Two weeks in! Bakerlite and Billiards.

It’s two weeks now since we gave up buying plastic! It’s difficult, it’s like living back in the 70’s but has definitely focused my attention on just how much unnecessary plastic there is in life. I hope when the forty days is up, the effect will linger and we will never go back to our plastic wasting way of life again! At the moment, I am still able to rely on plastic bought prior to our challenge…old pasta in plastic bags lurking at the back of the larder cupboard for example. Things can only get trickier!

Challenge: Who can find the most ridiculous example of plastic packaging and send the photograph either to here or to my email?

Plastic History

  • I was wondering when plastics first appeared in our lives?
    The first synthetic polymer was invented in 1869 by John Wesley Hyatt. A New York firm offered $10,000 for anyone who could provide a material like ivory.  This was because billiards had become very popular . These first plastics were made using cellulose from cotton plants.
  • In 1907 Bakerlite made its appearance (see the pic of the phone) – it was invented by Leo Baekeland. It was marketed as “the material of a thousand uses,”
  • Nylon was invented during the war, helping to preserve natural resources; it was used for parachutes, ropes and body armour.
  • Plastic rubbish in the oceans was first observed in the 1960s..

Good Plastics?

But, if mankind had not invented plastics, would I be using this laptop to type this blog? Plastics have also created life saving medicines. Replacing natural materials with plastic has made many of our possessions cheaper, lighter, safer and stronger. Food stays fresh longer.

I can see the advantages; however, my issue is that we have overused it. We have become lazy and wasteful. The one use plastics definitely have to go first!

Here is a BBC Earth video which appeared on my Facebook page: WARNING! It has some sobering facts re plastic….http:// BBC Earth 5 hrs · There are 500 times more microplastic particles in the ocean than there are stars in our galaxy. Let that sink in 😳 HuffPost UK

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