Some common questions about plastic bags in life

Plastic bags or plastic bags are plastic bags that are durable, flexible, thin, light and handy. Today, it is used a lot to pack food, detergent, ice water, chemical preparations or small scrap, waste ... Hope this article helps you read clearly. What is the chemical composition, nature, harm and use of plastic bags to minimize its harmful effects on health and the environment?

1. What are the characteristics of plastic bags made from plastic?
Plastic bags are made of different materials, but are mainly made from polyethylene resin (PE) and polypropylene (PP) resins, along with some other additives. Polyethylene resins are commonly used in polyethylene bags. They are commonly used in low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Plastic bags have the following properties: good mechanical strength, transparency, smooth surface, waterproof but poor gas permeability.
HDPE is usually used to produce plastic bags with transparency, medium gloss surface, poor flexibility, certain hardness, to fold, creating a clear sound when rubbing ( This is usually called a spongy bag. Common HDPE foam bags are trash bags, plastic bags for shopping, supermarket bags and small shops. Plastic bags made LDPE film is clear, smooth surface, glossy than HDPE foam bags. Thanks to its toughness and smoothness, the production cost of bags is higher than that of HDPE bags, but the quality of plastic bags is better. Common LDPE bags are large size PE bags, used to store goods with relative weight, usually print advertising products, print logos, and introduce to businesses.
Plastic bags made of PP plastic have higher mechanical strength, rather hard, so not flexible, difficult to stretch along as HDPE or LDPE. In particular, the PP bag is smooth, high gloss surface, good mechanical strength. In addition, PP material is waterproof, water permeable, so it is often used as a food bag, preserving goods, or film wrapping pallet wrap food - food.

2. In today's life and production, people increasingly use plastic bags, how does that affect our health and living environment?

When manufacturing plastic bags, people must use additives such as colorants, heavy metals (lead, cadmium, ..), plasticizers, .... are all dangerous to health of human. At 70-80oC, the toxic additive contained in the plastic bag will dissolve into the food. In particular, some plasticizers may damage and degrade the peripheral nerves and spinal cord; Toxic to the testicles and to cause some congenital malformations if in contact with them.

If you use plastic bags for pickling acidic foods such as pickles, salted coffees, hot foods, plasticizers in plastic bags are separated from plastic and toxic to food. When laced with pickles, lactic acid is found in melon, which dissolves some of the metals that make up cancer.

In addition, plastic bags produced from PE and PP are very difficult to decompose under normal burial conditions (about hundreds of years to fully decompose), the use of plastic bags will photos bad to the human environment. The existence of plastic bags in the environment will cause serious damage to the soil and water because the plastic bags that are in the soil will prevent the oxygen from going through the soil, causing soil erosion, making the soil colorless, not porous nutrients, thereby slowing down plant growth. Plastic bags trapped in sewers, canals and clogs cause waste water accumulation and flooding. Wastewater stagnant spots will be the source of many pathogenic bacteria. In addition, waste from plastic bags also deteriorate to the landscape.

3. How is plastic bag disposal the right way? If the wrong way to destroy the consequences?

Consumers should classify garbage as plastic bags immediately after use for environmental companies to collect and destroy or reproduce to ensure environmental safety. It is not allowed to bury itself as it pollutes the soil and water, nor burns it, because when it burns it produces carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas and even produces dioxin. Agent Orange is a toxic substance that has a significant impact on human health and the environment.

 4. What advice would you give plastic bag users to minimize the harm that it brings?

To minimize the impact of plastic bags users should limit the use of conventional plastic bags using reusable bags and biodegradable when shopping; Do not use cheap plastic bags, colored for food, especially not used for hot food, sour taste. After being used, it is not allowed to burn or burial on its own, but must separately classify the plastic bags so that environmental companies can collect and dispose of them according to regulations.

                                                                     Assoc. Le Duc Giang - Faculty of Chemistry, Vinh University

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