Chemistry C1 5.4 Plastic waste.

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Why doesn't plastic waste get broken down when left in the environment?
Because many polymers are non-biodegradable.
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What problems are there in relation to the disposal of plastic waste?
If not disposed of properly, plastic rubbish gets everywhere, it is unsightly and can harm wildlife, event when put into landfill sites it takes up valuable space.
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Why are we now using more plastic that are biodegradable?
Microorganisms can break down biodegradable plastics, these break down when in contact with soil.
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What do plastics made from non-biodegradable polymers sometimes get mixed with and why?
Cornstarch because microorganisms break down the cornstarch so the plastic breaks down into very small pieces that can be mixed with soil or compost.
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What can biodegradable plastics be made from?
Plant material, one example is a polymer made from cornstarch that is used as biodegradable food packaging.
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Why is sorting plastics for recycling difficult?
There are many different types of plastic.
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How would using biodegradable plastics help with the problems of plastic litter?
The litter would be decomposed by microorganisms when in contact with soil, and so it would not remain in the environment.
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How can cornstarch be used to help with the problems of disposal of plastic waste?
It can be added to plastics made from non-biodegradable polymers so they break down into smaller pieces, it can also be used to make biodegradable plastic.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What problems are there in relation to the disposal of plastic waste?

Back

If not disposed of properly, plastic rubbish gets everywhere, it is unsightly and can harm wildlife, event when put into landfill sites it takes up valuable space.

Card 3

Front

Why are we now using more plastic that are biodegradable?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What do plastics made from non-biodegradable polymers sometimes get mixed with and why?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What can biodegradable plastics be made from?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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