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Coral found to prefer eating microplastic to natural food

A team of researchers from Boston University, Roger Williams University, the New England Aquarium, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and UMass Boston, reports that one type of coral prefers to eat microplastics ...

Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy

Research from Swansea University has found how plastics commonly found in food packaging can be recycled to create new materials like wires for electricity—and could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the future.

The similarities between a Van Gogh painting and a golf ball

On a molecular scale, there are surprising similarities between the outer shell of a golf ball and the white oil paint used by Van Gogh and his contemporaries. In both cases, the interactions between zinc ions and polymer ...

Indonesia to return 49 containers of waste to Europe, US

Dozens of shipping containers full of waste will be returned to France and other developed countries, Indonesia said Tuesday, as Southeast Asian nations increasingly reject serving as dumping grounds for international trash.

Study: Lethal plastic trash now common in Greece's whales

A study of whales and dolphins that have washed up dead in Greece over a 20-year period has found alarmingly high levels of plastic trash—mostly bags—in the animals' stomachs, which can condemn them to a slow and painful ...

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Plastic

Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs.

The word derives from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning fit for molding, and πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded. It refers to their malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows them to be cast, pressed, or extruded into an enormous variety of shapes—such as films, fibers, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more.

The common word plastic should not be confused with the technical adjective plastic, which is applied to any material which undergoes a permanent change of shape (plastic deformation) when strained beyond a certain point. Aluminum, for instance, is plastic in this sense, but not a plastic in the common sense; while some plastics, in their finished forms, will break before deforming and therefore are not plastic in the technical sense.

There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics, if exposed to enough heat, will melt. Thermosets will keep their shape until they are charred and burnt. Some examples of thermoplastics are grocery bags, piano keys and some automobile parts. Examples of thermosets are children's dinner sets and circuit boards.

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