Plastic is synthetic or semi-synthetic materials derived from petroleum or gas.
Plastic may be shaped to millions of shapes when it is still soft and keep that shape when hardened.
Plastic is used in the manufacturing of acrylics, polyesters, silicones, polyurethanes, and halogenated plastics.
Plastic has succeeded to replace a lot of materials such as glass, rubber, wood, and metals in a lot of uses.
In 1839, the German pharmacist Eduard Simon had discovered polystyrene by distilling an oily material from the Sweetgum tree. He noticed that it was thickened after a few days.
In 1862, the English inventor Alexander Parkes (1813-1890) was able to produce parkesine. Parkesine is made from cellulose in its organic form.
In 1869, the English inventor and Parkes assistant Daniel Spill (1832-1887), was able to invent xylonite.
In 1870, the American inventor John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920), came with the celluloid. He used the cellulose with alcoholized camphor.
In 1872, the German chemist Eugen Baumann (1846-1896), invented polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
In 1899, the phenol-formaldehyde resins was invented by Arthur Smith.
The American inventor Leo Baekeland (1863-1944) was able to create the bakelite by combining formaldehyde and phenol in 1907. Bakelite was a great success as it was cheaper, and stronger and they were able to shape to thousands of shapes.
The American chemist Wallace Carothers (1896-1937) was able to create nylon in 1939. Nylon was the first synthetic fiber.
Then different kinds of plastic were invented successively. Also recently the disadvantages of the plastic have become clear as they don’t decompose.
The breakthrough of recycling started and solved many problems that will help in keeping Earth green.