No, electromagnets attract only magnetic substances. Plastic bags are non-magnetic in nature and are not attracted by an electromagnet. Hence, an electromagnet cannot be used for separating plastic bags from a garbage heap.
Electromagnets are made out of a coil of wire (wire curled in series). This is more effective in producing a magnetic field than just a wire running straight.
A few properties of the magnet are as follows:
- Attractive Property – Ferromagnetic materials like iron, nickel and cobalt are attracted by magnets
- Repulsive Property – Like poles repel each other while unlike poles attract each other
- Directive Property – A freely suspended magnet always points in the north-south direction