What Are Some Examples of Polymers?

Polymers in the World Around You

Slime is a fun example of a polymer.
Slime is a fun example of a polymer. Kevin Tobar / EyeEm / Getty Images

A polymer is a large molecule that is made up of repeating subunits connected to each other by chemical bonds. Do you need some examples of polymers? Here is a list of materials that are polymers, plus some examples of materials that are not polymers.

While plastics are used as a common example of polymers, there are many other materials which are also polymers. Polymers include:

  • Anything plastic
  • Proteins, such as hair, nails, tortoise shell
  • Cellulose in paper and trees
  • DNA
  • Silly putty
  • Slime
  • Rubber

So while paper plates, styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, and a block of wood are all examples of polymers, there are some materials which are not polymers. Examples of materials which are not polymers include:

Usually, these materials form chemical bonds, but not the long chains that characterize polymers. There are exceptions. For example, graphene is a polymer made up of long carbon chains.