Plastics are materials used to make a wide variety of products.
Plastics are very important inorganic materials which cost less than many other materials and are used for a lot of things. Plastics do not decay like wood. They do not wear like metals. Plastics can be designed in any shape or any color.
Without realizing it, most of our day to day objects are made up of plastic. The case for a computer is made of a type of hard, strong plastic. The cups we drink from are made from light plastic foam. You wear clothes and walk on carpets made of plastic threads. You buy food and other goods covered in clear plastic wrap.
Where Does Plastic Come From? Really
Plastic comes from fossil fuels like oil, coal, and other natural gases. The foundation blocks and compounds of fossil fuels are the chemicals hydrogen and carbon. Like all chemicals, hydrogen and carbon are made from atoms, tiny bits of matter much too small to see.
Plastic is made by heating fossil fuels and adding other chemicals. The hydrogen and carbon atoms link together. The atoms join together like beads on a string. The long chains of atoms are what make plastics special. Metal, glass, wood, and clay are made of short chains of atoms.
How its Made
Plastic starts out as a hot, sticky substance, called a resin. The resin gets made into car parts, plates, plastic bottles, and all the different kinds of plastic products, depending on the industry.
To make plastic products, the heated resin is poured or forced into a mold. The resin cools and hardens into the shape of the mold. The word plastic comes from Latin and Greek words that mean to mold.
Does Plastic Harm the Environment?
Plastics do not easily break down, this process is called degrading, so plastic does not degrade easily. Because of this, plastics fill up garbage dumps which creates massive dump sites called landfills. Plastic have become a major source of land pollution in our environment.
One way of reducing this is using fewer plastics as it helps reduce the amount of plastic waste that cause pollution. Making thinner plastic bottles and other containers that uses less plastic is another create means.
Many plastics can be recycled, or reused. Recycled plastics are used to make new plastic products. Recycling reduces the amount of plastic that gets dumped in landfills.
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