Plastic is a part of our everyday life. From our morning routine of brushing our teeth to our cozy pajamas before bedtime, plastic is hard to avoid. But what exactly is plastic? And how did it become so integral to our day-to-day?
What is plastic?
Plastic is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring polymer. Polymers are any substance of repeating materials and can be either malleable or hardened. Some examples of naturally occurring polymers are tortoise shells or animal horns, cellulose, or tar. Plastic on the other hand, while derived from natural materials, is created through a synthetic process.
How is plastic made?
The process of making plastic starts with raw substances such as coal, natural gas, crude oil, or cellulose. It is then broken down into singular particles called monomers. These monomers are then linked back together to create two different versions of materials that can either create hard plastics or softer more malleable plastics.
What is the history of plastic?
While different versions have plastics have been created throughout all of history, the first fully synthetic plastic was created in 1907. This marked the beginning of the popularity of plastics, but World War II was the catalyst for mass production. Because of a shortage of other more natural resources during the war, plastic products such as rubber, nylon, and plexiglass became essential. The production of plastic rose 300 percent during this time and paved the way for it to become widely available to the general public after the war.
Why is plastic problematic today?
While plastic has certainly given way to the affordability and versatility of many products, it has also become a global health and environmental concern. Because of the synthetic nature of plastic, it cannot be naturally broken down taking as long as hundreds of years to biodegrade creating microplastic pollution that can be harmful to human bodies. It is also the main polluter of oceans and the production of plastic releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere.
What can I do about the plastic issue?
While there are several ways that you can take action against plastic pollution, the easiest way is to reduce your overall plastic use. Choose non-plastic products or plastic alternatives when you shop.
Filtrol is working hard to be part of the solution. Our products can help you reduce microplastic pollution, one load of laundry at a time. Find out which Filtrol product is right for you.