Here are some of the products made from synthetic polymers Dont know what a polymer is? You can find out here.
When polypropylene – see below is biaxially oriented, it becomes the crisp crystal clear stuff used for greeting cards, the plastic wrapping round boxes of tea etc.
Plastics made from plants rather than oil.
Bio- degradable Plastic
Plastic with addatives to make it bio -degrade
Plastic that has been certified compostable
Chlorine based plastics:
Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE)
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC)
Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE)
Polychloroprene (CR or chloroprene rubber, marketed under the brand name of Neoprene)
Fluorine based plastics:
Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP)
For more on these check out Dioxins and PVC
HDPE- is used to make supermarket type carrier bags, chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, plastic milk cartons, juice bottles, shampoo bottles, and liquid detergent containers
LDPE (Low density polyethylene) plastic code 4
LDPE- used to make soft clear bags for packing of vegetables some bread and frozen food bags, trash cans, and garbage can liners. Also used to make toys and clothes, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, molded laboratory equipment and corrosion-resistant work surfaces. Parts that need to be weldable and machinable, parts that require flexibility, computer components, such as hard drives, screen cards and disk-drives are all made from LDPE,
A synthetic fibre used to make all sorts of fabrics
A compostable plastic.
Polyethylene terephthalate PET or PETE plastic code 1
PET fibers are used with other fibers to strengthen them, to make a fiber filling, for fabrics, and carpets, automobile tire yarns, conveyor belts and seat belts, for nonwoven fabrics for stabilizing drainage ditches, culverts, and railroad beds, disposable fabrics for use in medical applications and nappies. Its other major use is for bottles and jars for food processed at low temperatures –PET starts softening at around 70 °C (160 °F).
Polypropylene PP plastic code 5
Can be used to make ropes, thermal underwear, carpets, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types. Used in the automobile and construction industries, some car battery casings, oil funnels, and plastic drinking straws, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes.
Polystyrene – PS plastic code 6
Polystyrene disposable (ha!) products such cups, plates, bowls, trays, and cutlery; food packaging like fast food clamshells, meat trays, egg cartons and yogurt pots; protective packaging such as shaped end pieces used to ship electronic goods and loose fill peanuts. Find out more here
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic non stick coating for cookware, to line containers and pipework for reactive and corrosive chemicals, armoured bullets . Goretex and the Millenium Dome incorporate PTEF. It is an efficient lubricant. And reduces friction,wear, and energy consumption of machinery.
Polyvinyl chloride PVC plastic code 3
White brittle plastic until you add plasticisers the most common being phthalates then it becomes soft and flexible. It can be used in both its rigid and soft form for electrical cable insulation, inflatable products, traffic cones applications in which it replaces rubber, construction, clothing and upholstery. It is also used for some clear food packages and liquid detergent containers. Lots more on PVC here
Silicone and silicone rubberMan made polymers made from siicon and rubber – lots more information here
Used to make flexible foam in upholstered furniture and rigid foam such as shoe soles. It also comes in a fluid form in varnishes, adhesives and sealants.
Plastic codes are the number you find on some plastics to identify the polymers used. There are many more plastics than numbers and new plastics are being made all the time. Find out more here
- Bakelite, i.e. phenol-formaldehyde resin
- Kevlar, Twaron, i.e. para-aramid
- Kynar, i.e. PVDF
- Mylar, i.e. polyethylene terephthalate film
- Neoprene i.e. Polychloroprene
- Nylon, i.e. polyamide 6,6
- Orlon, i.e. polyacrylonitrile
- Rilsan, i.e. polyamide 11 & 12
- Technora, i.e. copolyamid
- Teflon, i.e. PTFE
- Ultem, i.e. polyimide
- Vectran, i.e. aromatic polyamide
- Viton, i.e. poly-tetrafluoroethylene
- Zylon, i.e. poly-p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole (PBO)
More information on polymers
Find out more about plastic, the boycott and us here
- What Common Objects Used to Be Made Of (wired.com)