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How Plastic Made Things Too Cheap | Planet Money | NPR

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Channel: NPR
Categories: Economics   |   Environmental   |   Science   |   Social Science  
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This is the story of the moldable, affordable, miracle product of the modern age - Plastic.

The story starts with some frustrated electrical scientists and a clever chemist named Leo Baekeland.

A century ago stuff was expensive. Back then, people relied on nature to make things: toothbrushes were made of silver, combs were made of tortoiseshell and clothes were made of cotton (well, they're still mostly cotton, but you get the point.)

Then, in 1907, a chemist named Leo Baekeland found a way to turn useless oil gunk into plastic. Things haven't been the same since. It opened up a whole world of affordable products. Suddenly everyone could get one of everything. This is the story of how plastic was first made, and how maybe we went too far with it.

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  • Autumn Banned Added Super interesting!