" Omnipresent since the 1950s, plastic has revolutionized our habits. But this material also pollutes our air, water and soil. Scientists are therefore looking for alternatives.
Plastic has been part of our daily lives for nearly a century. It wraps our food, softens our clothes, insulates our homes, protects us from knocks or glitters our cheeks... Plastic seems so indestructible that it has revolutionized our lifestyles, becoming synonymous with hygiene, practicality and modernity. But what exactly are we talking about?
Plastic is a chain of polymers: a sort of large necklace of carbon-rich molecules. "It's an organic compound, made from the same molecules as living organisms," explains Jean-Luc Audic, Associate professor in Chemistry at ISCR. These polymers can be natural, like rubber, a material often obtained by the transformation of the latex secreted by certain plants such as the rubber tree. But the large majority are derived from hydrocarbons, i.e. refined petroleum, the fossil resource that enabled the industrialization of plastic production in the second half of the 20th century. ... "
Jean-Luc Audic, Univ Rennes, CNRS, ISCR-CNRS UMR 6226, F-35000 Rennes, France
jean-luc [dot] audicuniv-rennes [dot] fr
Published January 11, 2024