Why is plastic so important to the modern world?

Plastic consumption in the world 2020

In the news and on social media there is a lot of conversation about plastic and the environment. Everyone knows about plastic because it’s in their everyday lives in things like beverage bottles and food packaging, but many people don’t really understand what plastic is. There are many types of plastics and to understand how we can deal with plastic and its interactions with the environment it is necessary to research its history and origin.

Today there are thousands of types of plastics. PET is one of the most common plastics in the consumer world and is being used in many, many products, such as beverage and milk bottles and also in some types of packaging.  Here you can see the main types of plastics and their applications:

It is important that we know more about plastic products to understand the real impact of plastics in the world. They are very diverse materials, which cause very diverse impacts on the environment. It is necessary to avoid buying disposable plastics as much as possible, especially polystyrene, a type of plastic that is difficult to recover and recycle.


Plastic is a material made up of organic or synthetic compounds that have the property of being malleable and therefore can be molded into solid objects of various shapes. This property gives plastics a wide variety of applications.[1] Its name derives from plasticity, a property of materials, which refers to the ability to deform without breaking.

In 1839 Goodyear in the United States and Hancock in England developed in parallel the vulcanization of rubber, i.e. the hardening of rubber and its increased resistance to cold. This was the beginning of the commercial success of thermosetting polymers.[8] The following year, in 1839, Goodyear in the USA and Hancock in England developed the vulcanization of rubber.

The plastics industry begins with the development of the first thermoset plastics by Baekeland in 1909. Baekeland produced the first synthetic polymer and also developed the plastic molding process, which enabled him to produce various articles of commerce. These early plastics were named Bakelite in honor of their discoverer. Bakelite is formed by a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde.[9] Baekeland’s first synthetic polymer is called Bakelite.


A battery is a portable generator of electrical energy, which is obtained from the transformation of chemical energy. A battery does not lose its electrical charge except by the physical degradation of its components, and this process is irreversible.

A battery stores electrical charge previously produced by a generator, and it loses its electrical charge constantly over time, whether it is used or not. A battery can be recharged as many times as necessary, until its structure is degraded by use.

Third option: The reality is that when the technology to perform these recycling as in the previous two processes is not available, physicochemical processes are used to reduce the impact and mobility of heavy metals. These techniques include stabilization by the addition of chemical agents that are soluble with the metals, confinement in hermetic containers and encapsulation with cement, followed by vitrification at high temperatures.

What is the relationship between plastic usage time and degradation time after use?

The world is drowning in plastic waste and people are becoming increasingly aware of this global problem. However, we are still a long way from finding sustainable solutions, says Sonya Diehn.

There is more and more plastic waste and it is becoming more difficult to recycle it. Entrepreneurs and environmentalists are calling for less use of plastic packaging and the development of new sorting machinery. (09.05.2018)

The European Commission today presented a proposal to ban plastic disposable tableware and cutlery, straws, balloon-holding sticks and ear buds. (28.05.2018)

A young Nigerian activist proves that it is possible to live in harmony with nature. To that end, she has co-founded a group to convey that message through workshops, cleanups and various school activities.

Their use skyrocketed during the pandemic, but very little has been said about their disposal practices. The masks could become a potential viral vector, or even enter the animal food chain.