The Problem With The Artificial Materials of Rubber And Plastic Materials
The Widespread Use of Artificial Materials
We have all grown accustomed to the sight of plastics, rubber and other artificial products in our modern lives. What may slip our minds is the fact that the materials truly are artificial. Truth be told, in our daily lives, we may even see more artificial materials than natural products. However, in the world today there is a call to take the natural route in satisfying our energy and literal material needs. The unsustainable nature of use and manufacture of substances has caused considerable damage to the environment. The situation and problem with artificial materials are one of irony but cause for major concern nonetheless.
The Inception of These Materials
Firstly, we must understand how materials such as plastic and rubber are created. Both plastic and rubber are made from petroleum. This means that to construct these materials, the raw material of oil is needed. This alone causes a host of problems for the environment. The drilling alone may cause oil spills, of which several we have seen over the past decade alone. A relatively new oil capture technique called fracking involves pumping large volumes of water into the ground at extremely high temperatures to release trapped oil and gas. A fracking project in the US can use as much as 8 gallons of water which can causes droughts, very severe case of water contamination and has even been linked to earthquakes. The drilling may also directly release greenhouse or toxic gases into the atmosphere. After the drilling phase, the actually burning of the fossil fuels can release tons of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Another important fact is that large amounts of this energy is wasted as heat. We tend to use plastic to hold and store food and drinks but plastic actually has pores that can hold pockets of bacteria which can fester on food. We have seen the effect plastic has on the environment, not just strictly in terms of environmental pollution by creating an unsightly and taking up space but also the direct effect is has in the animals. It can choke and poison wildlife and cause the problem of flooding.
The Real Problem and True Irony
We have seen the effect plastic has on the environment, not just strictly in terms of environmental pollution by creating an unsightly and taking up space but also the direct effect it has on the animals. It can choke and poison wildlife and cause the problem of flooding.The real problem with the materials, however, is one of great irony. Among other reasons, plastics were created because of a desire for durable, stronger and longer-lasting materials. And this is exactly what has been created. But interestingly, this is the very reason why plastics and rubber are so problematic. There was always a drive to create longer-lasting materials but, in the end, all these materials will eventually serve their purposes and be discarded. The problem is that these materials cannot simply be discarded because they are too durable to degrade on their own. We have the natural materials of wood, metal, paper, and even cement to some extent. All of these last for some time but eventually degrade into simpler substances, which may then be used to rebuild the same material with its original strength, or some other material by some natural process. But because all products eventually reach a date where there use is over, if this material is not easily decomposed, it cannot be reused in another form. Thus our environmental situation is one of extreme irony, that we have created durable materials that ended up being too durable.