the Clean Air Council organization, Americans alone use an estimated 102.1 billion plastic bags — a synthetic polymer — each year, and less than 1 percent of these bags are recycled. Not only do these synthetic polymers slowly leach harmful chemicals in the soil, their longevity and non-biodegradability means new landfills will be a constant need as synthetic polymer use continues and grows.
This blog is authored by VAISHNAVI.U, ENVIRO CLUB