Plastics have dramatically changed the way we live, but some people question the merits of those changes. Through The Case of Plastics, CHF staff, teachers, students, and experts discuss and debate the past, present, and future of plastics.
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March 27, 2013 | by Michael Mackintosh
Project researcher Mike Mackintosh shares the results of the first test run of the Case of Plastics, completed over four class periods with a college Environmental History class.
March 22, 2013 | by Dr. Bill Carroll
Now that we have collected a big pile of stuff, we need to separate what we want from what we don’t want. This is part II of the recycling process and our four-part recycling series—separation.
March 20, 2013 | by Jane E. Boyd
Cups, containers, coolers, crafts: the white, light, squishy, and crumbly stuff we call “styrofoam” is everywhere. But what exactly is this stuff, and why is the mayor of New York City trying to get rid of it?
March 13, 2013 | by Stephanie Corrigan
After World War II the plastics industry worked hard to promote the benefits of new plastic products through any means they could—even beauty pageants!
March 8, 2013 | by Dr. Bill Carroll
Recycling is a much-discussed method for disposing of plastics and other materials. But how does recycling work? Chemist and plastic industry executive Bill Carroll breaks the process down in a series of four posts, beginning with Collection.
March 6, 2013 | by Gigi Naglak
The first fully synthetic plastic, Bakelite has now become a museum piece and popular collector’s item. But how can you tell if your Bakelite is real or just another, similar-looking plastic?
February 27, 2013 | by Michael Mackintosh
A major phase of the research project for the Case of Plastics is over. All of the sources that will be provided to students have been selected and assigned to the characters in the game. Researcher Mike Mackintosh reflects on the selection process.
February 20, 2013 | by Stephanie Corrigan
The Internet makes it easy to share ideas and opinions. Explore some of the diverse opinions about plastics through a series of other blogs on the topic.
February 13, 2013 | by Jane E. Boyd
Plastic may seem like a recent invention, but the first synthetic plastics actually appeared 150 years ago, in the 1860s and 1870s. These early plastics served many useful purposes, but, as Jane E. Boyd explains, they could also be very dangerous.
February 6, 2013 | by Neil Gussman
What weighs 9 ounces and saves lives every day? A bicycle helmet of course. These modern miracles provide protections unavailable before the development of plastics.
Affymetrix gene chip, 2000s
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation