Sei sulla pagina 1di 19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Plastic
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Forotheruses,seePlastic(disambiguation).
"AgeofPlastics"redirectshere.ForthealbumbyTheBuggles,seeTheAgeofPlastic.
Plasticisamaterialconsistingofanyofawide
rangeofsyntheticorsemisyntheticorganicsthatare
malleableandcanbemoldedintosolidobjectsof
diverseshapes.Plasticsaretypicallyorganic
polymersofhighmolecularmass,buttheyoften
containothersubstances.Theyareusuallysynthetic,
mostcommonlyderivedfrompetrochemicals,but
manyarepartiallynatural.[2]Plasticityisthegeneral
propertyofallmaterialsthatareabletoirreversibly
deformwithoutbreaking,butthisoccurstosucha
degreewiththisclassofmoldablepolymersthat
theirnameisanemphasisonthisability.

Householditemsmadeofvarioustypesofplastic

Duetotheirrelatively
IUPACdefinition
lowcost,easeof
manufacture,
Generictermusedinthecaseofpolymericmaterialthatmaycontainothersubstances
versatility,and
toimproveperformanceand/orreducecosts.
imperviousnessto
Note1:Theuseofthisterminsteadofpolymerisasourceofconfusionandthusis
water,plasticsareused
notrecommended.
inanenormousand
expandingrangeof
Note2:Thistermisusedinpolymerengineeringformaterialsoftencompoundedthat
products,frompaper
canbeprocessedbyflow. [1]
clipstospaceships.
Theyhavealready
displacedmanytraditionalmaterials,suchaswood,stone,hornandbone,leather,paper,metal,glass,
andceramic,inmostoftheirformeruses.Indevelopedcountries,aboutathirdofplasticisusedin
packagingandanotherthirdinbuildingssuchaspipingusedinplumbingorvinylsiding.[3]Otheruses
includeautomobiles(upto20%plastic[3]),furniture,andtoys.[3]Inthedevelopingworld,theratiosmay
bedifferentforexample,reportedly42%ofIndia'sconsumptionisusedinpackaging.[3]Plasticshave
manyusesinthemedicalfieldaswell,toincludepolymerimplants,howeverthefieldofplasticsurgery
isnotnamedforuseofplasticmaterial,butratherthemoregenericmeaningofthewordplasticityin
regardstothereshapingofflesh.
Theworld'sfirstfullysyntheticplasticwasbakelite,inventedinNewYorkin1907byLeoBaekeland[4]
whocoinedtheterm'plastics'.[5]Manychemistscontributedtothematerialsscienceofplastics,
includingNobellaureateHermannStaudingerwhohasbeencalled"thefatherofpolymerchemistry"
andHermanMark,knownas"thefatherofpolymerphysics".[6]Thesuccessanddominanceofplastics
startingintheearly20thcenturyledtoenvironmentalconcernsregardingitsslowdecompositionrate
afterbeingdiscardedastrashduetoitscompositionofverylargemolecules.Towardtheendofthe
century,oneapproachtothisproblemwasmetwithwideeffortstowardrecycling.

Contents

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

1/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Contents
1Etymology
2Commonplasticsanduses
3Specialpurposeplastics
4History
5Composition
5.1Fillers
5.2Plasticizers
5.3Colorants
6Classification
6.1Thermoplasticsandthermosettingpolymers
6.2Otherclassifications
6.2.1Biodegradability
6.2.2Naturalvssynthetic
6.2.3Crystallinevsamorphous
7Ebonite
7.1Bakelite
8Representativepolymers
8.1Polystyrene
8.2Polyvinylchloride
8.3Nylon
8.4Rubber
8.5Syntheticrubber
9Propertiesofplastics
9.1ULStandards
9.2ISO
10Toxicity
10.1BisphenolA
11Environmentaleffects
11.1Climatechange
11.2Productionofplastics
11.3Incinerationofplastics
11.4Pyrolyticdisposal
11.5Recycling
12Seealso
13References
14Externallinks

Etymology
ThewordplasticisderivedfromtheGreek(plastikos)meaning"capableofbeingshapedor
molded",from(plastos)meaning"molded".[7][8]Itreferstotheirmalleability,orplasticity
duringmanufacture,thatallowsthemtobecast,pressed,orextrudedintoavarietyofshapessuchas
films,fibers,plates,tubes,bottles,boxes,andmuchmore.
Thecommonwordplasticshouldnotbeconfusedwiththetechnicaladjectiveplastic,whichisapplied
toanymaterialwhichundergoesapermanentchangeofshape(plasticdeformation)whenstrained
beyondacertainpoint.Aluminumwhichisstampedorforged,forinstance,exhibitsplasticityinthis
sense,butisnotplasticinthecommonsenseincontrast,intheirfinishedforms,someplasticswill
breakbeforedeformingandthereforearenotplasticinthetechnicalsense.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

2/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Commonplasticsanduses
Polyester(PES)Fibers,textiles.
Polyethyleneterephthalate(PET)Carbonateddrinksbottles,
peanutbutterjars,plasticfilm,microwavablepackaging.
Polyethylene(PE)Widerangeofinexpensiveusesincluding
supermarketbags,plasticbottles.
Highdensitypolyethylene(HDPE)Detergentbottles,milkjugs,
andmoldedplasticcases.
Polyvinylchloride(PVC)Plumbingpipesandguttering,shower
curtains,windowframes,flooring.
Polyvinylidenechloride(PVDC)(Saran)Foodpackaging.
Lowdensitypolyethylene(LDPE)Outdoorfurniture,siding,
floortiles,showercurtains,clamshellpackaging.
Polypropylene(PP)Bottlecaps,drinkingstraws,yogurt
containers,appliances,carfenders(bumpers),plasticpressurepipe
systems.
Polystyrene(PS)Packagingfoam/"peanuts",foodcontainers,
Achairmadewitha
plastictableware,disposablecups,plates,cutlery,CDandcassette
polypropyleneseat
boxes.
Highimpactpolystyrene(HIPS):Refrigeratorliners,food
packaging,vendingcups.
Polyamides(PA)(Nylons)Fibers,toothbrushbristles,tubing,fishingline,lowstrengthmachine
parts:underthehoodcarenginepartsorgunframes.
Acrylonitrilebutadienestyrene(ABS)Electronicequipmentcases(e.g.,computermonitors,
printers,keyboards),drainagepipe.
Polyethylene/AcrylonitrileButadieneStyrene(PE/ABS)AslipperyblendofPEandABSused
inlowdutydrybearings.
Polycarbonate(PC)Compactdiscs,eyeglasses,riotshields,securitywindows,trafficlights,
lenses.
Polycarbonate/AcrylonitrileButadieneStyrene(PC/ABS)AblendofPCandABSthatcreatesa
strongerplastic.Usedincarinteriorandexteriorparts,andmobilephonebodies.
Polyurethanes(PU)Cushioningfoams,thermalinsulationfoams,surfacecoatings,printing
rollers(Currently6thor7thmostcommonlyusedplasticmaterial,forinstancethemost
commonlyusedplasticincars).

Specialpurposeplastics
Seealso:Highperformanceplastics
Maleimide/BismaleimideUsedinhightemperaturecompositematerials.
Melamineformaldehyde(MF)Oneoftheaminoplasts,andusedasamulticolorablealternative
tophenolics,forinstanceinmoldings(e.g.,breakresistancealternativestoceramiccups,plates
andbowlsforchildren)andthedecoratedtopsurfacelayerofthepaperlaminates(e.g.,Formica).
PlastarchmaterialBiodegradableandheatresistant,thermoplasticcomposedofmodifiedcorn
starch.
Phenolics(PF)or(phenolformaldehydes)Highmodulus,relativelyheatresistant,andexcellent
fireresistantpolymer.Usedforinsulatingpartsinelectricalfixtures,paperlaminatedproducts
(e.g.,Formica),thermallyinsulationfoams.Itisathermosettingplastic,withthefamiliartrade
nameBakelite,thatcanbemoldedbyheatandpressurewhenmixedwithafillerlikewoodflour
orcanbecastinitsunfilledliquidformorcastasfoam(e.g.,Oasis).Problemsincludethe
probabilityofmoldingsnaturallybeingdarkcolors(red,green,brown),andasthermosetitis
difficulttorecycle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

3/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Polyepoxide(Epoxy)Usedasanadhesive,pottingagentforelectricalcomponents,andmatrixfor
compositematerialswithhardenersincludingamine,amide,andBoronTrifluoride.
Polyetheretherketone(PEEK)Strong,chemicalandheatresistantthermoplastic,
biocompatibilityallowsforuseinmedicalimplantapplications,aerospacemoldings.Oneofthe
mostexpensivecommercialpolymers.
Polyetherimide(PEI)(Ultem)Ahightemperature,chemicallystablepolymerthatdoesnot
crystallize.
PolyimideAHightemperatureplasticusedinmaterialssuchasKaptontape.
Polylacticacid(PLA)Abiodegradable,thermoplasticfoundconvertedintoavarietyofaliphatic
polyestersderivedfromlacticacidwhichinturncanbemadebyfermentationofvarious
agriculturalproductssuchascornstarch,oncemadefromdairyproducts.
Polymethylmethacrylate(PMMA)(Acrylic)Contactlenses(oftheoriginal"hard"variety),
glazing(bestknowninthisformbyitsvarioustradenamesaroundtheworlde.g.,Perspex,
Oroglas,Plexiglas),aglets,fluorescentlightdiffusers,rearlightcoversforvehicles.Itformsthe
basisofartisticandcommercialacrylicpaintswhensuspendedinwaterwiththeuseofother
agents.
Polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE)Heatresistant,lowfrictioncoatings,usedinthingslikenon
sticksurfacesforfryingpans,plumber'stapeandwaterslides.Itismorecommonlyknownas
Teflon.
Ureaformaldehyde(UF)Oneoftheaminoplastsandusedasamulticolorablealternativeto
phenolics.Usedasawoodadhesive(forplywood,chipboard,hardboard)andelectricalswitch
housings.
FuranResinbasedonFurfurylAlcoholusedinfoundrysandsandbiologicallyderived
composites.
SiliconeHeatresistantresinusedmainlyasasealantbutalsousedforhightemperaturecooking
utensilsandasabaseresinforindustrialpaints.
PolysulfoneHightemperaturemeltprocessableresinusedinmembranes,filtrationmedia,water
heaterdiptubesandotherhightemperatureapplications.

History
Thedevelopmentofplasticshasevolvedfromtheuseofnatural
plasticmaterials(e.g.,chewinggum,shellac)totheuseof
chemicallymodified,naturalmaterials(e.g.,rubber,
nitrocellulose,collagen,galalite)andfinallytocompletely
syntheticmolecules(e.g.,bakelite,epoxy,Polyvinylchloride).
Earlyplasticswerebioderivedmaterialssuchaseggandblood
proteins,whichareorganicpolymers.In1600BC,
Mesoamericansusednaturalrubberforballs,bands,and
figurines.[3]Treatedcattlehornswereusedaswindowsfor
lanternsintheMiddleAges.Materialsthatmimickedthe
propertiesofhornsweredevelopedbytreatingmilkproteins
(casein)withlye.

Plastic(LDPE)bowl,byGEECO,
MadeinEngland,c1950.

Inthe1800s,asindustrialchemistrydevelopedduringtheIndustrialRevolution,manymaterialswere
reported.ThedevelopmentofplasticsalsoacceleratedwithCharlesGoodyear'sdiscoveryof
vulcanizationtothermosetmaterialsderivedfromnaturalrubber.
Parkesineisconsideredthefirstmanmadeplastic.TheplasticmaterialwaspatentedbyAlexander
Parkes,InBirmingham,UKin1856.[9]Itwasunveiledatthe1862GreatInternationalExhibitionin
London.[10]Parkesinewonabronzemedalatthe1862World'sfairinLondon.Parkesinewasmade
fromcellulose(themajorcomponentofplantcellwalls)treatedwithnitricacidasasolvent.Theoutput
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

4/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

oftheprocess(commonlyknownascellulosenitrateorpyroxilin)couldbedissolvedinalcoholand
hardenedintoatransparentandelasticmaterialthatcouldbemoldedwhenheated.[11]Byincorporating
pigmentsintotheproduct,itcouldbemadetoresembleivory.
In1897,[12]theHanover,GermanymassprintingpressownerWilhelmKrischewascommissionedto
developanalternativetoblackboards.Theresultanthornlikeplasticmadefromthemilkproteincasein
wasdevelopedincooperationwiththeAustrianchemist(Friedrich)AdolphSpitteler(18461940).The
finalresultwasunsuitablefortheoriginalpurpose.[13]In1893,FrenchchemistAugusteTrillat
discoveredthemeanstoinsolubilizecaseinbyimmersioninformaldehyde.
Intheearly1900s,Bakelite,thefirstfullysyntheticthermoset,wasreportedbyBelgianchemistLeo
Baekelandbyusingphenolandformaldehyde.
AfterWorldWarI,improvementsinchemicaltechnologyledtoanexplosioninnewformsofplastics,
withmassproductionbeginninginthe1940sand1950s(aroundWorldWarII).[14]Amongtheearliest
examplesinthewaveofnewpolymerswerepolystyrene(PS),firstproducedbyBASFinthe1930s,[3]
andpolyvinylchloride(PVC),firstcreatedin1872butcommerciallyproducedinthelate1920s.[3]In
1923,DuritePlasticsInc.wasthefirstmanufacturerofphenolfurfuralresins.[15]In1933,polyethylene
wasdiscoveredbyImperialChemicalIndustries(ICI)researchersReginaldGibsonandEricFawcett.[3]
In1954,PolypropylenewasdiscoveredbyGiulioNattaandbegantobemanufacturedin1957.[3]
In1954,expandedpolystyrene(usedforbuildinginsulation,packaging,andcups)wasinventedbyDow
Chemical.[3]
Polyethyleneterephthalate(PET)'sdiscoveryiscreditedtoemployeesoftheCalicoPrinters'Association
intheUKin1941itwaslicensedtoDuPontfortheUSAandICIotherwise,andasoneofthefew
plasticsappropriateasareplacementforglassinmanycircumstances,resultinginwidespreadusefor
bottlesinEurope.[3]

Composition
Mostplasticscontainorganicpolymers.Thevastmajorityofthesepolymersarebasedonchainsof
carbonatomsaloneorwithoxygen,sulfur,ornitrogenaswell.Thebackboneisthatpartofthechainon
themain"path"linkingalargenumberofrepeatunitstogether.Tocustomizethepropertiesofaplastic,
differentmoleculargroups"hang"fromthebackbone(usuallytheyare"hung"aspartofthemonomers
beforethemonomersarelinkedtogethertoformthepolymerchain).Thestructureofthese"sidechains"
influencethepropertiesofthepolymer.Thisfinetuningoftherepeatingunit'smolecularstructure
influencesthepropertiesofthepolymer.
Mostplasticscontainotherorganicorinorganiccompoundsblendedin.Theamountofadditivesranges
fromzeropercentage(forexampleinpolymersusedtowrapfoods)tomorethan50%forcertain
electronicapplications.Theaveragecontentofadditivesis20%byweightofthepolymer.
Manyofthecontroversiesassociatedwithplasticsareassociatedwiththeadditives.[16]Organotin
compoundsareparticularlytoxic.[17]

Fillers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

5/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Fillersimproveperformanceand/orreduceproductioncosts.Stabilizingadditivesincludefireretardants
tolowertheflammabilityofthematerial.Manyplasticscontainfillers,relativelyinertandinexpensive
materialsthatmaketheproductcheaperbyweight.
Typicallyfillersaremineralinorigin,e.g.,chalk.Somefillersaremorechemicallyactiveandarecalled
reinforcingagents.Otherfillersincludezincoxide,woodflour,ivorydust,celluloseandstarch.[18]

Plasticizers
Sincemanyorganicpolymersaretoorigidforparticularapplications,theyareblendedwithplasticizers
(thelargestgroupofadditives[17]),oilycompoundsthatconferimprovedrheology.

Colorants
Colorantsarecommonadditives,althoughtheirweightcontributionissmall.

Classification
Plasticsareusuallyclassifiedbytheirchemicalstructureofthepolymer'sbackboneandsidechains.
Someimportantgroupsintheseclassificationsaretheacrylics,polyesters,silicones,polyurethanes,and
halogenatedplastics.Plasticscanalsobeclassifiedbythechemicalprocessusedintheirsynthesis,such
ascondensation,polyaddition,andcrosslinking.[19]

Thermoplasticsandthermosettingpolymers
Therearetwotypesofplastics:thermoplasticsandthermosettingpolymers.Thermoplasticsarethe
plasticsthatdonotundergochemicalchangeintheircompositionwhenheatedandcanbemoldedagain
andagain.Examplesincludepolyethylene,polypropylene,polystyreneandpolyvinylchloride.[20]
Commonthermoplasticsrangefrom20,000to500,000amu,whilethermosetsareassumedtohave
infinitemolecularweight.Thesechainsaremadeupofmanyrepeatingmolecularunits,knownasrepeat
units,derivedfrommonomerseachpolymerchainwillhaveseveralthousandrepeatingunits.
Thermosetscanmeltandtakeshapeonceaftertheyhavesolidified,theystaysolid.Inthethermosetting
process,achemicalreactionoccursthatisirreversible.Thevulcanizationofrubberisathermosetting
process.Beforeheatingwithsulfur,thepolyisopreneisatacky,slightlyrunnymaterial,butafter
vulcanizationtheproductisrigidandnontacky.

Otherclassifications
Otherclassificationsarebasedonqualitiesthatarerelevantformanufacturingorproductdesign.
Examplesofsuchclassesarethethermoplasticandthermoset,elastomer,structural,biodegradable,and
electricallyconductive.Plasticscanalsobeclassifiedbyvariousphysicalproperties,suchasdensity,
tensilestrength,glasstransitiontemperature,andresistancetovariouschemicalproducts.
Biodegradability
Mainarticle:Biodegradableplastic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

6/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Biodegradableplasticsbreakdown(degrade)uponexposuretosunlight(e.g.,ultravioletradiation),
waterordampness,bacteria,enzymes,windabrasion,andinsomeinstances,rodent,pest,orinsect
attackarealsoincludedasformsofbiodegradationorenvironmentaldegradation.Somemodesof
degradationrequirethattheplasticbeexposedatthesurface,whereasothermodeswillonlybeeffective
ifcertainconditionsexistinlandfillorcompostingsystems.Starchpowderhasbeenmixedwithplastic
asafillertoallowittodegrademoreeasily,butitstilldoesnotleadtocompletebreakdownofthe
plastic.Someresearchershaveactuallygeneticallyengineeredbacteriathatsynthesizeacompletely
biodegradableplastic,butthismaterial,suchasBiopol,isexpensiveatpresent.[21]Companieshave
madebiodegradableadditivestoenhancethebiodegradationofplastics.
Naturalvssynthetic
Mainarticle:Bioplastic
Mostplasticsareproducedfrompetrochemicals.Motivatedbythefinitenessofpetrochemicalreserves
andthreatofglobalwarming,bioplasticsarebeingdeveloped.Bioplasticsaremadesubstantiallyfrom
renewableplantmaterialssuchascelluloseandstarch.[22]
Incomparisontotheglobalconsumptionofallflexiblepackaging,estimatedat12.3milliontonnes/year,
estimatesputglobalproductioncapacityat327,000tonnes/yearforrelatedbioderivedmaterials.[23][24]
Crystallinevsamorphous
Someplasticsarepartiallycrystallineandpartiallyamorphousinmolecularstructure,givingthembotha
meltingpoint(thetemperatureatwhichtheattractiveintermolecularforcesareovercome)andoneor
moreglasstransitions(temperaturesabovewhichtheextentoflocalizedmolecularflexibilityis
substantiallyincreased).Thesocalledsemicrystallineplasticsincludepolyethylene,polypropylene,
poly(vinylchloride),polyamides(nylons),polyestersandsomepolyurethanes.Manyplasticsare
completelyamorphous,suchaspolystyreneanditscopolymers,poly(methylmethacrylate),andall
thermosets.

Ebonite
In1851,NelsonGoodyearaddedfillerstonaturalrubber
materialstoformebonite.[18]

Bakelite
Mainarticle:Bakelite

Moldedplasticfoodreplicason
displayoutsidearestaurantinJapan

Thefirstplasticbasedonasyntheticpolymerwasmadefrom
phenolandformaldehyde,withthefirstviableandcheap
synthesismethodsinventedin1907,byLeoHendrikBaekeland,aBelgianbornAmericanlivinginNew
Yorkstate.Baekelandwaslookingforaninsulatingshellactocoatwiresinelectricmotorsand
generators.Hefoundthatcombiningphenol(C6H5OH)andformaldehyde(HCOH)formedasticky
massandlaterfoundthatthematerialcouldbemixedwithwoodflour,asbestos,orslatedusttocreate
strongandfireresistant"composite"materials.Thenewmaterialtendedtofoamduringsynthesis,
requiringthatBaekelandbuildpressurevesselstoforceoutthebubblesandprovideasmooth,uniform
product,asheannouncedin1909,inameetingoftheAmericanChemicalSociety.[25]Bakelitewas
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

7/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

originallyusedforelectricalandmechanicalparts,comingintowidespreaduseinconsumergoodsand
jewelryinthe1920s.Bakelitewasapurelysyntheticmaterial,notderivedfromlivingmatter.Itwasalso
anearlythermosettingplastic.

Representativepolymers
Polystyrene
Mainarticles:PolystyreneandPVC
Unplasticisedpolystyreneisarigid,brittle,inexpensiveplastic
thathasbeenusedtomakeplasticmodelkitsandsimilarknick
knacks.Italsoisthebasisforsomeofthemostpopular"foamed"
plastics,underthenamestyrenefoamorStyrofoam.Likemost
otherfoamplastics,foamedpolystyrenecanbemanufacturedin
an"opencell"form,inwhichthefoambubblesare
interconnected,asinanabsorbentsponge,and"closedcell",in
whichallthebubblesaredistinct,liketinyballoons,asingas
filledfoaminsulationandflotationdevices.Inthelate1950s,
highimpactstyrenewasintroduced,whichwasnotbrittle.It
findsmuchcurrentuseasthesubstanceoftoyfigurinesand
novelties.

Polyvinylchloride
Polyvinylchloride(PVC,
commonlycalled"vinyl")
[26]incorporateschlorine
atoms.TheCClbondsin
Styrenepolymerization
thebackboneare
hydrophobicandresist
oxidation(andburning).PVCisstiff,strong,heatandweather
resistant,propertiesthatrecommenditsuseindevicesfor
plumbing,gutters,housesiding,enclosuresforcomputersand
otherelectronicsgear.PVCcanalsobesoftenedwithchemical
processing,andinthisformitisnowusedforshrinkwrap,food
packaging,andraingear.

Plasticpipingandfirestopsbeing
installedinOntario.Certainplastic
pipescanbeusedinsomenon
combustiblebuildings,providedthey
arefirestoppedproperlyandthatthe
flamespreadratingscomplywiththe
localbuildingcode.

AllPVCpolymersare
degradedbyheatand
light.Whenthishappens,
hydrogenchlorideisreleasedintotheatmosphereandoxidation
Vinylchloridepolymerization
ofthecompoundoccurs.[27]Becausehydrogenchloridereadily
combineswithwatervaporintheairtoformhydrochloricacid,
[28]polyvinylchlorideisnotrecommendedforlongtermarchivalstorageofsilver,photographicfilmor
paper(mylarispreferable).[29]

Nylon
Mainarticle:Nylon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

8/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Theplasticsindustrywasrevolutionizedinthe1930swiththeannouncementofpolyamide(PA),far
betterknownbyitstradenamenylon.Nylonwasthefirstpurelysyntheticfiber,introducedbyDuPont
Corporationatthe1939World'sFairinNewYorkCity.
In1927,DuPonthadbegunasecretdevelopmentprojectdesignatedFiber66,underthedirectionof
HarvardchemistWallaceCarothersandchemistrydepartmentdirectorElmerKeiserBolton.Carothers
hadbeenhiredtoperformpureresearch,andheworkedtounderstandthenewmaterials'molecular
structureandphysicalproperties.Hetooksomeofthefirststepsinthemoleculardesignofthe
materials.
Hisworkledtothediscoveryofsyntheticnylonfiber,whichwasverystrongbutalsoveryflexible.The
firstapplicationwasforbristlesfortoothbrushes.However,DuPont'srealtargetwassilk,particularly
silkstockings.Carothersandhisteamsynthesizedanumberofdifferentpolyamidesincluding
polyamide6.6and4.6,aswellaspolyesters.[30]

Generalcondensationpolymerizationreactionfornylon

IttookDuPonttwelveyearsandUS$27milliontorefinenylon,andtosynthesizeanddevelopthe
industrialprocessesforbulkmanufacture.Withsuchamajorinvestment,itwasnosurprisethatDuPont
sparedlittleexpensetopromotenylonafteritsintroduction,creatingapublicsensation,or"nylon
mania".
Nylonmaniacametoanabruptstopattheendof1941whentheUSAenteredWorldWarII.The
productioncapacitythathadbeenbuiltuptoproducenylonstockings,orjustnylons,forAmerican
womenwastakenovertomanufacturevastnumbersofparachutesforfliersandparatroopers.Afterthe
warended,DuPontwentbacktosellingnylontothepublic,engaginginanotherpromotionalcampaign
in1946thatresultedinanevenbiggercraze,triggeringthesocallednylonriots.
Subsequentlypolyamides6,10,11,and12havebeendevelopedbasedonmonomerswhicharering
compoundse.g.caprolactam.Nylon66isamaterialmanufacturedbycondensationpolymerization.
Nylonsstillremainimportantplastics,andnotjustforuseinfabrics.Initsbulkformitisverywear
resistant,particularlyifoilimpregnated,andsoisusedtobuildgears,plainbearings,valveseats,seals
andbecauseofgoodheatresistance,increasinglyforunderthehoodapplicationsincars,andother
mechanicalparts.

Rubber
Naturalrubberisanelastomer(anelastichydrocarbonpolymer)thatoriginallywasderivedfromlatex,a
milkycolloidalsuspensionfoundinspecialisedvesselsinsomeplants.Itisusefuldirectlyinthisform
(indeed,thefirstappearanceofrubberinEuropewasclothwaterproofedwithunvulcanizedlatexfrom
Brazil).However,in1839,CharlesGoodyearinventedvulcanizedrubberaformofnaturalrubber
heatedwithsulfur(andafewotherchemicals),formingcrosslinksbetweenpolymerchains
(vulcanization),improvingelasticityanddurability.

Syntheticrubber
Mainarticle:Syntheticrubber
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

9/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

ThefirstfullysyntheticrubberwassynthesizedbySergeiLebedevin1910.InWorldWarII,supply
blockadesofnaturalrubberfromSouthEastAsiacausedaboomindevelopmentofsyntheticrubber,
notablystyrenebutadienerubber.In1941,annualproductionofsyntheticrubberintheU.S.wasonly
231tonneswhichincreasedto840,000tonnesin1945.Inthespaceraceandnucleararmsrace,Caltech
researchersexperimentedwithusingsyntheticrubbersforsolidfuelforrockets.Ultimately,alllarge
militaryrocketsandmissileswouldusesyntheticrubberbasedsolidfuels,andtheywouldalsoplaya
significantpartinthecivilianspaceeffort.

Propertiesofplastics
Thepropertiesofplasticsaredefinedchieflybytheorganicchemistryofthepolymersuchashardness,
density,andresistancetoheat,organicsolvents,oxidation,andionizingradiation.Inparticular,most
plasticswillmeltuponheatingtoafewhundreddegreescelsius.[31]Whileplasticscanbemade
electricallyconductive,withtheconductivityofupto80kS/cminstretchorientedpolyacetylene,[32]
theyarestillnomatchformostmetalslikecopperwhichhaveconductivitiesofseveralhundredskS/cm.

ULStandards
ManypropertiesofplasticsaredeterminedbytestsasspecifiedbyUnderwritersLaboratories,suchas:
FlammabilityUL94
HighvoltagearctrackingrateUL746A
ComparativeTrackingIndex

ISO
ManypropertiesofplasticsaredeterminedbystandardsasspecifiedbyISO,suchas:
ISO306Thermoplastics

Toxicity
Pureplasticshavelowtoxicityduetotheirinsolubilityinwaterandbecausetheyarebiochemically
inert,duetoalargemolecularweight.Plasticproductscontainavarietyofadditives,someofwhichcan
betoxic.Forexample,plasticizerslikeadipatesandphthalatesareoftenaddedtobrittleplasticslike
polyvinylchloridetomakethempliableenoughforuseinfoodpackaging,toys,andmanyotheritems.
Tracesofthesecompoundscanleachoutoftheproduct.Owingtoconcernsovertheeffectsofsuch
leachates,theEuropeanUnionhasrestrictedtheuseofDEHP(di2ethylhexylphthalate)andother
phthalatesinsomeapplications,andtheUnitedStateshaslimitedtheuseofDEHP,DPB,BBP,DINP,
DIDP,andDnOPinchildren'stoysandchildcarearticleswiththeConsumerProductSafety
ImprovementAct.Somecompoundsleachingfrompolystyrenefoodcontainershavebeenproposedto
interferewithhormonefunctionsandaresuspectedhumancarcinogens.[33]Otherchemicalsofpotential
concernincludealkylphenols.[17]
Whereasthefinishedplasticmaybenontoxic,themonomersusedinthemanufactureoftheparent
polymersmaybetoxic.Insomecases,smallamountsofthosechemicalscanremaintrappedinthe
productunlesssuitableprocessingisemployed.Forexample,theWorldHealthOrganization's
InternationalAgencyforResearchonCancer(IARC)hasrecognizedvinylchloride,theprecursorto
PVC,asahumancarcinogen.[33]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

10/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

BisphenolA
Somepolymersmayalsodecomposeintothemonomersorothertoxicsubstanceswhenheated.In2011,
itwasreportedthat"almostallplasticproducts"sampledreleasedchemicalswithestrogenicactivity,
althoughtheresearchersidentifiedplasticswhichdidnotleachchemicalswithestrogenicactivity.[34]
Theprimarybuildingblockofpolycarbonates,bisphenolA(BPA),isanestrogenlikeendocrine
disruptorthatmayleachintofood.[33]ResearchinEnvironmentalHealthPerspectivesfindsthatBPA
leachedfromtheliningoftincans,dentalsealantsandpolycarbonatebottlescanincreasebodyweight
oflabanimals'offspring.[35]AmorerecentanimalstudysuggeststhatevenlowlevelexposuretoBPA
resultsininsulinresistance,whichcanleadtoinflammationandheartdisease.[36]
AsofJanuary2010,theLATimesnewspaperreportsthattheUnitedStatesFDAisspending$30
milliontoinvestigateindicationsofBPAbeinglinkedtocancer.[37]
Bis(2ethylhexyl)adipate,presentinplasticwrapbasedonPVC,isalsoofconcern,asarethevolatile
organiccompoundspresentinnewcarsmell.
TheEuropeanUnionhasapermanentbanontheuseofphthalatesintoys.In2009,theUnitedStates
governmentbannedcertaintypesofphthalatescommonlyusedinplastic.[38]

Environmentaleffects
Seealso:Plasticpollution,MarinedebrisandGreatPacificGarbagePatch
Mostplasticsaredurableanddegradeveryslowlytheverychemicalbondsthatmakethemsodurable
tendtomakethemresistanttomostnaturalprocessesofdegradation.However,microbialspeciesand
communitiescapableofdegradingplasticsarediscoveredfromtimetotime,andsomeshowpromiseas
beingusefulforbioremediatingcertainclassesofplasticwaste.
In1975ateamofJapanesescientistsstudyingpondscontainingwastewaterfromanylonfactory,
discoveredastrainofFlavobacteriumthatdigestedcertainbyproductsofnylon6manufacture,
suchasthelineardimerof6aminohexanoate.[39]Nylon4orpolybutyrolactamcanbedegraded
bythe(ND10andND11)strandsofPseudomonassp.foundinsludge.Thisproduced
aminobutyricacid(GABA)asabyproduct.[40]
Severalspeciesofsoilfungicanconsumepolyurethane.[41]Thisincludestwospeciesofthe
EcuadorianfungusPestalotiopsisthatcanconsumepolyurethaneaerobicallyandalsoinanaerobic
conditionssuchasthoseatthebottomoflandfills.[42]
Methanogenicconsortiadegradestyrene,usingitasacarbonsource.[43]Pseudomonasputidacan
convertstyreneoilintovariousbiodegradablepolyhydroxyalkanoates.[44][45][46]
Microbialcommunitiesisolatedfromsoilsamplesmixedwithstarchhavebeenshowntocapable
ofdegradingpolypropylene.[47]
ThefungusAspergillusfumigatuseffectivelydegradesplasticizedPVC.[48]Phanerochaete
chrysosporiumwasgrownonPVCinamineralsaltagar.[49]Phanerochaetechrysosporium,
Lentinustigrinus,Aspergillusniger,andAspergillussydowiicanalsoeffectivelydegradePVC.
[50]PhanerochaetechrysosporiumwasgrownonPVCinamineralsaltagar.[49]
Acinetobacterhasbeenfoundtopartiallydegradelowmolecularweightpolyethyleneoligomers.
[51]Whenusedincombination,PseudomonasfluorescensandSphingomonascandegradeover
40%oftheweightofplasticbagsinlessthanthreemonths.[52][53]Thethermophilicbacterium
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

11/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Brevibacillusborstelensis(strain707)wasisolatedfromasoilsampleandfoundcapableofusing
lowdensitypolyethyleneasasolecarbonsourcewhenincubatedat50degreesCelsius.Pre
exposureoftheplastictoultravioletradiationbrokechemicalbondsandaidedbiodegradationthe
longertheperiodofUVexposure,thegreaterthepromotionofthedegradation.[54]
Lessdesirably,hazardousmoldshavebeenfoundaboardspacestations,moldsthatdegrade
rubberintoadigestibleform.[55]
Severalspeciesofyeasts,bacteria,algaeandlichenshavebeenfoundgrowingonsynthetic
polymerartifactsinmuseumsandatarchaeologicalsites.[56]
IntheplasticpollutedwatersoftheSargassoSea,bacteriahavebeenfoundthatconsumevarious
typesofplastichoweveritisunknowntowhatextentthesebacteriaeffectivelycleanuppoisons
ratherthansimplyreleasingthemintothemarinemicrobialecosystem.
Plasticeatingmicrobesalsohavebeenfoundinlandfills.[57]
NocardiacandegradePETwithanesteraseenzyme.[58]
ThefungiGeotrichumcandidum,foundinBelize,hasbeenfoundtoconsumethepolycarbonate
plasticfoundinCD's.[59][60]
Phenolformaldehyde,commonlyknownasbakelite,isdegradedbythewhiterotfungus
Phanerochaetechrysosporium[61]
Thefuturohousewasmadeoffibreglassreinforcedpolyesters,polyesterpolyurethane,and
poly(methylmethacrylate.)OnesuchhousewasfoundtobeharmfullydegradedbyCyanobacteria
andArchaea.[62][63]
Sincethe1950s,onebilliontonsofplastichavebeendiscardedandsomeofthatmaterialmightpersist
forcenturiesormuchlonger,asisdemonstratedbythepersistenceofnaturalmaterialssuchasamber.
[64]

Seriousenvironmentalthreatsfromplastichavebeensuggestedinthelightoftheincreasingpresenceof
microplasticsinthemarinefoodchainalongwithmanyhighlytoxicchemicalpollutantsthataccumulate
inplastics.Theyalsoaccumulateinlargerfragmentedpiecesofplasticcallednurdles.[65]Inthe1960s
thelatterwereobservedinthegutsofseabirds,andsincethenhavebeenfoundinincreasing
concentration.[66]In2009,itwasestimatedthat10%ofmodernwastewasplastics,[14]although
estimatesvaryaccordingtoregion.[66]Meanwhile,5080%ofdebrisinmarineareasisplastic.[66]
BeforethebanontheuseofCFCsinextrusionofpolystyrene(andingeneraluse,exceptinlifecritical
firesuppressionsystemsseeMontrealProtocol),theproductionofpolystyrenecontributedtothe
depletionoftheozonelayer,butcurrentextrusionprocessesusenonCFCs.

Climatechange
Theeffectofplasticsonglobalwarmingismixed.Plasticsaregenerallymadefrompetroleum.Ifthe
plasticisincinerated,itincreasescarbonemissionsifitisplacedinalandfill,itbecomesacarbonsink
[67]althoughbiodegradableplasticshavecausedmethaneemissions.[68]Duetothelightnessofplastic
versusglassormetal,plasticmayreduceenergyconsumption.Forexample,packagingbeveragesin
PETplasticratherthanglassormetalisestimatedtosave52%intransportationenergy.[3]

Productionofplastics
Productionofplasticsfromcrudeoilrequires62to108MJofenergyperkilogram(takingintoaccount
theaverageefficiencyofUSutilitystationsof35%).Producingsiliconandsemiconductorsformodern
electronicequipmentisevenmoreenergyconsuming:230to235MJper1kilogramofsilicon,and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

12/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

about3,000MJperkilogramofsemiconductors.[69]Thisismuchhigher,comparedtomanyother
materials,e.g.productionofironfromironorerequires2025MJofenergy,glass(fromsand,etc.)18
35MJ,steel(fromiron)2050MJ,paper(fromtimber)2550MJperkilogram.[70]

Incinerationofplastics
Controlledhightemperatureincineration,above850Cfortwoseconds,[71]performedwithselective
additionalheating,breaksdowntoxicdioxinsandfuransfromburningplastic,andiswidelyusedin
municipalsolidwasteincineration.[71]Municipalsolidwasteincineratorsalsonormallyincludefluegas
treatmentstoreducepollutantsfurther.[71]Thisisneededbecauseuncontrolledincinerationofplastic
producespolychlorinateddibenzopdioxins,acarcinogen(cancercausingchemical).Theproblem
occursastheheatcontentofthewastestreamvaries.[72]Openairburningofplasticoccursatlower
temperatures,andnormallyreleasessuchtoxicfumes.

Pyrolyticdisposal
Plasticscanbepyrolyzedintohydrocarbonfuels,sinceplasticshavehydrogenandcarbon.One
kilogramofwasteplasticproducesroughlyaliterofhydrocarbon.[73]

Recycling
Thermoplasticscanberemeltedandreused,andthermosetplasticscanbegroundupandusedasfiller,
althoughthepurityofthematerialtendstodegradewitheachreusecycle.Therearemethodsbywhich
plasticscanbebrokenbackdowntoafeedstockstate.
Thegreatestchallengetotherecyclingofplasticsisthedifficultyofautomatingthesortingofplastic
wastes,makingitlaborintensive.Typically,workerssorttheplasticbylookingattheresin
identificationcode,althoughcommoncontainerslikesodabottlescanbesortedfrommemory.
Typically,thecapsforPETEbottlesaremadefromadifferentkindofplasticwhichisnotrecyclable,
whichpresentsadditionalproblemstotheautomatedsortingprocess.Otherrecyclablematerialssuchas
metalsareeasiertoprocessmechanically.However,newprocessesofmechanicalsortingarebeing
developedtoincreasecapacityandefficiencyofplasticrecycling.
Whilecontainersareusuallymadefromasingletypeandcolorofplastic,makingthemrelativelyeasy
tobesorted,aconsumerproductlikeacellularphonemayhavemanysmallpartsconsistingofovera
dozendifferenttypesandcolorsofplastics.Insuchcases,theresourcesitwouldtaketoseparatethe
plasticsfarexceedtheirvalueandtheitemisdiscarded.However,developmentsaretakingplaceinthe
fieldofactivedisassembly,whichmayresultinmoreconsumerproductcomponentsbeingreusedor
recycled.Recyclingcertaintypesofplasticscanbeunprofitable,aswell.Forexample,polystyreneis
rarelyrecycledbecauseitisusuallynotcosteffective.Theseunrecycledwastesaretypicallydisposedof
inlandfills,incineratedorusedtoproduceelectricityatwastetoenergyplants.
AfirstsuccessinrecyclingofplasticsisVinyloop,arecyclingprocessandanapproachoftheindustry
toseparatePVCfromothermaterialsthroughaprocessofdissolution,filtrationandseparationof
contaminations.AsolventisusedinaclosedlooptoelutePVCfromthewaste.Thismakesitpossible
torecyclecompositestructurePVCwastewhichnormallyisbeingincineratedorputinalandfill.
VinyloopbasedrecycledPVC'sprimaryenergydemandis46percentlowerthanconventionalproduced
PVC.Theglobalwarmingpotentialis39percentlower.Thisiswhytheuseofrecycledmaterialleadsto
asignificantbetterecologicalfootprint.[74]ThisprocesswasusedaftertheOlympicGamesinLondon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

13/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

2012.PartsoftemporaryBuildingsliketheWaterPoloArenaortheRoyalArtilleryBarrackswere
recycled.Thisway,thePVCPolicycouldbefulfilledwhichsaysthatnoPVCwasteshouldbeleftafter
thegames.[75]
In1988,toassistrecyclingofdisposableitems,thePlasticBottleInstituteoftheSocietyofthePlastics
Industrydevisedanowfamiliarschemetomarkplasticbottlesbyplastictype.Aplasticcontainerusing
thisschemeismarkedwithatriangleofthree"chasingarrows",whichenclosesanumbergivingthe
plastictype:
1. PET(PETE),polyethylene
terephthalate
2. HDPE,highdensity

polyethylene
3. PVC,polyvinylchloride
4. LDPE,lowdensity
polyethylene,
Plasticstypemarks:theresinidentificationcode[76]
5. PP,polypropylene
6. PS,polystyrene
7. Othertypesofplastics(seelist,below)

Seealso
Conductivepolymer
Cornconstruction
Molding(process)
Flexiblemold
Injectionmolding
Films
Lightactivatedresin
Nurdle
Organiclightemittingdiode
Plasticsengineering
Plasticsextrusion
Plasticfilm
Plasticrecycling
Plasticulture
Progressivebagalliance
Rolltorollprocessing
Selfhealingplastic
Thermoforming
Timelineofmaterialstechnology

References
1. "Terminologyforbiorelatedpolymersandapplications(IUPACRecommendations2012)"
(http://pac.iupac.org/publications/pac/pdf/2012/pdf/8402x0377.pdf)(PDF).PureandAppliedChemistry84
(2):377410.2012.doi:10.1351/PACREC101204(https://dx.doi.org/10.1351%2FPACREC101204).
2. Lifecycleofaplasticproduct(http://www.americanchemistry.com/s_plastics/doc.asp?
CID=1571&DID=5972).Americanchemistry.com.Retrievedon20110701.
3. AndradyAL,NealMA(July2009)."Applicationsandsocietalbenefitsofplastics"
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873019).Philos.Trans.R.Soc.Lond.,B,Biol.Sci.364
(1526):197784.doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0304(https://dx.doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2008.0304).PMC2873019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

14/19

8/25/2015

4.
5.

6.

7.

8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

15.
16.
17.

18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

(1526):197784.doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0304(https://dx.doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2008.0304).PMC2873019
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873019).PMID19528050
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528050).
AmericanChemicalSocietyNationalHistoricChemicalLandmarks."Bakelite:TheWorldsFirstSynthetic
Plastic"(http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/bakelite.html).Retrieved
23February2015.
FantasticRecycledPlastic:30CleverCreationstoSparkYourImagination,byDavidEdgar,RobinA.Edgar,
p11(https://books.google.com/books?
id=_9WGar3yxsAC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Baekeland+coined&source=bl&ots=Bzh2tQiWZ3&sig=oSC
BIHStsXoq9pUzjOmc38tasNM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4Uz9VIikL8ugyASE2oCgDw&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=
onepage&q=Baekeland%20coined&f=false)
PolymerChemistry:IntroductiontoanIndispensableScience,byDavidM.Teegarden,pp.5859
(https://books.google.com/books?
id=0qFQ5OuKoy8C&pg=PA58&dq=%22father+of+polymer%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=90f9VMuMDob2yQS404
HYDg&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22father%20of%20polymer%22&f=false)
Plastikos,HenryGeorgeLiddell,RobertScott,AGreekEnglishLexicon,atPerseus
(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgibin/ptext?
doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2383506).Perseus.tufts.edu.Retrievedon201107
01.
Plastic,OnlineEtymologyDictionary(http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?
search=plastic&searchmode=none).Etymonline.com.Retrievedon20110701.
UKPatentoffice(1857).Patentsforinventions(http://books.google.com/books?id=0nCoU
2tAx8C&pg=PA255).UKPatentoffice.p.255.
StephenFenichell,Plastic:TheMakingofaSyntheticCentury,HarperBusiness,1996,ISBN0887307329
p.17
"DictionaryDefinitionofcelluloid"(http://www.webstersonlinedictionary.org/ce/celluloid.html).
Webstersonlinedictionary.org.Retrieved20111026.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galalith.Missingorempty|title=(help)
Trimborn,Christel."JewelryStoneMakeofMilk".(August2004)."JewelryStoneMakeofMilk".GZ
Art+Design.Retrieved20100517.GZArt+Design.
ThompsonRC,SwanSH,MooreCJ,vomSaalFS(July2009)."Ourplasticage"
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874019).Philos.Trans.R.Soc.Lond.,B,Biol.Sci.364
(1526):19736.doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0054(https://dx.doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2009.0054).PMC2874019
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874019).PMID19528049
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528049).
"HistoricalOverviewandIndustrialDevelopment"(http://www.furan.com/furfural_historical_overview.html).
InternationalFuranChemicals,Inc.Retrieved4May2014.
HansGeorgElias"Plastics,GeneralSurvey"inUllmann'sEncyclopediaofIndustrialChemistry,2005,
WileyVCH,Weinheim.doi:10.1002/14356007.a20_543(https://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2F14356007.a20_543)
TeutenEL,SaquingJM,KnappeDRetal.(July2009)."Transportandreleaseofchemicalsfromplasticsto
theenvironmentandtowildlife"(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873017).Philos.Trans.
R.Soc.Lond.,B,Biol.Sci.364(1526):202745.doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0284
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2008.0284).PMC2873017
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873017).PMID19528054
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528054).
Seymour,RaymondBenedictDeaning,RudolphD.(1987).HistoryofPolymericComposites.VSP.p.374.
ClassificationofPlastics
(http://dwb.unl.edu/Teacher/NSF/C06/C06Links/qlink.queensu.ca/~6jrt/chem210/Page3.html).Dwb.unl.edu.
Retrievedon20110701.
CompositionandTypesofPlastic(http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0860420.html)Inforpleasewebsite
BiodegradationofplasticbottlesmadefromBiopolinanaquaticecosystemunderinsituconditions,accessed
March2009(loginrequired)(http://www.springerlink.com/content/n651104158x43255/).Springerlink.com.
Retrievedon20110701.
NationalNonFoodCropsCentre.BiochemicalOpportunitiesintheUK,NNFCC08008
(http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/tools/biochemicalopportunitiesintheuknnfcc08008)
NationalNonFoodCropsCentre.NNFCCRenewablePolymersFactsheet:Bioplastics
(http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/publications/nnfccrenewablepolymersfactsheetbioplastics)
PlasticsNews(http://www.plasticsnews.com/subscriber/fyi.html?id=1132774806).PlasticsNews.Retrieved

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

15/19

8/25/2015

25.
26.
27.
28.

29.
30.
31.
32.

33.
34.

35.
36.

37.
38.
39.

40.

41.

42.
43.

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

on20110701.
Watson,Peter.ATerribleBeauty(alsopublishedasModernMind:Anintellectualhistoryofthe20th
century).London:Weidenfeld&NicolsonLtd(imprintofOrionBooks).2001
Jezek,Geno."WhatisVinyl?"(http://www.whatisvinyl.com/).RetrievedJanuary2011.
"Polyvinylchloride"(http://www.plasticsusa.com/pvc.html).Plasticsusa.com.RetrievedJanuary2011.
Salocks,CharlesandKaley,KarlynBlack(Revised4February2004)."TechnicalSupportDocument:
ToxicologyofHydrogenChloride"
(http://oehha.ca.gov/public_info/pdf/TSDHydrogenChlorideMethLabs0204.pdf)(PDF).CaliforniaEPA,Office
ofEnvironmentalHealthHazardAssessment.p.8.RetrievedJanuary2011.Checkdatevaluesin:|date=
(help)
"HowcanIpreservemyfamilyphotographsformygrandchildren?"
(http://www.loc.gov/preserv/presfaq.html#5).TheLibraryofCongressPreservationFAQs.LoC.Retrieved
January2011.
Kinnane,Adrian(2002).DuPont:FromthebanksoftheBrandywinetomiraclesofscience.Baltimore,Md.:
JohnsHopkinsUniversityPress.pp.116125.ISBN0801870593.
PeriodicTableofPolymers(http://www.pcn.org/Technical%20Notes%20
%20Periodic%20Table%20of%20Polymers.htm)DrRobinKentTangramTechnologyLtd.
Heeger,A.J.Schrieffer,J.R.Su,W.P.Su,W.(1988)."Solitonsinconductingpolymers".Reviewsof
ModernPhysics60(3):781.Bibcode:1988RvMP...60..781H
(http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1988RvMP...60..781H).doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.60.781
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1103%2FRevModPhys.60.781).
McRandle,P.W.(MarchApril2004)."PlasticWaterBottles"
(http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/101/plastic).NationalGeographic.Retrieved20071113.
ChunZ.Yang,StuartI.Yaniger,VCraig.Jordan,DanielJ.Klein,GeorgeD.Bittner.MostPlasticProducts
ReleaseEstrogenicChemicals:APotentialHealthProblemThatCanBeSolved
(http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1003220).
EnvironmentalHealthPerspectives.
PerinatalExposuretoLowDosesofBisphenolAAffectsBodyWeight,PatternsofEstrousCyclicity,and
PlasmaLHLevels,accessedMarch2009(http://www.ehponline.org/members/2001/109p675680rubin/rubin
full.html).Ehponline.org.Retrievedon20110701.
AlonsoMagdalena,PalomaMorimoto,SumikoRipoll,CristinaFuentes,EstherNadal,Angel(January
2006)."TheEstrogenicEffectofBisphenolADisruptsPancreaticCellFunctionInVivoandInduces
InsulinResistance"(http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2005/8451/abstract.html).EnvironmentalHealth
Perspectives114(1):106112.doi:10.1289/ehp.8451(https://dx.doi.org/10.1289%2Fehp.8451).
PMC1332664(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332664).PMID16393666
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16393666).
AndrewZajacFDAissuesBPAguidelines(http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/16/nation/lanafdabpa16
2010jan16),LosAngelesTimes,January16,2010
LisaWadeMcCormickMoreKids'ProductsFoundContainingUnsafeChemicals
(http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/10/pirg_lead_tests.html),ConsumerAffairs.com,October30,
2009
Kinoshita,S.Kageyama,S.,Iba,K.,Yamada,Y.andOkada,H.(1975)."Utilizationofacyclicdimerand
linearoligomersofeaminocaproicacidbyAchromobacterguttatus".Agricultural&BiologicalChemistry39
(6):121923.doi:10.1271/bbb1961.39.1219(https://dx.doi.org/10.1271%2Fbbb1961.39.1219).ISSN0002
1369(https://www.worldcat.org/issn/00021369).
YutakaTokiwaBuenaventuradaP.CalabiaCharlesU.UgwuSeiichiAiba(September2009).
"BiodegradabilityofPlastics"(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769161).International
JournalofMolecularScience9(9):37223742.doi:10.3390/ijms10093722
(https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fijms10093722).PMC2769161
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769161).PMID19865515
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19865515).
JonathanR.RussellJeffreyHuangScottA.Strobel(September2011)."BiodegradationofPolyester
PolyurethanebyEndophyticFungi"(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165411/#!po=2.17391).
AppliedenvironmentalMicrobiology77.pp.60766084.doi:10.1128/aem.0052111
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1128%2Faem.0052111).
"BiodegradationofPolyesterPolyurethanebyEndophyticFungi"
(http://aem.asm.org/content/77/17/6076.full).AppliedandEnvironmentalMicrobiology.July2011.
Link(http://www.ceaaacee.gc.ca/050/documents/56647/56647E.pdf)PDF

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

16/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

43. Link(http://www.ceaaacee.gc.ca/050/documents/56647/56647E.pdf)PDF
44. ImmortalPolystyreneFoamMeetsitsEnemy|LiveScience
(http://www.livescience.com/technology/060307_styrofoam_cup.html)
45. Ward,PGGoff,MDonner,MKaminsky,WO'Connor,KE.(2006)."Atwostepchemobiotechnological
conversionofpolystyrenetoabiodegradablethermoplastic".EnvironmentalScienceandTechnology40(7):
24337.doi:10.1021/es0517668(https://dx.doi.org/10.1021%2Fes0517668).PMID16649270
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16649270).
46. "Polystyrene"WikipediaContributors,Wikipedia,TheFreeEncyclopediaaccessed11/29/2013availableat:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystyrene#Biodegradation
47. CacciariIQuatriniPZirlettaGMincioneEVinciguerraVLupattelliPGiovannozziSermanniG(1993).
"Isotacticpolypropylenebiodegradationbyamicrobialcommunity:physicochemicalcharacterizationof
metabolitesproduced".Appliedandenvironmentalmicrobiology59.
48. IshtiaqAli,Muhammad(2011).Microbialdegradationofpolyvinylchlorideplastics
(http://prr.hec.gov.pk/Thesis/3362H.pdf)(PDF)(Ph.D.).QuaidiAzamUniversity.pp.4546.
49. IshtiaqAli,Muhammad(2011).Microbialdegradationofpolyvinylchlorideplastics
(http://prr.hec.gov.pk/Thesis/3362H.pdf)(PDF)(Ph.D.).QuaidiAzamUniversity.p.76.
50. IshtiaqAli,Muhammad(2011).Microbialdegradationofpolyvinylchlorideplastics
(http://prr.hec.gov.pk/Thesis/3362H.pdf)(PDF)(Ph.D.).QuaidiAzamUniversity.p.122.
51. YutakaTokiwaBuenaventuradaP.CalabiaSeiichiAiba(September2009)."BiodegradabilityofPlastics"
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769161).InternationalJournalofMolecularScience10
(9):37223744.doi:10.3390/ijms10093722(https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fijms10093722).PMC2769161
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769161).PMID19865515
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19865515).
52. "CanadaWorldWCIstudentisolatesmicrobethatlunchesonplasticbags"
(http://woohooreport.com/2009/09/wcistudentisolatesmicrobethatlunchesonplasticbags/).The
Record.com.
53. "Polyethylene"WikipediaContributors,Wikipedia,TheFreeEncyclopediaaccessed11/29/2013availableat:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene#Biodegrading_plastics
54. HadadDGereshSSivanA(2005)."Biodegradationofpolyethylenebythethermophilicbacterium
Brevibacillusborstelensis"(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15836478).journalofappliedmicrobiology
98.pp.1093100.doi:10.1111/j.13652672.2005.02553.x(https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1365
2672.2005.02553.x).
55. TrudyE.Bell(2007)."Preventing"Sick"Spaceships"(http://science.nasa.gov/sciencenews/scienceat
nasa/2007/11may_locad3/).
56. FrancescaCappitelliClaudiaSorlini(2008)."MicroorganismsAttackSyntheticPolymersinItems
RepresentingOurCulturalHeritage"(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2227722).Applied
EnvironmentalMicrobiology74(3):564569.doi:10.1128/AEM.0176807
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1128%2FAEM.0176807).PMC2227722
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2227722).PMID18065627
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18065627).
57. GwynethDickeyZaikab(March2011)."Marinemicrobesdigestplastic"
(http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110328/full/news.2011.191.html).
58. ChetnaSharonMadhuriSharon(2012)."StudiesonBiodegradationofPolyethyleneterephthalate:A
syntheticpolymer"(http://scholarsresearchlibrary.com/JMBvol2iss2/JMB201222248257.pdf)(PDF).
JournalofMicrobiologyandBiotechnologyResearch.pp.248257.
59. "FunguseatsCD"(http://www.nature.com/news/1998/010628/full/news01062811.html).Nature.2001.
60. "Fungus'eats'CDs"(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1402533.stm).BBC.June2001.
61. GusseACMillerPDVolkTJ(July2006)."Whiterotfungidemonstratefirstbiodegradationofphenolic
resin".EnvironmentalScienceandTechnology40(13):41969.doi:10.1021/es060408h
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1021%2Fes060408h).PMID16856735
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856735).
62. CappitelliFPrincipiPSorliniC.(Aug2006)."Biodeteriorationofmodernmaterialsincontemporary
collections:canbiotechnologyhelp?"(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16782219/).Trendsin
biotechnology.
63. AndreaRinaldi(November7,2006)."Savingafragilelegacy.Biotechnologyandmicrobiologyare
increasinglyusedtopreserveandrestoretheworldsculturalheritage"
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1679785).EmboReport7(11):10751079.
doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400844(https://dx.doi.org/10.1038%2Fsj.embor.7400844).PMC1679785
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1679785).PMID17077862
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic
17/19

8/25/2015

64.
65.
66.

67.
68.
69.
70.
71.
72.
73.
74.
75.
76.

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1679785).PMID17077862
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17077862).
AlanWeisman,"TheWorldWithoutUs,"HarperCollinsCanada,2010ISBN1443400084.
What'saNurdle?OceanDefenderstheweblog
(http://weblog.greenpeace.org/oceandefenders/archive/2006/11/whats_a_nurdle.html).Weblog.greenpeace.org.
Retrievedon20111103.
BarnesDK,GalganiF,ThompsonRC,BarlazM(July2009)."Accumulationandfragmentationofplastic
debrisinglobalenvironments"(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873009).Philos.Trans.R.
Soc.Lond.,B,Biol.Sci.364(1526):198598.doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0205
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2008.0205).PMC2873009
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873009).PMID19528051
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528051).
EPA.(2012).Landfilling(http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/waste/downloads/Landfilling.pdf).
IsBiodegradabilityaDesirableAttributeforDiscardedSolidWaste?PerspectivesfromaNationalLandfill
GreenhouseGasInventoryModel(http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es200721s).Environ.Sci.Technol.
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/06/embodiedenergyofdigitaltechnology.htmlThemonsterfootprint
ofdigitaltechnology,LowTechmagazine,2009.Retrievedon20121111.
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/whatistheembodiedenergyofmaterials.htmlHowmuchenergydoesit
take(onaverage)toproduce1kilogramofthefollowingmaterials?LowTechmagazine,2009.Retrievedon
20121111.
Seeincinerationforreferencesexceptthatthereisnoreferenceontheincinerationpagefortheneedtoreach
850C
AnnualReviewofPublicHealth,PlasticsandHealthRisks.doi:10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103714
(https://dx.doi.org/10.1146%2Fannurev.publhealth.012809.103714).Missingorempty|title=(help)
TheHinduDec2005(http://www.hindu.com/mp/2005/12/19/stories/2005121900140300.htm).Hindu.com
(20051219).Retrievedon20110701.
[1]
(http://www.solvayplastics.com/sites/solvayplastics/SiteCollectionDocuments/VinyLoop/The%20VinyLoop%
20EcoFootprint%20Study.pdf)
"ImplementationofthePVCpolicy"(http://learninglegacy.london2012.com/publications/implementationof
thepvcpolicy.php).TheLondonOrganisingCommitteeoftheOlympicGamesandParalympicGames
Limited.RetrievedOctober24,2012.
SPIResinIdentificationCodeGuidetoCorrectUse
(http://www.plasticsindustry.org/AboutPlastics/content.cfm?ItemNumber=823&navItemNumber=2144).
plasticsindustry.org

SubstantialpartsofthistextoriginatedfromAnIntroductionToPlasticsv1.0
(http://web.archive.org/web/20070810225820/http:/www.vectorsite.net/ttplast.html)/1March
2001/greggoebel/publicdomain.

Externallinks
J.HarryDuboisCollectionontheHistoryofPlastics,ca.
WikimediaCommonshas
19001975
mediarelatedtoPlastics.
(http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/d8008.htm)
ArchivesCenter,NationalMuseumofAmericanHistory,
SmithsonianInstitution.
MaterialPropertiesofPlasticsMechanical,Thermal&ElectricalProperties
(http://www.plasticsintl.com/sortable_materials.php?display=mechanical)
Listofover600plastics(http://www.ides.com/plastics/default.htm)
PlasticsHistoricalSociety(http://www.plastiquarian.com/)
Historyofplastics,SocietyofthePlasticsIndustry
(http://www.plasticsindustry.org/AboutPlastics/content.cfm?
ItemNumber=670&navItemNumber=1117)
WhatArePlasticsMadeOf?(http://www.popsci.com/archiveviewer?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

18/19

8/25/2015

PlasticWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

id=cycDAAAAMBAJ&pg=58&query=B25)January1943PopularScience
"Abriefhistoryofplastics,naturalandsynthetic"(http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine
27442625),fromBBCMagazine
Scientistshaveannouncedanewrocktype:plastiglomerate
(http://sciencealert.com.au/news/2014050625617.html)
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plastic&oldid=669240075"
Categories: Plastics Dielectrics
Thispagewaslastmodifiedon29June2015,at21:08.
TextisavailableundertheCreativeCommonsAttributionShareAlikeLicenseadditionalterms
mayapply.Byusingthissite,youagreetotheTermsofUseandPrivacyPolicy.Wikipediaisa
registeredtrademarkoftheWikimediaFoundation,Inc.,anonprofitorganization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

19/19