25 Important Truths You Never Knew About Plastic And How It Changed Our World

Plastic is one of those things that are so prevalent that you don’t even realize how much you are taking it for granted. Nearly everything these days contains some amount of plastic.  In fact, without plastic it would barely be possible for you to read this article. Your computer, your phone, your TV, your car, almost all of your appliances, your toiletries, your school supplies, even your clothes. It all relies on plastic. Medicine, science, airplanes, the space shuttle…everything. It is one of those things that just sort of crept into our lives and now we can’t do without it. But what is plastic? It seems sort of obvious. It’s just…plastic. But really, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. First of all, did you know that plastic is basically an organic material? That’s right. Like you, me, and the gas in your car, it’s all based on carbon. Who knew one element could be so important right? And you thought you couldn’t live without oxygen (uh…you can’t!). So, for better or for worse, plastic has changed our lives. These are 25 important truths you never knew about plastic and how it changed our world!

Featured Image: publicdomainpictures.net

25

Every year, over 6,000 people are treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States for injuries they received while trying to open plastic packaging

Every year, over 6,000 people are treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States for injuries they received while trying to open plastic packaging

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

24

Rwanda is the first country to ban plastic bags

Rwanda is the first country to ban plastic bags

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

23

Cellophane isn't actually plastic. It is made from cellulose and biodegrades in about 3 months if it is buried.

Cellophane isn't actually plastic. It is made from cellulose and biodegrades in about 3 months if it is buried.

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

22

The toy plastic whistles that used to be found in Captain Crunch cereal boxes were the first tools used by hackers (this was before the computer age back when people hacked phones)

The toy plastic whistles that used to be found in Captain Crunch cereal boxes were the first tools used by hackers (this was before the computer age back when people hacked phones)

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

21

The new car smell is caused by an additive in plastic called plasticizers. Some variations are actually endocrine disruptors

The new car smell is caused by an additive in plastic called plasticizers. Some variations are actually endocrine disruptors

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

20

Those little plastic tables in the middle of your pizza are called "pizza savers"

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

19

There is a type of plastic called galalith that can be made from milk. It is biodegradable, odorless, and nonflammable. Unfortunately it can't be molded once it is set.

There is a type of plastic called galalith that can be made from milk. It is biodegradable, odorless, and nonflammable. Unfortunately it can't be molded once it is set.

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

18

In the 1960s General Electric came up with a way to bring an astronaut back to Earth in an emergency. It consisted of a plastic bag filled with foam, a rocket, and a parachute.

In the 1960s General Electric came up with a way to bring an astronaut back to Earth in an emergency. It consisted of a plastic bag filled with foam, a rocket, and a parachute.

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

17

Subways in Beijing allow travelers to pay their way with plastic bottles to encourage recycling

Subways in Beijing allow travelers to pay their way with plastic bottles to encourage recycling

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

16

Plastic2Oil is a company that turns plastic back into oil

Plastic2Oil is a company that turns plastic back into oil

Source: plastic2oil.com, Image: pixabay

15

Studies have shown that many plastics release chemicals that resemble hormones

Studies have shown that many plastics release chemicals that resemble hormones

Source: npr.org, Image: wikipedia

14

You could stack lego bricks to a height of 3.5 km before the brick on the bottom fails

You could stack lego bricks to a height of 3.5 km before the brick on the bottom fails

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

13

There is a huge patch of disposed plastic particles floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (it can't be seen with the naked eye though because the particles are too small)

There is a huge patch of disposed plastic particles floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (it can't be seen with the naked eye though because the particles are too small)

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

12

If you tie a plastic bag around leaves on a tree you'll get enough water to keep you from being dehydrated

If you tie a plastic bag around leaves on a tree you'll get enough water to keep you from being dehydrated

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

11

In 1941, Henry Ford made a car out of hemp and soybean plastic that ran on ethanol

In 1941, Henry Ford made a car out of hemp and soybean plastic that ran on ethanol

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

10

According to the EPA, recycling one ton of plastic conserves 3.8 barrels of crude oil

According to the EPA, recycling one ton of plastic conserves 3.8 barrels of crude oil

Source: livestrong.com, Image: wikipedia

9

Ferrite Beads are the little plastic things at the end of data cables. They are used to stop interference from other electronics.

Ferrite Beads are the little plastic things at the end of data cables. They are used to stop interference from other electronics.

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

8

White, paper, Starbucks cups are not possible to recycle because of the plastic liner on the inside

White, paper, Starbucks cups are not possible to recycle because of the plastic liner on the inside

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

7

In 2007, more than 2 million bits of plastic were dropped into Ivanhoe Reservoir in California to deflect sunlight and prevent the bromide and chlorine in the lake from reacting with sunlight. Why? The reaction would produce carcinogens.

In 2007, more than 2 million bits of plastic were dropped into Ivanhoe Reservoir in California to deflect sunlight and prevent the bromide and chlorine in the lake from reacting with sunlight. Why? The reaction would produce carcinogens.

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

6

Although Europe is known for being green friendly, Europeans only recycle 2.5% of the bottles they use

Although Europe is known for being green friendly, Europeans only recycle 2.5% of the bottles they use

Source: greenbuzzz.com, Image: wikipedia

5

The pink, plastic flamingo is the official city bird of Madison, Wisconsin

The pink, plastic flamingo is the official city bird of Madison, Wisconsin

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

4

In 1950, Nat Sherman introduced the plastic tipped cigar. Although the company applied for a patent, they never got one. This didn't stop them from successfully scaring away rivals with the words "patent pending" on their packaging

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

3

Four out of five bags in the United States are plastic

Four out of five bags in the United States are plastic

Source: greenbuzzz.com, Image: wikipedia

2

Scientists in Spain have developed a self-repairing plastic called "terminator" in a tribute to the movie

1

There is a species of fungus in the Amazon that can feed on plastics (Pestalotiopsis microspora)

There is a species of fungus in the Amazon that can feed on plastics

Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia