The backbone of plastics: polymers.

Vanessa Koch — — 2 minutes

What we colloquially call plastic is plastic. A collective term for all artificially produced substances that are made from petroleum and consist of macromolecules, so-called polymers. Under chemical processes and the addition of additives, plastics are created in various forms and compositions. Depending on which chemical additives are added, the result is solid, soft or, for example, thin plastic such as films.

Polymere sind das Rückgrat von Plastik.
Polyethylene Terephthalate - PET for short - the material from which most plastic bottles are made.

The polymers, which means that they are made up of many identical parts, are macromolecules - which are obtained from natural substances or are purely synthetic. There are 3 types of polymers:

  • Synthetic polymers: They are produced by chain polymerization, polyaddition or polycondensation from monomers or pre-polymers.
  • Semi-synthetic polymers: They are produced by modifying natural polymers - mostly cellulose to celluloid.
  • Bio Plastics and bio-based plastics: The "bio" in plastics stands for different properties: biodegradability or bio-based production from plant materials. In the end, however, they remain plastics! They are processed in such a way that they are almost identical to plastics made from crude oil. And this does not make them an alternative, but rather a marketing trick by the industry for an old new business model.