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There are many different kinds of plastics with hugely different properties. The vast majority of plastics is made from oil. Most do not biodegrade. But then again they can be made from chicken feathers and be composted.

There an introduction to plastic here 

Or jump to your subject of interest using the index below

The Basics

monomers and polymers
Polymerisation
Thermoplastics and thermoset plastics

Plastics that are derived from plants are called bioplastics.  Some biodegrade others DO NOT.

Some plastics are compostable (they biodegrade within a certain amount of time).

Most plastic however are not biodegradable and last if not for ever, for a very long time. Read  the Plastic Lifespan to find out why and how.

So plastics can be described as compostable, degradable and or biodegradable. Which may seem clear but can be misleading.  Read up on it here.

Making Plastic

How oil Derived polymers are made You can see the process here.

How plant derived polymers are made. Find links to technical information here. 

Fillers and chemicals are added to the base plastic to give color, texture and other qualities.  Read up on them here

General

Definitions Don’t know your PETS from your hamster. Think Polymer is a girl’s name? Check out this collection of definitions.

A List Of Plastics   an introduction to the most common types of plastics, what they are used for and links to technical data sheets.

Definitions Don’t know your PETS from your hamster. Think Polymer is a girl’s name? Check out this collection of definitions.

Plastic Problems

Disposing of plastic – like bodies it’s not easy to get rid of which means that plastic pollution is becoming a major environmental pollutant.

Bad Plastic 

An introduction to the problems of plastic here
Topics
How much rubbish? Some filthy stats
Disposal problems-plastics  do not biodegrade so what to do with it?
Plastic Pollution-  looks ugly and is lethal.Check out the gallery.
Plastic and the sea –more plastic than fish out there
Micro pollution –tiny bits that are impossible to eradicate.
Plastic kills animals – on land and sea
Plastic Poisons – the chemicals and carcinogens associated with plastic and plastic production.
Costs – to add insult turns out plasticisn’t even that cheap!

Reports & statistics  links to the latest reports on plastic

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