The Utopian Promise of Plastics

Promise of Plastics

In the 4th century BC, humans invented the wheel.  The 11th century marked the discovery of the compass. Motivation to explore new things is in human nature. As time passes, the spirit to discover new elements on planet earth also increased.

For a while Let’s just look around and observe that out of all human discoveries which is the most important one? Which invention is surrounding us the most? Most of you will say Mobile Phone. Some may give priority to electricity.

Others may vote in favor of the Internet. But above all, there is a parent invention that gave birth to millions of other newly made things.

The Great Discovery

The masterpiece we are talking about is “Plastic”. Doesn’t make sense? Let’s dig deep into facts to make things clear. Plastic was discovered in the year 1907.

Within a century in 2018, plastics generation in the United States alone was 35.7 million tons. Today, most of the things we came across every day are made up of plastic.

The water bottles, straws, coffee cups, toiletries, tech equipment, shopping bags, and thousands of other things we can’t live without are made up of plastic.

At the time of its inception, Plastic promised a luxurious and ideal future. And I think it has fulfilled its promise.

Who made plastic?

The first plastic thing ever made was Bakelite. Bakelite was initially used in manufacturing electric equipment. It was named after its inventor Leo Hendrik Baekeland. What a genius Baekeland was! Let’s take out a moment and remember the great legend. He was a Belgian American chemist. He also had the honor of inventing Velox Photographic paper.

When does plastic become normal?

During the decades of 1920 and 30 things manufactured by plastic made their way to the life of humans. Since then, till now it’s Plastic everywhere.

In the year 2020, the global plastic market size was USD 579.7 Billion. As per statistics, China was the biggest producer of plastic. It had 31 percent of the total plastic produced worldwide in 2019. NAFTA was second with 17 percent. It involves three countries Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Promise of Plastics

Where things went wrong?

Plastics, no doubt brought ease to our lives. But with all the luxuries and facilities it is also one of the prime hazards to our planet earth.

Plastic pollution emerged as one of the most critical issues, the world is facing. China, which is the leading plastic producer is also on top for mismanaging wastes and plastics.

As per statistics, 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste are in oceans. Because of which around 100 million marine animals die yearly.

Promise of Plastics

What’s the way forward?

To fulfill the utopian promise of plastics. We need to take charge. Every problem has a solution. The solution to plastic pollution is recycling. 91 percent of the plastic is not recycled.

It gets transformed into a burden. Our future generations will have to pay the price of this burden. If we didn’t take any action. The recycling rate of plastic in the United States was just 8.7 percent.

From Reducing pollution to saving energy, recycled plastic has several advantages. It can act as one of the most effective tools. Through which we can guarantee a bright future for our planet earth. Let’s try and utilize Baekeland’s invention in the best possible way.

Politigory provides in-depth reviews of science, history, humanities, religion, social sciences and arts 🌎

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