After a desultory four-page definition which boils down to three points -- plastics can be molded when heated, contain carbon, and have very large molecules -- Vale reviews their early development, gives a simple explanation of the terms thermosetting plastics and thermoplastics, outlines methods for making ""useful articles"" from the two types, and lists various products made from plastics. There's no attempt to deal with physical essentials: molecular structure is totally ignored except for some unexplained toy-like pictures, cross-linking is not mentioned, and polymerization is mentioned but just barely. The illustrations as a whole are even further from the point: besides pictures of miscellaneous plastic products there is an arrangement of cows and dairy products (including casein buttons) all linked by arrows, and a ""diagram"" which turns out to be a list of ""important products obtained from ethylene"": polyethylene, vinyl chloride, polyvinyl acetate, ethylene glycol, etc. -- and if the terms mean nothing to you going in you won't be any more enlightened coming out. Call it nonbiodegradable garbage.