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How are Plastic Bags made?

From Sciencing comes the following information on how plastic bags are made……….  Please follow the link to the original article in order to read it in full.

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“Plastic bags are made from a ubiquitous polymer substance known as polyethylene. This begins as ethylene, commonly extracted from natural gases, then treated to become the polymer, forming long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These chains can vary depending on what type of polyethylene is being used, but they all help create various types of plastic bags.

General Plastics

Plastics are created from a group of synthetic molecules known as polymers. Polymers are large, easy to create and made up of a repeating molecular pattern created by units called monomers. In plastic bags, these repeating structures are made of ethylene. Ethylene is chemically changed into polyethylene, the building block of all plastic bags. Polyethylene is made up of many winding chains of carbon atoms, interlaced with and bonded to hydrogen atoms. Because plastic is formed in this patterned structure, it is easy to manipulate into a variety of shapes and densities.

Sources

The source substances of polyethylene vary, but are almost always some form of fossil fuel. Both petroleum and natural gas are common sources and vital ingredients in almost all plastic bags available today. Properly refined, they yield ethylene, which is in turn made into polyethylene. This process is used mostly with natural gas, which yields a very flexible polyethylene substance that can be formed into nearly any shape and manufactured in any color.”

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