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Plastic Fantastic

We're in an age where the sheer versatility of plastics has become both commonplace and entirely accepted.
From liquid-tight, disposable containers and razors to traffic cones, chairs and dustbins, injection moulding of plastics has granted a plethora of highly useful innovations.
Yet the raw materials used (petroleum derivatives) are expensive. Not just in dollar costs, but in the environmental impacts, consequences of the processing (extraction; refinement; preparation; mixing and moulding) involved.
Let us consider this somewhat further.
There's a vast variety of polymers available (18,000+), each with their own distinct profile of properties (e.g. thermal, strength, durability, colour, etc.), with hundreds of new ones appearing each year.
How about purposeful cutting?
For many applications the purity of the plastic is not a critical factor. For example, a plastic dustbin. What it not be prudent to consider making these from, say, 60% sand to reduce the material costs and enviromental impact?

Date & Time Posted 9:18 PM, Tuesday, May 19, 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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