Many products go through production steps during their manufacture in which plastics are used - even if the end product contains no plastic at all. The resulting microplastics we call
Virtual microplasticsare created by the use of synthetic polymers in the manufacture and processing of products. This is regardless of whether the final product contains plastics or not. The useful properties of the more than 200 types of polymers and their various subcategories mean that they are used in most production processes. 370 million tons of plastics were produced and processed in 2019.
If the final product contains plastics, it is called