Before plastic was invented, materials used were primarily gathered from nature.
- Turtle Shell
- Ivory (from the tusks of elephants)
As a result, Turtles and Elephants faced extinction.
Scientists were tasked to provide a substitute for ivory and experimented to develop a new material that would be long-lasting and useful, and that didn’t require hunting/ harming animals.
Scientists developed a material that could be easily made using leftover parts from oil.
When the oil was combined with acid – a long lasting and durable material was formed.
The invention of Plastic (Which means pliable and easily shaped)
This discovery was revolutionary.
For the first time human manufacturing was not constrained by the limits of nature.
The development helped not only people but also the environment.
Plastics could protect the natural world from the destructive forces of human need.
The reputation of plastics has suffered due to a growing concern about the potential threat they pose to human health and the environment.
Health concerns focus on the additives (such as the much-discussed bisphenol A [BPA] and a class of chemicals called phthalates) that go into plastics during the manufacturing process.
While so many plastic products are disposable, the plastic itself lasts forever in the environment. The plastics industry has been working on the implementation of recycling as a solution. However, the infrastructure for recycling is far from perfect, and most plastics still end up in landfills or in the environment.
The future of plastic:
Plastics have a valuable place in our lives, but there is a need to make plastics safer and more sustainable.
Therefore, we are looking at using:
- Bioplastics: Made from plant crops instead of fossil fuels, to create substances that are more environmentally friendly than conventional plastics.
- Plastics that are truly biodegradable.
- An efficient waste management system that allows for successful recycling
Plastics are an important and necessary part of our future.
Together we can make our world better by being actively involved in “Reducing, Reusing, Recycling” plastic.