There has been a lot of issue concerning the definition of the word “sustainability.” The truth is that this word can pose a variety of meanings. But to make all of this simple, sustainability is to meet the needs of the present times without ever compromising the ability of the future generations to meet theirs. This definition was derived from Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987.
What is a polymer?
One factor that is closely tied to the issue of sustainability is the production and use of plastics. Plastics are composed of large molecules called polymers. These are long-chain molecules that are made up of repeating monomers. Monomers are connected to form polymers.
What are sustainable polymers?
The better question would be “Is there such a thing as sustainable polymers?” – and if yes, what are they? These type of polymers are plastic materials that address the needs of the human race. The catch is that it does not harm the environment whatsoever.
In addition, these types of polymers contribute positively to sustainability. It does not damage the Earth’s health or our economy. Moreover, the creation of these types of polymer requires ample research from our scientists. Researchers are developing more of these polymers as these have a facile end life, a smaller carbon footprint, and it produces less waste in production.
These sustainable polymers can also be used to renew feedstocks like plants for productions, it uses less net water as well as non-renewable energy in the production process, and it emits fewer greenhouse gases.
What is the difference between sustainable and ordinary plastics?
With traditional plastics, natural gas or petroleum is converted to chemicals, which are in turn made into plastic products that can only be incinerated, recycled, or simply thrown away. As for sustainable plastics, this makes use of carbon dioxide and water – both of which are included in the photosynthesis in growing plants. The plants that are harvested from this process are the ones used to create the polymer products. The renewable chemicals are then converted to sustainable plastic products that can be recycled, incinerated, and composted to recover their energy content.
What products are made from sustainable polymers?
With today’s technological advancement, the market is now slowly adapting to a more sustainable production process. The use of sustainable plastic has become a large segment in the global market. Today, polylactide, a component from corn, is being used for plastic cutlery, smartphone cases, fibers for clothing, food containers, and plenty more. In addition, modified soybean oil can also be used to create polyurethane foam for a great number of products such as memory foam pillows and seating cushions. This list continues to grow as of today.
With today’s discoveries and innovations, people are now slowly regaining what has been lost. The ultimate goal of this type of plastic is sustainability. The future generations of planet Earth will soon have the same resources as what we once had if the production of sustainable plastics continues.
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