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.

Case of Plastics Test Run: Day II

Following their introductory class, Mike Mackintosh’s Environmental History students engaged in a successful first debate for The Case of Plastics.  

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The Recycling Process, Part III: Reprocessing

Now that we’ve separated the stuff we want from what we don’t, we have to make it into something someone will buy. That’s step 3 in the recycling process—reprocessing.  

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Testing 1, 2, 3

With the bulk of materials for “The Case of Plastics” complete and teachers chomping at the bit to begin introducing the topic, we still had a few concerns about how the game would actually play.  So we called in some CHF staff members to help us test the trickier parts of the game.

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Case of Plastics Test Run: Day I

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.

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The Recycling Process, Part II: Separation

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.

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Tiny Bubbles

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?

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Plastic Pageants

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!

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Posted In: Industry

The Recycling Process, Part I: Collection

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.

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Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby!

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?  

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Selecting the Sources

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.

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