The involution of plastic

The involution of plastic

Plastics have taken over the planet, its growing production is leaving its mark on every corner of the planet and pollutes our seas with the imminent threat of extinction of our species, but we know very little about its history that began its use under natural materials with plastic properties intrinsic, such as lacquer created from insect secretions that are mixed with alcohol; chewing gum made from the resin of the mastic tree, birch bark tar or fir sap. From there it had a chemical modification with which raw materials such as rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen or galalite were created. Finally, the great diversity of completely synthetic materials that we recognize as modern plastics began to appear in the nineteenth century called parkesin, invented by the English chemist Alexander Parkes in 1862. In essence it was nitrocellulose softened with vegetable oils and camphor. The American John W. Hyatt discovered the fundamental role of camphor in plasticization and called the substance celluloid.

The first fully synthetic plastic was Bakelite, created from phenol and formaldehyde by the Belgian chemist, a nationalized American, Hendrik Baekeland in 1910. Acetate film was used for wrapping since World War I, and in 1935 it began to be used the triacetate for photography, PVC was produced from 1912 (date of the patent of the Germans Klatte and Zacharias) by means of the polymerization of vinyl chloride, discovered by Regnault in 1835. A fundamental advance was the discovery of macromolecules by the German chemist Hermann Staudinger, in 1953, the German chemist Karl Ziegler developed polyethylene, and in 1954, the Italian Giulio Natta developed polypropylene, which are the two most widely used plastics today. In 1963, these two scientists shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their studies on polymers.

However, despite its multiple practices, the passage of time has shown that the consequences of its use can be dire, since a way of treating the discarded plastic that generates a real impact of environmental rescue has not been used, very few companies They have created ecological ways to reuse this in addition to the few people who generate awareness of its use, human beings are not prepared for the consequences and the actions we must take to avoid the catastrophe that is seen on the horizon.

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