Plastic is a synthetic, moldable material made of a chemical compound or 'polymer' that consists primarily of carbon atoms derived primarily from petroleum (petrochemicals).  Common uses for plastics include textiles, food packaging, bottles, shower curtains, plumbing pipes, furniture, flooring, eyeglasses, and coatings.


Most plastics contain other organic or inorganic compound additives.  Many of the controversies associated with plastics surround additives (such as BPA); biodegradability; post-consumer waste; and the use of oil in manufacturing, production and transportation. 


Traditional plastics degrade very slowly, however bioplastics are derived from renewable biomass sources such as vegetable oils, starches or cellulose and are considered more sustainable in comparison.

(Source: Wikipedia / Photo: Shutterstock)

It's raining plastic in the Rockies

Irish teen wins Google Science Fair with project to remove microplastics from water

Those hotel mini soaps and shampoo bottles will soon be history

Cigarette butts are the most pervasive man-made pollutant

A new material that's part plastic and part rock is forming on this Portuguese island

Our love affair with single-use plastics is over

Why you should kick the plastic straw habit

What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?

How much plastic do you consume every day?

Wild bees are recycling plastic, study finds

Scientists create a new type of plastic that can be recycled forever

Where has all the plastic pollution gone in the Indian Ocean?