Materials: Plastics

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The origin of plastics began as a technological breakthrough in synthetic materials. In the United States, in particular, plastics have experienced a meteoric rise to become a dominant material in the culture. Plastics are everywhere, from household products to technological devices to building materials to clothes. Plastics have been a major contributor to material culture in the United States. It is the driving force behind disposability. New applications for plastics continue to emerge, and as ubiquitous as these materials are in our culture, they are becoming even more pervasive. In this dawning age of environmental responsibility, new revolutions in plastics must occur. Innovations in eco-friendly manufacturing, sustainability, and processes and applications for recycled plastics are on the horizon. One important part of this revolution, however, is a societal shift in attitudes toward disposable goods. In short, we need to quit sending plastics to the landfill.