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.

All posts in Invention

Dangerous Materials?

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.

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How Nine Ounces of Plastic Can Save Your Life

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.  

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Posted In: Industry | Invention

Regulating Waste Management: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Case of Plastics proposes a hypothetical amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. But what does the RCRA really say and do?

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Material of a Thousand Uses

Plastics make our lives easier in countless ways every day.  But if it weren’t for Leo Baekeland and his first synthetic plastic, our lives might be very different.

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Innovative Disposal:  What Do We Do with Plastics?

Plastics do not biodegrade. A plastic bag we use for 10 minutes will last for centuries. This problem of persistence has driven many scientists and innovators to find new ways to effectively dispose of plastics.

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