Category Archives: assignment


Props: Gun, Cap, Shades, Tote Bag with bottles, HDPE signs, scotch tape

Characters: 1 Dealer, 1 Crime Lord, 3 Bodyguards, 1 Hostage

[Title screen] (It’s a future in which plastics have been banned, but are prevalent in the black market) Suspicious dealer walking across the frame, carrying tote bag. He walks up to a door, and meets Guard 1 (G1).

G1: You that dealer he’s been talking about?

D: Yeah, let me in.

Dealer tries to move past him, but is stopped by G1.

G1: Whoa whoa, hold up there. You made sure nobody’s following you? (looking around, patting down Dealer)

D: Yes, just let me in.

G1 opens the door. D enters and meets Crime Lord (C)

C: Have you got the goods.

D: Where’s my sibling?

C: Lemme see the goods first.

D goes to table and lays out the goods from the tote bag. It’s a bunch of HDPE.

C: What’s this? Is this HDPE?

D: Yes, didn’t you want to..

C: (bangs table) I TOLD YOU TO BRING ME BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC! What am I gonna do with this (throws a bottle off the table)?


D: You know what I went through to manufacture this batch of HDPE? Yes, manufacturing plastics is relatively cheap but it produces a large amount of chemical pollutants and fossil fuels will be involved. Manufacturing HDPE involved the use of toxins, like chromium oxide, benzoyl peroxide, hexane, and cyclohexane, which can harm the workers involved.  Some chromium oxide even escaped into a nearby living community.

C: So what? Why do I care?

D: Chromium oxide is cancerous! Plastic manufacturing has always had a negative impact on society. But now that I’ve made this, just accept it and give me back my sibling!

C: (stands up slowly) Do you have any idea how damaging HDPE is to the environment? Did you know that it’s not readily biodegradable? I had a pet turtle when I was 11. It mistook plastic litter as its food. It ended up choking and dying. All because plastic isn’t biodegradable.

D: But what about…

C: Also, plastics don’t biodegrade, but they break down. And when they do, they release toxic additives, like flame retardants, antimicrobials and plasticisers, into the environment. Chlorinated plastics can release harmful chemicals into the soil, which can seep into groundwater and pollute water sources. That’s why I asked specifically for biodegradable plastics.

D: So, what? You’re not gonna give me my sibling back?

C: Gimme a minute. (Crime Lord calls Guards 1 & 2 over for a huddled discussion)

C: Whaddaya think? Should I take the HDPE?

G2: What? HDPE? No way!

G3: Well, you could always recycle the HDPE. Once recycled, it can be made into something you can sell. Not only is it cheaper, it has less of a negative impact to the environment. I mean, it reduces the amount of energy and natural resources consumed in plastic manufacturing.

G2: No way, we had a deal..

C: Shut up, let him talk. Carry on.

G3: Well, back in the day, recycling plastic used to be the thing. Firstly, there’s the benefit of not burning plastics, which releases toxins into the environment. Also, recycling plastic saves landfill space. Imagine if all the plastic litter in the world had been recycled instead. Maybe your turtle wouldn’t have died.

C nods and gestures G3 away. He then turns to D.

C: Looks like you’re in luck. I’ll take the HDPE and let your sibling go. But, you still need to be punished. (hands D a gun)

Hostage: Don’t kill my sibling! NOOOOOOO!

D holds gun to his/her head, we hear a gunshot as the screen blacks out.

Team questions session 6 – 18 March 2015

4. Acid deposition is an issue in eastern Canada as many waters and soils here lack natural alkalinity like lime base and hence cannot neutralise acid naturally. Places like Ontario has it worst as their water and soil systems cannot deter the outcomes of high acid deposition.

The 9 largest coal burning states are in Midwest and Ohio River valley which is estimated to contribute to 2/3 of acid rain in Northeast and Eastern Canada.

In 2005, 50-70% of Canada’s acid rain came from the US.


Air. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from

Script for Video One: THE SCIENCE SHOW

Characters: Host, Expert, 3 Audience Members, 1 producer

Host enters to a cheering audience. We see “APPLAUSE” sign held up by producer.

Host: A very good evening and welcome to THE SCIENCE SHOW. This week, we’ll be talking about plastics! Do you guys like plastics?

Audience: YES!!!

Host: Have you ever felt like a plastic bag?

Audience: YES!!

Host: That’s very strange. Without further ado, let’s bring out our expert of the day, Pauly Mer.

Expert walks out and takes a seat.

Host: Welcome to our show. Mr Pauly Mer, lemme ask you, what are polymers?

Expert: Polymers are typically macromolecules, which are derived from petrochemicals. They consist of repeating monomer units, which are strung together to form the larger macromolecule.

Host: Wow. So informative. Anyway, why are some plastics hard, while others are soft. Some are flexible, others rigid?

Expert: Plastics vary in their melting points, elasticity, rigidity, tensile strength and crystallinity, among many other physical and chemical properties.  For example, plastics, in general, are lightweight, although their weights vary significantly from each other.

Host: That’s fantastic. Let’s take a question from the audience. (Randomly points at audience)

Audience 1 walks up to microphone.

A1: OH MY GOSH! I’m so happy to finally meet you! Ok, calm down, calm down. I wanted to ask: What’s your least favourite polymer?

Expert: Well, I really hate High Density Polyethylenes, or HDPEs.

A1: OH MY GOSH! Me too!

Host: Ok, that’s enough, audience member! Go sit down. Ok HDPEs are made up of compact polyethylene macromolecules. Let’s take a look at what that looks like.

Cut to Ethylene Macromolecule.

Host: Look at that nasty little thing. So, how are HDPEs formed?

Expert: (Cut to Ethylene Production video and ) Petroleum is cracked to produce ethylene gas. The ethylene gas molecules are then linked together to form polymers and produce polyethylene. This process is called addition polymerisation, and is conducted under low pressure, with an aluminium-based catalyst.

Host: Now it’s time for another audience question. You! (points to audience)

A2: Um, I was, um, wondering… what makes HDPE so useful?

Expert: [with keywords and host getting bored/ producer asking to speed up/ A2 sleeping/ A1 still being a fan] Well, I hate to say this but HDPE is pretty useful. It has a high density. Because of the absence of branches, the long, linear macromolecules are able to be packed closely to each other. It also has a relatively High Melting Point. Since the macromolecules are packed close together and the intermolecular forces of attraction are much stronger. These stronger forces also give HDPE a higher relative strength. HDPE is rather rigid, due to its regular, close packing, giving it a high tensile strength. HDPE is also chemically inert due to its existence as a stable compound, and since it’s a large macromolecule.

Due to its properties, HDPE plastics are used to make a variety of durable products, including:

  • Frames
  • Ballistic plates
  • Fuel tanks
  • Fireworks
  • Water pipes
  • Hard hats
  • Folding chairs and tables
  • Lunchboxes (Show Buzz Lightyear lunchbox)

Host: Oh, you’re done? Ok great! Well, since you took so long to answer his question, we only have time for one final audience question. You! (points to audience)

A3: Hey, expert, what’s your problem? What’s wrong with HDPE? I love HDPE, okay? In fact, my favourite Buzz Lightyear lunch box is made of HDPE. (Show same Buzz Lightyear lunchbox) What is wrong with HDPE?

Expert: Well, HDPE isn’t biodegradable. In fact, it takes 1000 years for a HDPE plastic bag to dissolve in the environment. The micro-organisms that are responsible for decomposition aren’t able to recognize how to break down a carbon-carbon bond.

A3: Then, why can’t we just manufacture plastics out of peptide bonds?

Expert: Well, it’s simply because peptide bonds have a very short shelf life. So if your lunchbox was made with peptide bonds, you’ll probably only have it for 2 days.

Cut to producer indicating that it’s time to wrap up.

Host: Ok, that’s all the time we have for you, folks! Have a great night and remember to keep recycling.




1. The earth is not cooling rapidly due to the greenhouse effect. Energy radiated by the earth is absorbed by the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is essentially the process by which atmosphere gases trap and return infrared radiation radiated from the Earth’s surface.

2. This cartoon does not justify. Global warming is about extreme temperature fluctuations. It is not about hot places getting hotter, but also cold places getting colder. There is also a difference between local weather and global climate. Low temperatures in one region may not equate to colder global climate.

3. All the radars were not successful, because transmitters are operating at frequencies that are too low. The microwaves then have too little energy to rotate the water molecules.

4. In the short run, we think that air quality will play a huge role because of the immediate repercussions that polluted air will have on human health. For the long run, ozone depletion is of a large concern because it can lead to skin cancer. Global warming will also play a huge role as the earth’s temperature will continue to rise as well as the sea level, which may destroy settlements such as in Venice and Louisiana.  More heat waves resulting from global warming will cause serious health risks such as heat stroke.