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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Life Cycle Analysis of Paper and Plastic Bags

Decompose

The process of breaking down organic matter by bacteria or fungi.

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Emissions

Particle, chemical or energy pollution released into the environment.

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Ethylene

A gas obtained from petroleum and natural gas processing, used to make plastics and other chemicals.

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Harvesting

To gather or reap from the place where it has been growing.

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Landfill

To dispose of waste material by burying it under layers of earth.

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Mining

It's the act, process, or industry of extracting coal, ores, etc., from the earth.

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Polyethylene

It's any one of various light thermoplastic materials made from ethylene with properties depending on the molecular weight of the polymer. Polythene is used for packaging, molded articles, pipes and tubing, insulation, textiles, and coatings on metal.

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Polymerization

It's the act or process of forming a polymer or copolymer. Polymer: a naturally occurring or synthetic compound that has large molecules made up of many relatively simple repeated units.

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Pulping

The process of pulverizing trees into wood fiiber and mixing it with water.

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Raw Materials

Raw materials are natural, unaltered Earth materials that have not been manufactured or processed.

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Recycling

To reclaim packaging or products with a limited useful life for further use.

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Solid Waste

Garbage or refuse.

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