Watch Are Plastics Too Strong?



The similar chemistry that will make plastic hard, light-weight and flexible also will make it almost extremely hard to get rid of, mainly because it is hard to split all those resilient chemical bonds.

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To find out more, start out your googling with these keywords:
Polymer: A material whose molecular composition is made up of substantial quantities of similar models covalently bonded jointly
Covalent bond: A strong type of bond in which adjacent atoms share electrons.
Backbone chain: A extensive sequence of covalently bonded atoms that develop the continual chain of the molecule.
Bioplastic: A type of plastic, normally biodegradable, manufactured from organic substances.
Scission: The breakage of a backbone chain at the bond stage.
Microbial biodegradation: The use of microbes to split molecules into lesser and less destructive kinds.

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Movie Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia
Movie Director: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Movie Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



Image Credits:

Disposable plastic cup – Wikimedia consumer Lionel Allorge

Sandbox and Seashore Toys – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

PET plastic – Montgomery County Division of Strong Squander Services

LEGO Tank – Flickr consumer MaxFragg

PVC Pipe – Pam Broviak

IKEA Watering cans – Sonny Abesamis

LEGO Figure – Marco Verch

Wetsuit – Clemens Pfeiffer

White PVC Pipes – Teresa Trimm

STS-120 Shuttle Mission Imagery – NASA

Giving clear drinking water – United kingdom Section for Global Advancement



Albertsson, A. and Hakkarainen, M. (2017). Made To Degrade. Science. 358 (6365). 872-873. Retrieved from:

De Hoe, G., Zumstein, M., Tiegs, B., Brutman, J., McNeill, K., Sander, M., Coates, G., and Hillmyer, M. (2018). Sustainable Polyester Elastomers from Lactones: Synthesis,Attributes, and Enzymatic Hydrolyzability. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 140: 963-973. Retrieved from:

Tokiwa, Y., Calabia, B., Ugwu, C., and Aiba, S. (2009). Biodegradability of Plastics. Global Journal of Molecular Sciences. 10: 3722-3742. Retrieved from:

Rydz, J., ,Sikorska, W., Kyulavska, M., and Christova, D. (2015). Global Journal of Molecular Sciences. 16: 564-596. Retrieved from:

Hillmyer, M. (2017). The Assure of Plastics from Vegetation. Science. 358 (6365). 868-870. Retrieved from:

Hillmyer, M. (2017). Section of Chemistry, College of Minnesota. Private Interaction.
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