Plastics play a tremendous role in daily modern life. Plastic polymers are found in a countless number of manufactured products used on a daily basis throughout the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), global plastic production has increased from less than 1 million tons per year in 1960 to nearly 25 million tons per year in 2000. In 2008, the United States alone generated approximately 13 million tons of plastics in the form of containers and packaging, approximately 7 million tons as nondurable goods, and 11 million tons in the form of durable goods. The largest category of plastic is the type found in disposable containers and packaging (e.g., drink bottles and food containers); however, a large amount of plastic also is ...

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