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The Life of a Water Bottle

because my life isn't as nearly as cool.
by

Megan Macklemore

on 4 May 2014

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Transcript of The Life of a Water Bottle

By Abitha The Life of a Water Bottle How it starts off: My Opinion Plastic is generally made of petroleum, but we don't just magically get this...we have to extract it from the ground! Petroleum, or crude oil, is extracted by drilling into the ground, seabed or seafloor and sucking out the oil from deep within the earth. Once extracted, the oil is moved into tanks/containers for shipping to refining facilities. The Second Step: After the oil is shipped, it goes through a variety of distillation processes, such as fractional distillation. The crude oil is heated so the various particles/parts of the substance can separate so they can be used to make different things such as gas, fuel oil, and what we're using it for: plastic! Turning oil into plastic Bottling companies either order plastic pellets and create the water bottles themselves or order the water bottles and use them. Once the bottles are shipped, they are cleaned and sterilized so they are safe for beverages and liquids to be poured in, and safe for the consumer or whoever buying the product to drink. After being filled, they are capped and closed, packed in cases and shipped once again to various locations. Water bottles could be sent for relief efforts and funds, or just taken to a store to sell to shoppers. The Bottles are ready for use! I do not think water bottles are worth the impacts on the environment. Not only can they cause natural disasters, but they pollute the earth and sea and affects animals as well. Water bottles are pointless- to me all they're stupid for most people just use them once then throw away without even realizing how long it took to make that, the resources used to make the product, the effort put into the creation of the product and the big impacts the product has caused to this planet. The thing that annoys me most is there are so many other ways to drink your beverages without a silly plastic bottle- use glasses or cups! If you're looking for something portable and convenient, then by a metal/re-usable water bottle that you can fill up. There are also Brita water-filter systems which let you pour yourself a cup of water that was originally from the tap but purified to drink safely. Also, if you're going to continue buying plastic water bottles, buy those made from bioplastics. Bioplastics are made from plant material so there is no need to go and extract oil. Bottles made from bioplastics also biodegrade MUCH MUCH faster than normal plastic water bottles. Plastic does not just come out of the ground as plastic. In fact, plastic, like all materials, first starts off as a pure substance. Atoms, Molecules and the Chemicals Many different atoms can be used in plastic such as nitrogen, chlorine fluorine, silicon, sulphur, phosphorus (depending on the plastic) but all plastics contain carbon and hydrogen, and most of the time oxygen as well. Plastic is composed of monomers and polymers. Monomers are molecules that can can be bonded to other molecules to create a polymer. In plastic, carbon and hydrogen are joined to create monomers which then create polymers. Polymers are matter or structures built up completely on a large amount of bonded units (held by intermolecular forces that cause them to line up in a linear chain) Organic and typical plastic's basic polymers consist of carbon and hydrogen monomers, but usually there are many different types of monomers that are used in plastic. Though one type of plastic, ethylene, consists of only carbon and hydrogen. (C2H2) As you can see, a monomer is two types of atom joined together, while a polymer are monomers repeated over and over again creating a chain structure. The formula or chemical make-up of ethene used to make ethylene plastic. Extracting the Petroleum What do these polymers and monomers create?
Plastic...but what are the materials used to make plastic?
Petroleum, also known as crude oil. Now it's time for the extraction. Some plastics are made from bioplastics made of plant material to help protect the environment by minimizing the impact on the earth. NEGATIVE IMPACT: OIL EXTRACTION. Oil extraction is dangerous to the planet, for there is always the risk or chance that an oil spill may occur which affects the purity of the sea as well as sea and marine life. Oil fires are also a common disaster, caused by combustion or explosion of oil fields that create huge and polluting oil fires. This here is an oil fire. Note: Monomers and polymers are found in plastic, not petroleum/crude oil.
Carbon and hydrogen is found in crude oil. Oil extraction is performed all over the world- from the Middle east to Nigeria. Fractional distillation is a type of distillation where a mixture is boiled at a specific boiling point that allows one part of the mixture to evaporate than condensate back into a different container, so the end result is a separated mixture. Fractional distillation is a common way to separate oil for it's different uses- petroleum gas, chemicals, diesel fules, petrol for vehicles, jet fuel, fuels for ships, factories, heating and lighting. Polyethylene terephtalate, the type of plastic used to make most water bottles, are made by mixing hydrocarbons that were separated from the crude oil with chemical catalysts (a substance that increases or speeds up the rate of chemical reaction) which triggers polymerization (creating polymers!) Then plastic pellets are created. Plastic pellets are cylinder like objects made of plastic which can later be melted to expand and become the shape of a plastic water bottle. After use There are three main things that happen to a water bottle after being used- it is either re-used, thrown out or recycled. The best choice out of all of these is probably recycling, but re-using is okay; at least then the materials are not gone to waste and it is a while before it does damage to the earth. Throwing out the water bottle leads to it being taken to a fill dump for it to be broken down and decompose, but we all know plastic is not a great biodegradable item. In fact, plastic takes maybe a hundred years or more to biodegrade and become a part of the earth...until then, it's just another piece of garbage in a huge junk-filled dump that causes pollution and takes up valuable space. Throwing out a water bottle might also refer to "litter," and in that case it's even worse, for it might end up in the wrong place such as the ocean, where innocent animals may find it and mistake it for food or it will become sea-litter, over-all polluting the water and earth. Recyling the water bottle means the plastic will be used again but in a different way. It could possibly be used for art-work, or be compressed so the plastic can create other things. I, myself, can cut down on the usage of plastic water bottles by going out and buying a re-usable one. If you think about it, it's really a good idea for it will save you money and help the earth- it's a win-win situation, for all you have to do is fill it up with water! Note: All this shipping is also a negative environmental impact for it adds to the pollution in the air. Bibliography:
http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2012-10-02/the-life-of-a-plastic-water-bottle.html
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-life-cycle-of-a-plastic-bottle.htm
http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/curriculum/outdoored/programs/waterbottlefactpages.pdf
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_plastic_made_of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic Pictures:
http://img.docstoccdn.com/thumb/orig/119847537.png
http://lc.brooklyn.cuny.edu/smarttutor/corc1321/images/macro/1a.Monomers.jpg
http://www.nowtoronto.com/_assets/issues/3291/waterfilter_468.jpg
http://www.brita.com/img/products/full/brita-bottle-aqua.png
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/04/16/waste_wideweb__470x310,0.jpg
http://www.plasticreef.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/201205virgin-pellet-02.jpg
https://dzevsq2emy08i.cloudfront.net/paperclip/technology_image_uploaded_images/22931/default/ABS%20Pellets.jpg?1337786309
http://www.recyclereminders.com/img/lg/S/Recycling-Sign-Label-S-2986.gif
http://johnvagabondscience.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/fractional_distillation.jpg
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRQnnLYJzeoq3FTqJhvGQWdnhHvfi-JfKph1K8os7OCJ6VvutheiQ
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