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.

Plastic Blogs

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.  

Read More ›

Posted In: Industry | Invention

Creating the Characters

The Conflicts in Chemistry team recently finished one of the most extensive writing assignments necessary for the project. Learn more about how we developed the role sheets and the characters we created.

Read More ›

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?

Read More ›

An Interim Reflection

We're roughly at the halfway point in the Case of Plastics project. Read project manager Deborah Cook's thoughts on the project so far.

Read More ›

Telling the Story of Plastic

The Chemical Heritage Foundation promotes the study of chemistry’s history and how that history influences contemporary issues. Its website provides a wealth of information about the past, present, and future of plastics.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

Plastics and Responsibility

Should producers be responsible for the products they make? What does responsibility mean? The debate over extended producer responsibility forms the core of The Case of Plastics. 

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›