Staff PCM

23 June 2023

How is plastic made?

How is plastic made?

It is important to know how plastic is composed and what chemicals it contains, because this can help you understand how you can best use it. The advantage of knowing this is that it will allow you to understand how it differs from other materials.

As a result, you will be able to make better choices about which types of plastic are best suited to your needs. It will also help you understand how it behaves in the environment, as well as how best to dispose of it safely when you no longer need it.

At PCM you will find the best materials and tools made from plastic. This way, you will be sure to acquire quality products and great resistance; always at an affordable price for any need.

Article content:
What is plastic?
How is plastic made?
Frequently asked questions

What is plastic?

Plastics are part of our lives. They are found in almost every product we use. The use of plastic is so widespread that it is difficult to imagine a world without it. But did you know that plastic is not just one material? It can be made of many different chemicals and materials, each with different properties and uses.

You may have heard the term "plastic" used to refer to objects or items made from a durable material.  In reality, there are many types and they all have different molecular structures and properties. Depending on how the plastic is composed, it can behave differently under various conditions.

Plastic is a man-made material that has been around for over 100 years. It is made of polymers, molecules bonded together. It can be used to make many different things, such as bottles, straws, cups and toys. It can also be recycled and reused to make new products.

You can tell if something is plastic by looking closely. If you see a long word that starts with "poly" or contains the word "plastic" (such as "polyethylene"), it is probably plastic.


How is plastic made?

Understanding how plastic is made can help you make better decisions about when and where to use it. It will also allow you to educate others about what they buy.

Plastic is a type of material made from polymers. Polymers are long chains of molecules with repeating units. Plastics are made from polymers that can be molded into different shapes.

To make plastics, we start with an organic compound called a monomer, which is a small molecule made of carbon and hydrogen. These monomers are joined together to form polymers, which are long chains of molecules with repeating units.

An example would be ethylene glycol, which is a simple organic compound with two carbon atoms and two hydroxyl groups attached. Ethylene glycol is used to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used in plastic bottles and containers for food and beverages.



Plastics are a versatile and economical choice for a wide range of products, from bottles to kitchenware. They are also incredibly durable, which means they don't break down easily. That's why it's important to know how plastic is composed and how it will behave in different conditions. Here are some of the most common characteristics of plastics:



Plastics can be flexible or rigid, depending on their composition and molecular structure. Flexible plastics tend to be more durable than rigid plastics because they can bend without cracking or breaking.



The hardness of plastics depends on their molecular structure and additives such as fillers and resins. For example, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has a much lower melting point than polycarbonate (PC). This is because PET is softer and more flexible than PC.


Chemical resistance

Different types of plastics have different levels of resistance to certain chemicals:

  • Some plastics are highly resistant to acids, while others are not resistant at all.
  • Some can withstand exposure to extreme temperatures while others melt under intense heat.
  • Some are safe for use around food, while others should never come into contact with any foodstuffs

It does not break down easily in landfills, so it can take thousands of years to dispose of. In addition, depending on how the plastic is composed, it may even contain toxic substances that can leach into food or beverages.


Melting point

Plastic is also used because it has a very high melting point. This property corresponds to the temperature at which the substance changes from a solid to a liquid state.

Most plastics have a high melting point, which means that they can be heated without softening or melting. This makes them useful for many things, such as cooking utensils and food storage containers.



This material can be found in all shapes and forms, and depending on how the plastic is composed, it is used for everything. It's even used to manufacture things you use every day, like smartphones, computers and even your toothbrush.

Because plastics are so versatile, they are used in everything from household items to medical equipment. They can be used as insulation on a boat or in a house where it's cold outside; as it will allow heat not to escape through cracks in the walls or roof. 

It is also used in medicine to help patients suffering from diseases such as cancer or kidney disease. For example, doctors sometimes use plastic tubes called catheters. These tools are used to drain the fluid around their patients' lungs if they are having trouble breathing.


Frequently asked questions

What is plastic?

Plastic is a man-made material that can be molded into various shapes. It is made of polymers, which are long chains of molecules. It is also called polyethylene terephthalate or PET.

What are the advantages of plastic?

Plastic has many advantages: it is lightweight, durable and flexible; it does not rust or corrode. It is easy to recycle, can be molded into any shape or size, and is inexpensive compared to other materials such as glass or metal.

Are all plastics harmful to the environment?

No, some are completely inert (they do not react with anything). Others may contain additives such as colorants and stabilizers that could leach into water supplies. These additives are often added during production to color products.

At PCM we have more than 26 years of experience in the manufacture and conversion of paper products. Contact our consultants to learn about all the solutions we have available for your business.


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