Polystyrene (PS): is a synthetic aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid petrochemical. Polystyrene can be rigid or foamed. Polystyrene is one of the most widely used plastics, the scale of its production being several billion kilograms per year.
Polystyrene can be naturally transparent, but can be colored with colorants. Uses include protective packaging (such as packing peanuts and CD and DVD cases), containers (such as "clamshells"), lids, bottles, trays, tumblers, and disposable cutlery. Polystyrene is used to make napalm-B, where it makes up about 46% of the formulation.
As a thermoplastic polymer, polystyrene is in a solid (glassy) state at room temperature but flows if heated above about 100 °C, its glass transition temperature. It becomes rigid again when cooled. This temperature behavior is exploited for extrusion, and also for molding and vacuum forming, since it can be cast into molds with fine detail.
It is very slow to biodegrade and therefore a focus of controversy, since it is often abundant as a form of litter in the outdoor environment, particularly along shores and waterways especially in its foam form.