Plastic

Where can I find information about plastic?

Image: Straws Tube Plastic by Hans Braxmeier on Pixabay

Entry last updated: 11/09/20

Introduction

Plastic is a material made by people which can be formed into almost any shape. It is strong, long-lasting and light. There are about 50 different types of plastic. Most plastic is made from chemicals that are in oil, natural gas or coal.

What is plastic and how is it made?

Here are some really good websites that explain what plastic is and how it is made.

Britannica School Primary

Britannica School is one of the EPIC databases. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Search for 'plastic'.
  • Select Plastic (chemical compound) to find out how plastic is made, the history of plastic and plastics and the environment.
  • Choose Reading level 2 for more detailed information.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

DK Findout!

This website has information on lots of different topics in an easy to read format and it's interactive!

  • Choose the 'Science' tile from the homepage.
  • Go to 'materials'.
  • Then plastics.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About DK link on this website. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Wonderopolis

A website that will answer your questions about pretty much anything.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg plastic or plastics. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

ExplainThatStuff

This website covers many topics which are explained clearly in articles, photos, drawings and diagrams.

  • Go to the A-Z Index on the top menu.
  • Scroll down the A-Z list to 'Plastics'.
  • Choose 'Plastics (ordinary petrochemical plastics)'
  • Follow this link to the contents that have headings like What are plastics? and How do we make plastics?
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on this website. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

The impact of plastic

These websites will give you information about the impact plastic pollution has on society and our environment.

Elementary (Gale in context)

This EPIC resource has reliable information on lots of topics including plastic.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids is a clearly set out website that focuses on topics about animals, science, geography and history.

Science Learning Hub

A New Zealand science website with lots of information about science topics. Explore the articles, photos and videos about plastic.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on this website. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Kiwi Kids News

This news website was created by a New Zealand school teacher for New Zealand school students and has an educational focus.

Tips: You can find out who looks after this website by going to the link Our Team .

Books

You will find many books in your public library and school library about plastic. Here are some to get you started:

SCIS no: 1984536
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