Plastic is a material consisting of any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organics that are malleable and can bemolded into solid objects of diverse shapes. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances.
The world’s first fully synthetic plastic was bakelite, invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland who coined the term ‘plastics’. Many chemists contributed to the materials scienceof plastics, including Nobel laureate Hermann Staudinger who has been called “the father ofpolymer chemistry” and Herman Mark, known as “the father of polymer physics”.
Common plastics and uses
- Polyester (PES) – Fibers, textiles.
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – Carbonated drinks bottles, peanut butter jars, plastic film, microwavable packaging.
- Polyethylene (PE) – Wide range of inexpensive uses including supermarket bags, plastic bottles.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – Detergent bottles…
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