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 "Ben, I want to say one word to you, just one word: Plastics."
– Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, The Graduate

Plastics is a technology in Civilization V.

Game Info[]

The invention of Plastics alters the entire base of modern industry. These lightweight, durable, and highly malleable materials quickly replace most metals and allow great advancements in scientific research and warfare, not to mention their endless applications in civilian life.

Civilopedia entry[]

Plastic is a lightweight, transparent and tough material that does not conduct electricity well. Plastic comes in many different forms, some tougher, some more flexible, some with a greater or lesser tolerance to heat. Plastic can be molded, pressed or extruded into virtually any shape desired. It's found in every facet of modern life, used in everything from automobile bumpers to prosthetic limbs, from baby food jars to infantry weapons. It's one of the most crucial building-blocks of the 21st century.

The first human-made plastic was invented by Englishman Alexander Parkes in 1855. The product, Parkensine, was made from cellulose (plant cell material), and was used as a replacement for ivory, which was becoming ever more difficult to find as the whale population was diminishing world-wide.

The first entirely synthetic plastic was Bakelite, invented in 1909 by Belgian-American inventor Leo Hendrik Baekeland. Bakelite was cheap, strong, and durable. It was used to construct radios, telephones, utensil handles, piano keys, and billiard balls. Although quite tough, Bakelite is also quite brittle. It has been largely replaced by cheaper and more flexible plastics like polystyrene, PVC, nylon, and even more exotic variants created in the 20th century.

Although relatively cheap at the moment, most plastic requires a lot of petrochemicals to manufacture. As that fuel becomes more expensive, so too will plastic. It is possible that some new miracle material will eventually supplant the ubiquitous plastic sometime in the future, but for now plastic is irreplaceable.

See also[]

Civilization V Technologies [edit]
Ancient Agriculture Animal Husbandry Archery Bronze Working Calendar Masonry Mining Pottery Sailing The Wheel Trapping Writing
Classical Construction Currency Drama and Poetry GodsKings5 clear Engineering Horseback Riding Iron Working Mathematics Optics Philosophy
Medieval Chivalry Civil Service Compass Education Guilds GodsKings5 clear Machinery Metal Casting Physics Steel Theology
Renaissance Acoustics Architecture GodsKings5 clear Astronomy Banking Chemistry Economics Gunpowder Metallurgy Navigation Printing Press
Industrial Archaeology Biology Dynamite Electricity Fertilizer Industrialization GodsKings5 clear Military Science Rifling Scientific Theory Steam Power Telegraph1
Modern Ballistics GodsKings5 clear Combustion Electronics Flight Mass Media1 Plastics Radio Railroad Refrigeration Replaceable Parts
Atomic2 Atomic Theory Combined Arms GodsKings5 clear Computers Ecology Nuclear Fission Penicillin Radar Rocketry
Information2 Advanced Ballistics Future Tech Globalization Lasers Mobile Tactics GodsKings5 clear Nanotechnology Nuclear Fusion Particle Physics Robotics Satellites Stealth Telecommunications GodsKings5 clear The Internet BNW-only
Сut Calculus3 Patronage3 Publishing3
1 Vanilla only 2 Atomic and Information eras are Future Era in Vanilla 3 Сut from the game
GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.