What can't be reused, recycled, or composted shouldn't be manufactured in the first place. So it is high time for us to re-examine a lifestyle built on plastics. It is high time for us to create a way of life, based on organic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly products.
Plastic is a word that originally meant “pliable and easily shaped.” Prior to the invention of plastics, the industry was mostly reliant on paper made from wood and other natural resources. Even though the paper is light and easy to shape, it is not durable, does not last long, and consumes wood, all of which are required for the planet's oxygen supply and environmental preservation. Materials, such as metals, bones, horns, stones, etc. are difficult to collect and handle, thus scientists are seeking alternatives that are mass-produced, lightweight, strong, durable, affordable, and not wholly reliant on natural resources.
The plastic revolution began in the industrial world when synthetic polymers, later known as plastics, were discovered and created. The word polymer means "many pieces" or "many molecular chains." Natural polymers, such as cellulose generated from plants, can be found in nature. Humans didn't start making synthetic polymers or artificial polymers until the mid-nineteenth century. Plastic qualities like strength, lightweight-ness, and flexibility can be found in synthetic polymers.
Following WWII, the production and creation of thousands of new plastic goods skyrocketed, altering the modern era to the point that living without plastics would be unrecognizable today. Plastics are now found everywhere. They have taken over from other materials to become common in our homes, businesses, cars, toys, boxes and what not!
“In product after product, market after market, plastics challenged traditional materials and won, taking the place of steel in cars, paper and glass in packaging, and wood in furniture.” - Susan Freinkel (author)
Plastic, which is today overwhelming us, was first designed as a solution to sustain the availability of natural resources on Earth, albeit mostly for economic and practical reasons. Especially over the last 50 years plastics have saturated our world and changed the way that we live. But a product that was meant to save the environment but ended up hurting it. Yes! It is high time for us to create a better and cleaner world. Let's make it a plastic-free world!