Fruit Snack Wrappers

Meghana V. (1st period)

How are Fruit Snack Wrappers Made?

Plastic fruit snack wrappers are made of granules of linear polyethylene resin (see picture below) that is melted and combined with another low density linear polyethylene resin. These granules are then blended together in a mixer to become a homogenous substance. Granules melt in the extruder, which heats them to a temperature varying between 356 - 465 degrees.

This then produces a film of polyethylene that is several hundred feet long. As the plastic tube cools down, rollers flatten out the plastic tube. A knife is then used to cut the plastic film to the required length.

Next, the plastic sheets are printed on. An alcohol based ink circulates continuously as impressions are made by inking rollers. Then the plastic is rolled back again and ready to be cut fruit snack length size. A sealer bonds the edges of the plastic wrapper together with heat.

The fruit snack wrapper is now ready to be filled with fruit snacks!

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How and how long are Fruit Snack Wrappers used?

Fruit snack wrappers are a type of food packaging material. They are used to hold pieces of fruit snacks in sealed plastic. Unfortunately, fruit snack wrappers have a short usage period. As soon as the customer consumes the fruit snacks contained inside, the wrapper is disposed of as waste.

What happens when Fruit Snack Wrappers are disposed? How are they harmful to the environment?

Fruit snack wrappers are very rarely recycled, thus they are added to the daily waste that people produce. Fruit snack wrappers end up in landfills where they may even take almost 1,000 years to decompose. Plastic wrappers are often not recycled because they are a food waste and plastic has many various chemical compositions which make it hard to recycle. Thus, most plastic fruit snack wrappers end up in landfills.

However, plastic fruit snack wrappers are harmful to the environment because when they decompose they leak chemicals into the soil. These chemicals have a negative impact on the environment because the cause the soil to become infertile. Infertile soil leads to the land becoming desiccated and no new crops can be grown in that area. These chemicals may also harm living organisms and bacteria that live in the soil.

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How can Fruit Snack Wrappers be reused?

Plastic wrappers are often difficult to be decomposed, so recycling should be promoted more. However, since plastic fruit snack wrappers are made of many different chemicals there are other options as well. For instance, rather than throwing away the wrappers, it is simple to make reusable crafts such as pencil poaches. As can be seen in the picture below, this is not only a fun craft but also encourages citizens to become innovative with how they deal with their trash.

As always, there is still the back to the cradle option where the plastic will be broken down to its chemical elements, thus back to where it started and can be produced all over again. Unfortunately, his method is more expensive.

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Impact of the three R's on preserving Earth's biodiversity

Reduce

Reduce means to use fewer resources in the first place. This is the most effective of the three R's and should be the first place to begin. If each human were to cut back the number of resources or materials they use then many species will be saved. Saving species will also make sure that there is not a loss of biodiversity. When humans consume less, there is a less chance for them to harm the environment or ecosystem.

Reuse

Before recycling or throwing something away, it is important to consider whether or not a certain object can be reused again. This will significantly decrease the amount of waste produced, thus once again protected biodiversity because land will not have to be cleared for landfills.

Recycle

Recycling means to dispose of items in a "healthy" way because those materials are then reproduced into something new. This can help save biodiversity because additional trees and habitats do not need to be destroyed to form new products.

WORKS CITED

"How It's Made, Plastic Bags." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. .


"The 3 R's - Reduce Reuse Recycle - NRDC." The 3 R's - Reduce Reuse Recycle - NRDC. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. .


"What Happens to All That Plastic? – State of the Planet." State of the Planet What Happens to All That Plastic Comments. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. .