Plastic is not as easy as one may believe. Each individual is distinct from the others. According to HDPE granules manufacturers India service provider, some are reusable, while others generate dangerous waste after several usages. Some are simply recyclable, while others require more complicated and intricate processing.
Consider your closest plastic item, such as the lunchbox you brought from home, your water bottle, or your cup for instant noodles. You may notice a number on the back or bottom of the object if you examine it carefully.
You likely already understand what it is. The number denotes the type of plastic used to manufacture the item you are now holding. But do you know precisely which numbers to avoid and which numbers pose the most environmental risk?
In summary, seven forms of plastic exist in the contemporary era
PET or PETE or Polyester
PET is also known as a fabric without wrinkles. It differs from the plastic bags frequently found at grocery stores. PET is commonly used for food and beverage packaging due to its ability to prevent oxygen from entering and ruining the contents. It also prevents carbon dioxide from escaping from carbonated beverages.
Although PET is most likely to be collected by recycling systems, it includes antimony trioxide, a substance classified as a carcinogen and capable of causing cancer in live tissue.
The longer a liquid remains in a PET container, the greater the possibility of antimony release. Warm temperatures within automobiles, garages, and enclosed storage spaces may potentially contribute to the discharge of the dangerous substance.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is rather unique compared to the other plastics because its polymer chains are so long and almost unbranched, making it extremely dense, and hence stronger and thicker than PET.
HDPE is typically utilized for supermarket bags, opaque milk, juice containers, shampoo bottles, and pharmaceutical containers.
HDPE is not only recyclable but also more stable than PET. It is considered a safer choice for usage in food and beverages, however, studies have revealed that it can leach estrogen-mimicking added compounds when exposed to UV light, which might disturb human hormones.
3 – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Toys, blister wrap, cling wrap, detergent bottles, loose-leaf binders, blood bags, and medical tubing commonly include PVC. PVC or vinyl was formerly the second most frequently used plastic resin in the world (after polyethylene) before its production and disposal were deemed to have grave health dangers and environmental pollution concerns.
PVC is considered the most dangerous material in terms of toxicity. Several harmful compounds, including bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, lead, dioxins, mercury, and cadmium, may leak from its usage.
Several of the substances indicated may cause cancer, as well as allergic reactions in children and hormone disruption in humans. Additionally, PVS is rarely accepted by recycling organizations. Because of this, PVC should be avoided at all costs.
As previously said, polyethylenes are the most widely used plastic family in the world. This form of plastic has the simplest chemical structure of all plastic polymers, making it exceedingly simple and inexpensive to produce.
LDPE polymers include extensive chain branching, including lengthy side chains, resulting in a less dense and less crystalline (structurally ordered) type of polyethylene that is typically thinner and more flexible.
LDPE is mostly utilized for bags (grocery, dry cleaning, bread, frozen food bags, newspapers, trash), plastic wraps; coatings for paper milk cartons and hot & cold beverage cups; A variety of squeeze bottles, food storage containers, and container lids are commonly utilized to protect wires and cables. Although some studies have revealed that LDPE may potentially have negative hormonal effects on people, LDPE is regarded as a safer alternative for food and beverage packaging. Unfortunately, it is difficult to recycle this sort of plastic.
5 – Polypropylene (PP)
PP, which is stiffer and more resistant to heat, is a popular material for hot food containers. Its durability is halfway between that of LDPE and HDPE. In addition to thermal vests and automobile components, PP is also found in disposable diapers and sanitary pad liners.
Similar to LDPE, PP is regarded as a safer plastic for use with food and beverages. And while possessing all of these remarkable features, PP is not fully recyclable and may cause asthma and hormone disruption in humans.
6 – Polystyrene (PS)
Polystyrene (PS) is the typical styrofoam used for food containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, packaging, and bicycle helmets.
When exposed to hot and fatty meals, PS may leak styrene, which is thought to be hazardous to the brain and neurological system. Additionally, genes, lungs, liver, and the immune system might be affected. In addition to these dangers, PS has a low recycling rate.
- The number 7 is for all plastics other than those specified by numbers 1 through 6, as well as plastics that may be stacked or blended with other plastics, including bioplastics.
- Polycarbonate (PC) is the most prevalent plastic in this category, but its association with bisphenol-A has decreased its popularity in recent years (BPA). PC is also referred to as Lexan, Makrolon, and Makroclear.
- PC is commonly used for infant bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, water gallons, metal food can liners, ketchup containers, and dental sealants, which is ironic. Several nations have outlawed the use of PC in baby bottles and infant formula packaging due to its toxicity.
- Numerous health issues, including chromosomal damage in female ovaries, lower sperm production in men, the early beginning of puberty, and different behavioral abnormalities, have been related to the BPA found in polycarbonate.