"Plastic" is the collective name for synthetic or semi-synthetic organic materials that is today inextricably related to everyoneâ€™s life. The origin of the term "plastic" is not known with certainty - perhaps it is Greek for plastikos meaning fit for mouldingâ€™ or from plastos meaning moulded . Plastics consist of long chain molecules (amorphous solids) or polymers of high molecular mass which do not break apart when flexed and are easily shaped and moulded with heat or pressure. During manufacture of industrial products, this malleability of plastics allows them to be cast, pressed or extruded into a variety of shapes such as fibres, filaments, films, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, coatings, adhesives and much more. Certain other properties of plastics like light weight, strength, production cost, easy fabrication and accessibility have made it a raw material of choice for plastic manufacturers. Plastics primarily consist of artificial (petroleum-based) resins, but can also be created from natural substances as in certain cellular derivatives and shellac.
Bioplastic is an important and exciting new field in biotechnology which promises to help in saving the environment and slow down the depletion of non renewable resources. Bioplastics may be derived from biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, pea starch etc., rather than fossil fuel plastics which are derived from petroleum. However not all bioplastics are designed to biodegrade.
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