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can you recycle plastic bags

What is plastic chemistry?

What are Plastics: the Chemistry. The chemistry of plastics can be complex, but the basics are straightforward. Think back to your high school science lessons about atoms and molecules (groups of atoms). Plastics are simply chains of like molecules linked together. These chains are called polymers.

What are the chains of molecules that make up plastic?

Plastics are simply chains of like molecules linked together. These chains are called polymers. This is why many plastics begin with “poly,” such as polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene.

What are polymers made of?

Polymers often are made of carbon and hydrogen and sometimes oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, chlorine, fluorine, phosphorous, or silicon. The term “plastics” encompasses all these various polymers.

What are you using plastic for?

When you watch television, use a computer, ride in a bus, train, or plane, you are using plastics. When you go to the doctor’s office or hospital or shop at the grocery store, you again are relying on plastics.

Where does plastic come from?

The raw materials for today’s plastics come from many places (some even use salt!), but most plastics can be made from the hydrocarbons that are readily available in natural gas, oil and coal.

Can plastic be molded?

Plastics can be molded, extruded, cast and blown into seemingly limitless shapes and films or foams or even drawn into fibers for textiles. Many types of coatings, sealants and glues are actually plastics, too. Further Reading: All about plastic types.

Is plastic a polymer?

Although there are many polymers, plastics in general are lightweight with significant degrees of strength. Plastics can be molded, extruded, cast and blown into seemingly limitless shapes and films or foams or even drawn into fibers for textiles. Many types of coatings, sealants and glues are actually plastics, too.

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