A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

s of high molecular mass
Molecular mass
The molecular mass of a substance is the mass of one molecule of that substance, in unified atomic mass unit u...

, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs. Monomers of plastic are either natural or synthetic organic compounds.

The word plastic is derived from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning capable of being shaped or molded, from πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded.