The gift that keeps on giving

It’s the holidays once again, which means ‘tis the season to shop.

So, while you’re out there looking for the perfect gift for your friends, family, neighbors, pets, friend’s pets, pet’s friends and yourself (because let’s not kid ourselves, some of those deals are too good to pass up), you might want to think “petrochemicals.”

And if, when you think petrochemical, you’re imagining this…

You’re not wrong! But what you might not realize is that you should also think this…

That’s because, without petrochemicals, none of these products would exist and your holiday shopping might feel even more impossible.

Still not convinced? Well…

Take those golf balls that you bought for your cousin this year…

Golf balls are made up of mostly plastic and rubber materials, which are derived from, you guessed it, petrochemicals. Making a typical ball – means mashing, stretching, chopping and molding synthetic rubber with other ingredients to form a core, and then a cover (urethane or Surlyn®) is molded around that.  And those petrochemical building blocks (for the chemists among us) – most often are ethylene for the cover, and butadiene for the core of the ball.

And the earrings for your mom? Yep…

Synthetic jewelry is often made from polypropylene, a petrochemical often used for ropes, fabrics, and molded objects.

The sunglasses for your nephew…

The five-second synopsis goes like this:  benzene is one of the chemicals produced from crude oil and natural gas – through a series of chemical reactions, benzene is used to produce various polymers, like the polycarbonate used in glasses.

The jacket for your neighbor…

Benzene is also used to make nylon fibers which, in turn, are used to make most of our clothing, due to the fact that it is thin and flexible, but also durable, tough and inexpensive.

And the lipstick for your favorite aunt.

So while you’re gathered round with family and friends this year opening presents, remember that petrochemicals helped make it possible.

So while you’re gathered round with family and friends this year opening presents, remember that petrochemicals helped make it possible.

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