Melamine formaldehyde (MF), often referred to as melamine, is a rigid thermoset which is always compression moulded. It can take any colour, and is capable of a high-gloss finish.
Melamine first became commercially available after World War 2.
Melamine tableware was popular during the 1950s and 1960s for its bright colours and 'unbreakable' quality. It later lost favour due to the fact it stained easily. It is often used for ashtrays as it is not only heat resistant but also self-extinguishing.
As a thermoset the only way it can be recycled is to grind it to a powder or chip it into flakes. It is not taken by councils for household recycling. The ground powder is used in shot blasting instead of sharper sand.