Efforts to find replacements for existing materials are driven by an interest in finding materials that are cheaper to obtain or produce or that have more desirable properties.
Learning Goal 6
Some materials, such as plastics, are synthesized in chemical reactions that link atoms together in long chains. Plastics can be designed to have a variety of different properties for a variety of uses.
For Grades: 9-12
Learning Goal 2
Waste management includes considerations of quantity, safety, degradability, and cost. It requires social and technological innovations, because waste-disposal problems are political and economic as well as technical.
Learning Goal 7
The development of new materials and the increased use of existing materials by a growing human population have led to the removal of resources from the environment much more rapidly than they can be replaced by natural processes. Disposal of waste materials has also become a problem. Solving these problems requires systematic efforts involving both social and technological innovations.