One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a substance that started in a plastic (mouldable) state and was subsequently made hard or rigid (now disused). In later use: a plastic that is hard and rigid, such as PVC, ABS, and polymerized methyl methacrylate; plastic of this kind.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in U.S. Patents. From hard + plastic.
hard plastic/ˌhɑːd ˈplastɪk/
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