“Eventually, the combination of need, scientific advances and serendipity led to the full suite of polymers that you can now readily recognize as ‘plastics.’ These polymers were rapidly commercialized, thanks to a desire to reduce products’ weight and to provide inexpensive alternatives to natural materials like cellulose or cotton. . . .
“Polymers are sometimes criticized for being produced from increasingly scarce petroleum and natural gas. However, the fraction of either natural gas or petroleum used to produce polymers is very low; less than 5 percent of either oil or natural gas produced each year is employed to generate plastics. Further, ethylene can be produced from sugarcane ethanol, as is done commercially by Braskem in Brazil.”
FULL STORY published August 9, 2018 via The Conversation