Who would have known that an attempt to solve one big problem would lead to a bigger problem? The case of plastics is one good example.
In the late 19th century, the world was in urgent need of a new material to replace natural ones such as wood, pulps, and metals in particular which was heavily exploited since the Industrial Revolution boom. The first synthetic plastic called ‘Bakelite’ was made in 1907 by Leo Baekeland, a Belgian chemist and inventor.
His work sparked a frenzy of modern plastic era. The plastics technology took a major leap when the petroleum industry successfully turned petroleum waste into resin and compound which are main materials for plastic production. However, the durability of plastics has caused a global plastic pollution and waste management crisis.
However, plastics is still important in some fields including medicine. The material by itself would not have posed this much harm had humans adopted a sustainable lifestyle.