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 How are plastics made?

  • Most plastics are made using the hydrocarbons from natural resources such as oil and natural gas and also other chemicals.
  • In technical terms plastics are produced by chemical bonding of monomers into polymers. The size and structure of the polymer molecule determines the properties of the plastics material allowing huge variety and versatility.
  • There are two basic types of plastics - thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics soften on heating and then harden again when cooled. Thermosets never soften once they have been moulded.