The Case of Plastics 

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.

A Well-Reasoned Debate

In a test run of the Case of Plastics, CHF staff members fought over every point and found compromise difficult.  The Palisades High School students proved much more reasonable.  

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Student Perspectives: The Cost of Research

The goal of The Case of Plastics is to help students think more critically about the role of plastics in their lives and our world. Over the next several weeks we will hear from students about their experiences. First is Taylor Opaliski from the Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls.

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Little Flower Pilot II

The Case of Plastics is under way at the Little Flower Catholic High School. Deborah Cook reflects on their second debate and community event.

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When Plastics Aren’t Forever: Part III

“Permanent” does not always mean what museum curators would want it to as plastics in their care change over time. In his third and final post Sam Kean explores the dangers facing famous works of art.

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Little Flower Pilot I

The Case of Plastics is under way at the Little Flower Catholic High School. Deborah Cook reflects on their first debate.

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When Plastics Aren’t Forever: Part II

We are often told that plastics are permanent, but plastics do change over time, often in nasty ways. In his second post Sam Kean explores some of the specific problems posed by different types of plastics.

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When Plastics Aren’t Forever: Part I

We are often told that plastics are permanent, but plastics do change over time, often in nasty ways. In a series of posts Sam Kean explores the unique problems of preserving plastic objects and art for posterity.

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The Case of Plastics Test Run: Day IV

One the final day of the Case of Plastics test run at Ursinus College, Mike Mackintosh and his students drop their character and discuss what they have learned about plastics.  

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The Recycling Process, Part IV: Resale

We’ve collected, separated out what we want, cleaned it up, and put it back in condition to be sold. But it’s not good for anything until someone uses it again—the final step in the recycling process.

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