The Future's Plastic!

Richard Hollingham tells the history, science and future of plastics through the writings of a pioneer of the industry - his own grandfather.

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He charts the rise of plastics from chemical curiosity to Bakelite radio.

02 LAST20060105

In the 1950s, plastic became a cheap material for mass production.

Today, there are many layers of it around our supermarket shopping and mountains of it at disposal sites.

Richard Hollingham asks if recycling can stem the flood and looks at how plastic is becoming a key component in high-tech industry and aerospace.