Plastic Consumption

The world’s first completely synthetic plastic, bakelite, was invented at the turn of the twentieth century by Leo Baekeland. He is also responsible for coining the term plastic itself, a term used to refer to a variety of different compounds and polymers known for just how flexible and easily molded they are. Over the past century, plastics have become more and more widely popularized throughout the world, and mankind’s rates of production and consumption of plastic products have surpassed that of anything else comparable to these compounds. Plastics are not only inexpensive to make and unable to be damaged by water, but also degrade at an incredibly low rate. For these qualities, and many more, they have replaced for the most part any natural substance wood or stone, and are used nigh ubiquitously in every aspect of human life.  Plastic products are used for essentially any purpose imaginable, including everything from medical devices to construction to the aerospace industry. In more economically developed nations, about a third of all plastic is used in packaging, and another third is used for the construction industry. The remaining third is used for every other aspect of modern life. As a result of the truly absurd amounts of plastic being used for literally every thing you might need, there is a large amount of plastic waste that must be dealt with. Because most plastics are fairly durable and degrade at an incredibly slow rate, almost all of the plastic the human race has ever …