Difference between Plastic and Rubber

Key difference: The main difference between plastic and rubber is based on their nature, structure, and production, wherein the plastic is a man-made, artificial or a by-product of oil and rubber is a natural product which is derived from the sap of the rubber trees.

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Difference between plastic and rubberFrom the simple use of fire, wood, and cement to the invention of metal, mankind has really undergone a revolution to become what they are today. And, with the continuous evolution in technology, progress is only further increasing. Though this change was mostly materialistic, it certainly bore the fruits of development around the world.

Plastic and Rubber, are two revolutionary materials that brought growth in the industries. Both, different in their properties, use, and looks, were widely functional in developing new products. Also, both are quite diverse from each other and it is pretty easy to differentiate between them. The difference between plastic and rubber is also attributed to their respective uses. 

Plastics are defined as organic materials which have a polymeric structure and are derived from oil or petroleum. They are synthetic or artificial in nature. Also, they are high in molecular mass, which makes them moldable when soft, and are widely used in the manufacture of many materials such as coatings, artificial fibers, etc.

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Rubber, on the other hand, is defined as an organic material which is derived from the sap of the rubber trees. The sap or the latex from the trees is coagulated and dried to make rubber. It is elastic in nature and is classified as Elastomers. Also, it has a high stretch ratio, high resistance to breakage and water.

Both plastic and rubber are made up of polymers. Plastic contains polymers such as plasticizer, stabilizer, filler, pigments, etc, whereas rubber contains iso-propene, other organic compounds, and water. The main difference is based on their material, by looking and touching, one can easily distinguish from plastic and rubber.

difference between plastic and rubber

Also, based on their properties, both can be classified easily, there are more than 10000 types of plastic, but the two main types are thermosetting and thermoplastic. On the other hand, there are only two types of rubber, organic and synthetic. Another difference between plastic and rubber is in their specific properties of durability, elasticity, plasticity, etc, which are differentiated in the table below.

Another important difference is their uses, plastics are widely used almost every aspect, like clothing, food, beverages, construction, and many others. While, rubbers are more commonly used in vehicle tires, industrial purposes and basic to advanced warfare. Although both have their differences, it is important to note that now days even plastic is widely used for the production of synthetic rubber, and hence making them similar in nature.

Difference between plastic and rubber:





It is defined as organic materials which have a polymeric structure, and are derived from oil or petroleum.

It is defined as an organic material which is derived from the sap or the latex of the rubber trees.


It is a by-product.

It is a natural product.

Derived from

It is a polymer made from oil.

It is derived from the sap of the rubber trees.


It mainly consists of:

  • plasticizer
  • stabilizer
  • filler
  • pigments, etc.

It mainly consists of:

  • iso-propene
  • other organic compounds
  • Water


It is non-deformable.

It is deformable.



They are less elastic in nature.

They are naturally more elastic.

Toxicity They have low toxicity because of their insolubility in water.  They have high toxicity because of their water content. 

Synthetic materials

Synthetic plastic is made from natural gas or petroleum.

Synthetic rubber is made from crude oil. 


Image Courtesy: atlantaintownpaper.com, fishfaworld.com

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tnx u rili solve my prob. concerning this question.

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