Plastic bags can take 20 years to decompose, plastic bottles up to 450 years, and fishing line, 600 years; but in fact, no one really knows how long plastics will remain in the ocean. With exposure to UV rays, algae and the ocean environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments. The majority of the plastic found in the ocean are tiny pieces less than 1 cm in size, with the mass of 1/10 of a paper clip. These fragments of plastic are the one which forms microplastics. Microplastics are the final stage of plastic becoming harmful to living things. Despite all these environmental and potential human health impacts, most scientists agree that it is not feasible to clean up the plastic soup in our oceans. The areas are huge, and the debris is unevenly distributed and always shifting. A cleanup would entail filtering enormous amounts of water, and the by-catch of plankton and other marine organisms would be harmful to ocean ecosystems. Moreover, the fact that the trash gyres are in the open ocean, in international waters, makes it difficult to get governments to invest in research or cleanup efforts.
So, the above points lead me to my assumption if we cannot clean the current existing microplastics on oceans, the next best thing to do is not add more microplastic. Again, we cannot stop using plastic for products like bottled water because they are the most feasible products to use. This will lead on thinking if I cannot stop using a plastic bottle and I cannot clean the microplastic, I must figure out a way for the plastic not to become microplastic. And this is the main point of my project. This project is about preventing plastics breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments to become microplastics. All plastic bottles have a cover plastic that companies use their brand to advertise. Since those advertising plastic is not as strong as the plastic bottle most of them end up disposed separated from the bottle. Instead of using those plastic cover to advertise the company’s brand this project proposes to use a material called latex. As seen from the figure above, the latex is fixed with glue at the bottom of the plastic bottle. Since latex has the ability to be stretched easily when the person is done with the bottle he/she covers the whole body of the bottle with the latex and that will prevent the bottle from being exposed to UV and other environmental factors that make the bottle be smaller and smaller fragments to become microplastics. The latex will also be used to advertise the company’s logo. Latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion) of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. It is found in nature but synthetic latexes can be made by polymerizing a monomer like a styrene that emulsified with surfactants.
For more information please visit https://www.herox.com/plastika-reparabilis/round/346/entry/21614