Human development has reached great heights, much more that anyone could have hoped for in the past 100 years. Technology and the discovery of fossil fuels has led us to the discovery of plastics. The word “plastic” was a relatively new word, considering that it was discovered less than a century ago. Man made polymers and synthetics were made possible coinciding with our discovery and use of oil derivatives. Our discoveries led to the method of extracting ester based compounds, that enabled us to combine it with ethanol compounds which led to our creation of synthetics such as nylon.
The use of plastics in an industrial scale was never fully realized until the early 1960′s. Back then, plastics was a relatively new material that had very little industrial application such as rain coats and buttons. By the mid 1960′s, the use of plastics had resulted in an industry in which it found more practical use in house hold items such as plates, spoons and forks, including other house ware and kitchen utensils. It was during this time when Robert Dart, the father of Ken Dart, founded the Dart Container Corporation, and was considered as one of the pioneer manufacturing companies that started producing plastic food containers.
The use of plastic food containers has made it possible to lower the cost of food manufacturing that involves the use of glass bottle containers and tin cans. Manufacturing costs had been reduced which also contributed to a more efficient means of prolonging storage and handling of food products. It was a matter of convenience that led to the food industry’s shift for opting the use of plastic food containers as it give a more efficient means to handle food products and is more economically reasonable as well.
The use of plastic food containers led the way for the use of plastics in a larger scale of applications in our daily life. Today’s fast food industry is one of the most frequent users of plastic food containers for their products. Items such as paper plates, cups and utensils are a familiar daily occurrence, in fact, there is no place on our planet that you will not find a plastic cup or any plastic product for that matter. Today, plastic based products are a part of our daily life as it is integrated on almost everything we see and touch.
For reasons of affordable costs and ease in production, plastics has now transformed the way we live in a very efficient way. The integration of modern technological aspects in regards to the electronics industry, has made it possible for us to create all the modern electronics that we use and enjoy for our convenience, which was not possible 50 years ago. This is why we have all these conveniences that we can literally fit in our pockets, though it would be a very different story otherwise if we had not discovered the potentials of this polymer based material called plastic.
Today, researchers are still continuing to conceive new ways of making plastics more stronger, lighter and resilient. Modern day advanced research in the use of internally integrated plastic prosthetics used for medical purposes can withstand enzymes that eat away plastics, are introduced inside the human body, which do not produce toxic substances that react to internal body fluids. We have indeed gone a long way with the use of plastics as one of the basis of almost all the products we use in our daily life. You may consider that we have put our reliance on plastics as well. We know for sure that we can not achieve what we are today if it was not with the help of plastics, and it seems that the world and the life we live, evolves inside a paper cup.