The History of Plastics

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Part
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Plastics: Historical and Interesting Facts

Some timeline points/notable moments in the history of the plastic industry include the discovery of polystyrene in 1839, the discovery of Parkesine in 1862, and the discovery of celluloid in 1863.

SOME TIMELINE POINTS/NOTABLE MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY

TIMELINE - BEGINNING OF THE PLASTIC ERA WITH SEMI SYNTHETICS
  • In 1839, polystyrene or PS was discovered by Eduard Simon.
  • In 1862, Parkesine was discovered by Alexander Parkes.
  • In 1863, cellulose nitrate or celluloid was discovered by John Wesley Hyatt.
  • In 1872, polyvinyl chloride or PVC was first created by Eugen Baumann.
  • In 1894, viscose rayon was discovered by Charles Frederick Cross and Edward John Bevan.
TIMELINE - THERMOSETTING PLASTICS AND THERMOPLASTICS
  • In 1908, cellophane was invented by Jacques E. Brandenberger.
  • In 1909, the first true plastic, phenol-formaldehyde, trade-named bakelite, was invented by Leo Hendrik Baekeland.
  • In 1926, vinyl or PVC by Walter Semon invented a plasticized PVC.
  • In 1927, cellulose acetate was invented.
  • In 1935, low-density polyethylene or LDPE was discovered by Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett.
  • In 1937, Otto Bayer and co-workers discovered and patented the chemistry of polyurethanes, trade-named igamid for plastics materials and perlon for fibers.
  • In 1938, the polystyrene was made practically.
  • In 1941, the polyethylene terephthalate or Pet was invented by Whinfield and Dickson.
  • In 1933, Ralph Wiley, a Dow Chemical lab worker, accidentally discovered another plastic called polyvinylidene chloride, which was later called SaranTM. This plastic was first used for the protection of military equipment and later for food packaging.

INTERESTING/AMUSING/UNEXPECTED FACTS ON THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY

FUN FACTS
  • The polypropylene and PVC are utilized in vehicles to reduce weight, hence, cutting fuel consumption and making vehicles safer and more comfortable.
  • The PVC is also made into blood bags as well as plasma bags that ensure safe and hygienic storage of blood.
  • The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl was discovered during experiments to bond rubber to metal. The material for this research was not expensive to manufacture, and they were durable, fire-resistant, and easily molded.
SOME MIND-BOGGLING FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC THAT ARE RELATIVELY INTERESTING


Part
02
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Part
02

Plastics: Current and Future Insights

The current insights of the plastics/plastic industry include the increase in the global plastic production in the past 10-15 years and increase in the plastic recycled to reduce its negative impact.

CURRENT INSIGHTS OF PLASTICS/PLASTIC INDUSTRY

INCREASE IN THE GLOBAL PLASTIC PRODUCTION IN PAST 10-15 YEARS
INCREASE IN THE PLASTIC RECYCLE TO REDUCE ITS NEGATIVE IMPACT
  • The widespread usage of plastic, especially single-use plastics, is leading to a widespread existence of plastic. In most of the countries, researchers have found plastic fibers in tap water, and most of it enters the ocean as microplastics, adversely impacting marine life.
  • To minimize the negative impact of plastic, there is increased push for plastics to be recycled. In the US, 30% of the plastic bottles were recycled 2017. The recycling rate of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has increased by 90% in Japan. Also, 24 to 74 percent of plastic was recycled in the year in European countries.
THE CURRENT PLASTICS INDUSTRY MARKET SIZE
  • At present, the global plastics industry is valued to be at a market size of $522.66 in 2017.
POLYETHYLENE IS THE KEY PRODUCT OF THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY
  • Polyethylene is one of the key products of the plastic industry. Plastic had a global production of over 80 million tons in 2017 and is being primarily used in the packaging sector, which includes containers and bottles, plastic bags, plastic films, and geomembranes.
PACKAGING INDUSTRY IS THE PROMINENT APPLICATION SEGMENT

FUTURE INSIGHTS OF PLASTICS/PLASTIC INDUSTRY

TRIPLED PLASTIC PRODUCTION BY 2050
INCREASE IN THE MARKET VALUE OF PLASTIC RECYCLING
GROWTH IN THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY MARKET SIZE
  • According to the market report by Grand View Research, the global plastic industry is poised to expand at a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecasted period of 2019-2025.
INCREASE IN THE MARKET VALUE OF POLYETHYLENE WORLDWIDE
RAISING SHARE OF PACKAGING INDUSTRY IN THE PLASTIC MARKET
  • Due to the increasing demand of consumers globally for the for plastics such as polyethylene and PET in the packaging industry, the segment is forecasted to account for more than 35% of the overall revenue by 2025.

Sources
Sources