Scientists make plastic more degradable under UV light

Many plastics that are labeled as biodegradable are only compostable under industrial conditions, but scientists at the University of Bath have now found a way to make plastics break down using only UV light.

Enzyme breaks down PET plastic in record time

Plastic bottles, punnets, wrap—lightweight packaging made of PET plastic becomes a problem if it is not recycled. Scientists at Leipzig University have now discovered a highly efficient enzyme that degrades PET in record ...

Bottled water sales rose globally as pandemic took hold

Families in some of the poorest parts of the world turned to buying bottled water as the pandemic sent countries into lockdown, with larger chunks of incomes being spent on drinking water, SciDev.Net analysis shows.

Researchers calculate lost value of landfilled plastic in US

With mountains of plastic waste piling up in landfills and scientists estimating that there will be more plastics by weight than fish in the ocean by 2050, the growing environmental challenge presented to the world by plastics ...

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Plastic

A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs. Monomers of plastic are either natural or synthetic organic compounds.

The word plastic is derived from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning capable of being shaped or molded, from πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded. It refers to their malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows them to be cast, pressed, or extruded into a 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 which is stamped or forged, for instance, exhibits plasticity in this sense, but is not plastic in the common sense; in contrast, in their finished forms, some plastics will break before deforming and therefore are not plastic in the technical sense.

There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. Thermoplastics are the plastics that do not undergo chemical change in their composition when heated and can be moulded again and again; examples are polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Thermosets can melt and take shape once; after they have solidified, they stay solid.

The raw materials needed to make most plastics come from petroleum and natural gas.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA