PRIMARY PLASTIC POLYMERS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     18th April 2024        

Context: In the context of the ongoing negotiations within the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to end plastic pollution, the term “primary plastic polymers” refers to the types of plastic resins or polymers that are commonly used in the production of plastic products.

Primary Plastic Polymers

  • About: A solid material which contains as an essential ingredient one or more high-molecularmass polymers and which is formed (shaped) during either manufacture of the polymer or the fabrication into a finished product by heat and/or pressure. 

oPlastics have material properties ranging from hard and brittle to soft and elastic.

  • Also known as:  'virgin plastics,' these are polymers directly manufactured from fossil- or bio-based feedstocks, forming the basis of plastic products.
  • Plastic Polymers: These are large synthetic molecules made of smaller units called monomers, bonded together with chemicals.

oComposition: Plastic materials consist of plastic polymers, chemical additives, and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS).

  • Secondary Plastics: Also called 'recycled plastics,' these materials are formed by reshaping plastic waste, with the polymers remaining the same as those in the original material.


  • About: It is a natural or synthetic chemical compound composed of repeating strings of large, chemically-bonded molecules, or monomers.
  • Types of Polymers: Homopolymers (consisting of one type of monomer) or copolymers (consisting of two or more monomers).
  • Constituents of Polymers: These are made of chemically-bonded chains of molecules or monomers, which can vary from simple atoms to complex functional groups of atoms.
output themes