Questions tagged [plastic]

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Are microplastics harmful or just the chemicals on them?

As an ordinary person without a science background, I did a bit of research into if microplastics are harmful. I've found 9 articles, and I've summarised my findings in my own words: Microplastics ...
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22 votes
6 answers

How does global-warming-triggered ice melting cause global sea levels to rise?

Apologies for asking a silly question like this. But I want to offer some points which I could not counter, as follows: Ice is less dense than water, that is why it floats. For the same unit mass, if ...
1 vote
0 answers

Recycling census plastic bags [closed]

Yesterday, I received my census questionnaire. So have many millions of other Americans, recently. These bags are not labeled for recycling, but are they recyclable? Can I put them in the deposits at ...
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0 votes
3 answers

Shouldn't we encourage consumption of single-use plastics? Plastic is a good way to sequester carbon [closed]

I've heard a bunch of impractical proposals for ways to sequester carbon: pump CO2 gas into the ground, grow trees for the sole purpose of burying them underground where they won't decompose... and ...
0 votes
1 answer

Result of floating-iron-balls in the mid-pacific?

I had an idea to make green islands from mid-pacific plastic: Release a million tons of floating iron balls there, which will stay in the same regions as the plastic and hopefully cause a veritable ...
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3 votes
0 answers

Does long-term exposure to ocean water change the chemical structure of plastic into ocean plastic?

I've just been thinking a fair deal about ocean plastic and the ocean clean-up project. Is there something in saline water that changes the chemical composition of most plastics to make them pretty ...
1 vote
0 answers

Equations for Mantle Flow and Isostatic Rebound

In my Geomorphology book there is a section on uplift caused by isostatic rebound and it goes over how the viscoplastic nature of the mantle and the mechanically detached asthenosphere allow a long ...
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8 votes
3 answers

Are plastics a carbon sink and how much carbon is released to the atmosphere making them?

If we were to make some technical jump to renewable fuel and renewable energy, would making plastics from oil release green house gasses, how much, and would plastic function as a carbon sink? Sorry ...
5 votes
2 answers

Why don't we feed the plastics to the termites?

I may sound completely stupid but this idea hit me when I saw termites ate a plastic bag packed with papers today in my house. What are the challenges we're likely to face if we decide to do this?
6 votes
1 answer

How much plastic settles to the bottom of the oceans each year?

This article says that 5 to 13 million metric tons of plastic go into the ocean every year. In the study At what point do floating plastics sink?, they give an estimate of the weight needed to sink ...
  • 12.9k
10 votes
1 answer

Which geological processes will destroy plastic?

The geological record at the end of the Anthropocene will undoubtedly contain large volumes of plastic. However, some geological processes will completely destroy plastic (e.g. magmatic or chemical ...
  • 12.9k