Facts you didn’t know about plastic

We had such a fantastic response to our post ‘7 things that will SHOCK you about plastic’, so we’ve brought you yet another post containing facts you probably didn’t already know about plastic! These relatively useless facts can be used to slip into everyday conversations and make you seem like an undercover genius…

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The word ‘plastic’ actually comes from the Greek plastikos, and means “capable of being shaped and moulded” The term was introduced in 1925, approximately 100 years after the first chemist started working with natural rubber.

About 500 billion plastic bags are used across the globe every year

The Beijing subways allow travelers to use plastic bottles as a form of payment to encourage recycling.

A fleece jacket can be made from 25 recycled plastic drinks bottles… imagine how many fleece jackets the world could make!

 The first plastic was invented by Alexander Parkes in 1856 and was called Parkesine. The product was not very successful as it was found to be flammable and easily prone to cracking.

 Rwanda is the first country to ban plastic bags.

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Over the past 10 years, we have produced more plastic globally than in the past century.

Buried plastic materials can last for minimum of 700 years.

11% of Americans household waste is plastic, and 40% of it is plastic bottles.

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The U.S. annually creates over 9 billion plastic bottles. Around two thirds end up in landfills or incinerators.

44% of all seabirds have been documented as having plastic either inside or around their bodies

The Great Pacific Garbage patch is twice the size of Texas.

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Before WWII the most popular plastic was Bakelite and its close cousin Catalin. They were used everywhere, from children toys to the parts for large WWII bombers.

1050 milk cartons can be recycled into one 6-foot plastic park bench.

There is a species of fungus from the Amazon that feeds on plastic. It can live on plastic alone, and can do so without oxygen, potentially leading the way towards new techniques for bioremediation

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Do you have a random fact about plastic thats not on the list? We would love to hear it!

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