Houses made of waste changing lives in South America

Homes made of discarded plastic bottles, construction waste and old tires are being built across Latin America as new technologies help turn municipal waste into sustainable bricks and tiles.

Computer Sciences

Brain-inspired computing may boil down to information transfer

The biological brain, especially the human brain, is a desirable computing system that consumes little energy and runs at high efficiency. To build a computing system just as good, many neuromorphic scientists focus on designing ...

Energy & Green Tech

Sweden aims to boost plastic recycling with giant plant

Discarded crisp bags, ketchup bottles and Tupperware containers speed along conveyer belts at a massive high-tech sorting plant dubbed "Site Zero", which Sweden hopes will revolutionize its plastic recycling.

page 1 from 13


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