n the Wk 1 Environmental Impact Matrix assignment, you analyzed the life cycle of a common product, and you now have an idea of the impact an ordinary purchase can have on the environment. In this week’s assignment, you will further discuss the environmental impact of the product you selected.
Refer to your completed below Environmental Impact Matrix and write a 350- to 700-word paper in which you explain your findings.
Address the following in your paper:
- What impact does the product have on the environment? Consider the materials/processes that must be used to deliver the product to the consumer.
- Describe how individual choices and/or behavior contribute to or diminish environmental sustainability.
- How can you or your community reduce your impact on the environment as it relates to this product?
this is a copy of provided submitted paper you can reflect on to answer the above paper.
Name of Product/Process: plastic grocery bags
1. How is the product/process obtained or created? What raw materials are required?
Plastic grocery bags are made from high density polyethylene HDPE. This plastic consist of straight molecule chains that branch very little hence making the bags linear. This characteristic is very important as it creates strong material.
2. How is the product processed or implemented?
Polyethylene begins as ethylene which is obtained from natural gases, then treated to obtain polymer, which forms long chains of hydrogen atoms. The chains vary depending on the type of plastic bag being created.
3. How is the product delivered or transported to you?
After its creation the plastic grocery bags are transported to retailers everywhere. But since the retailers cannot store all the bags that they will need, they restock their supply often. An annual estimation of the cost of this transportation is up to four billion dollars in America. Therefore this cost is passed to consumers as high prices of commodities.
4. How is the product disposed of?
Although plastic bags can be recycled, they cannot be reversed into organic state and once manufactured it stays in synthetic form for the rest of its existence.
5. What kind of waste is generated? How can it be recycled?
They are synthetic waste and can be used to make other synthetic materials like composite lumber. Also the plastic bags can be reused as garbage bags or shopping bags.
6. List any other observations or insights pertaining to the environmental impact of the product.
Plastic bags increase the risk of flooding. Plastic pollution in oceans has been indicated to have a negative on different species of marine life.
Sources: Hinrichsen, E. (2020). How are Plastic Shopping Bags Made?. Retrieved 30 April 2020, from https://www.brighthubengineering.com/manufacturing-technology/108204-how-plastic-shopping-bags-are-made-and-recycled