Plastic is woven into the fabric of our lives.
“No-one in their daily life within a period of 10 minutes isn’t touching something that is made of plastic,” said Professor Andrew Holmes, an emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne and a polymer chemist who has developed special plastics for flat screen TVs and solar cells.
It’s used in everything from the keyboard or pen you are using, to your glasses or contact lenses, the Teflon on your frying pan, and the banknotes in your wallet. It’s in your clothes, phone, car, mattress, and TV screen.
“Plastic can be flexible or rigid, and its lightness also makes it very appealing,” said Professor Holmes.
But for all the benefits plastic has given us, disposing of products — particularly those designed to be used only once, such as packaging — has become a major environmental issue.