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What is Plastic?

Plastics are polymers. Polymers are long chained molecules made up of many smaller units, repeated many times. These units are often a combination of carbon and hydrogen. Other elements like oxygen, chlorine, fluorine, nitrogen, silicon, phosphorous and sulfur can also be added into the molecular makeup of polymers to change their properties.

Plastics are capable of being moulded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments used as textile fibres. Plastics are strong, safe (because they are nearly unbreakable), lightweight (and so use less energy for transport), hygienic and can be recycled and reused.

There are many types of plastics. The most common plastics have a resin code which helps separate them into the different groups. Look at the list of plastics, their resin codes and the products made from them.

Code 1 SymbolPET bottle PET Jacket
Code 2 SymbolHDPE bin HDPE Bottles
Code 3 SymbolPVC electric cord PVC bottle

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