How Plastic Is Made?

What Is Plastic?

Every time you watch your television, type away on your laptop, sit on a plane, or even get on a bus, you’re using plastic. Every time you buy lunch from a supermarket, pick up a prescription from the pharmacy or also visit the hospital, you’re using plastics. The amount of plastic that you use in your daily life could shock you, but what is plastic?

Derived from natural materials like gas, oil, coal, and minerals, plastic has been created from all of these things. Rubber trees create rubber, which is plastic! Crude oil is a mix of thousands of different compounds, and the production of plastic always begins with crude oil distillation at a refinery. Fractioning the crude oil means naphtha is created, which is a crucial compound of plastic. Sounds very technical, doesn’t it? When you were in high school and learning in chemistry, you may have learned about atoms and molecules. When it comes down to it, plastics are chains of molecules that link together, and these chains are called polymers. Polymers are made up of carbon and hydrogen, but silicon, phosphorous, chlorine, sulfur and oxygen (plus more) can all play a part.

Plastic Containers For Pharmaceutical Use

Almost everything out there on the shelves is packaged with plastics, and most packaging materials are either partly or wholly comprised of plastics, too. They’re common in food storage and waste storage, but the pharmaceutical industry also uses plastics in its packaging. Plastic containers are mostly in contact with the pharmaceuticals that they are carrying, which means that they are made without anything that could present a risk of toxicity.

What is The History Of Plastic Bottles?

Plastic has been around for many years, but there have been several evolutions over time. The creation and restructuring of plastic have meant that the more we restructure it, the harder it becomes to recycle. In 1947, plastic bottles came into commercial use but stayed an expensive option over the glass for almost another decade. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that polyethylene was introduced, which became popular with manufacturers for their light weight. This meant that transportation costs and production costs were low versus glass bottles, and as plastic is more durable, it became the most popular option.

America saw the first bottled soda water in 1835, but it wasn’t until 1970 that plastic bottles were used for soft drinks. In 1977, PET bottles weight in at 60 grams and then further reduced to 48 grams. Coca Cola began to blend recycled plastics into its plastic beverage bottles in 1990, but the world advanced to the point of creating a ship made of plastic in 2010!

We are now moving toward more sustainable living, so companies that are creating plastic bottles need to search for ways to use recyclable plastics; otherwise it won’t be as popular in the generations to come.