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 Health

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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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 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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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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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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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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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.

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