History Of Plastic Timeline
July 15, 2021
This Plastic Free July we aren’t just looking at how we can cut out plastic but the story behind it. Here is a simple history of plastic timeline with the basic details you might want to know…
1907 Leo Baekeland created Bakelite, the first fully synthetic plastic – with no molecules from nature. It was marketed as ‘the material of a thousand uses’.
1925 The word plastic was introduced.
1950s After being a key player in WW2, plastic started to become mass produced. The companies that produced plastic to protect cargo in the war started to produce plastic to protect our food. The mentality before and during the war had been to make do, make things last and use until no longer possible. Single use plastic helped change this and people started throwing away more.
1960s Global plastic production increased by 400%.
1979 The world produced more plastic than steel.
2018 480 billion plastic bottles were used. That’s almost 1 million every minute.
2019 Since 1950 annual plastic production has gone from 1.5 million tonnes to 368 million tonnes. Of that 368 million produced per year, 50% is single use ????. Over the last 10 years we’ve produced more plastic than during the whole century!
2021 The global pandemic has resulted in more plastic waste than ever before. From single use PPE to the large amount of packaging used in online shopping. Data based on history warns us that 75% of pandemic plastic will probably end up as waste overflowing our landfills and floating in our oceans.
Main plastic contributors broken down by industry:
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Learn more about the history of plastic here.