If you have perhaps not bothered or given a thought about one thing that is inseparable from our life, it is plastic .This ubiquitous material has invaded us from all sides. If you say, it is omnipotent, and omnipresent it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Today, we are entirely dependant on it for our day to day needs. Our life without it would be unthinkable.
Among many inventions which have benefited mankind, plastic figures prominently in the list and deserves special mention.
Plastic was invented by Alexander Parkes (British) in 1862. Parksine (which he called this new material) was based on cellulose nitrate and is generally accepted as the first plastic. Since then it has never looked back. Plastic is in fact organic polymer. Other newer forms and synthetic forms which could be molded like acrylic, fiber, rexene, polyester, PVC (now extensively used in plumbing) were discovered subsequently in laboratory from time to time. It has revolutionized our world, in a big way. We can’t live without this magic material. All disposable items are mainly plastic.
This is true also in any household items like chairs, tarpaulins, wrappers, water bottles, nylon ropes, fishing lines or even say cables, textiles, food containers, laminations etc..etc. You buy any gadgets such as fridge, TV, laptops, washing machine, CD player… and plastic makes its presence.
Here even a big environmentalist has no choice. He has to buy it for his own needs and can’t say ‘no to plastic’!
From our humble toothbrush to travelling bag, from pen to piano, from coffee cups to conveyor belts and from bibs to billiards, we have been completely invaded by it . Today’s fast cars carry more plastic components ( for efficiency) than metal, in contrast to ours Fiats and Ambassadors of the 70’s. This is true in aviation and space sector.
Plastic no doubt has been misused and abused. It is not being properly recycled because of uncaring, lethargic attitude of our administrative and governing system. Plastic accounts for more than 80 per cent of dry garbage.
Plastic is used extensively in medicine as well. Syringes, drip sets, urine bags, catheters, fiber optics, laparoscopes, even foldable plastic eye lens! Most of today’s surgeon would be out of jobs if there was restriction on plastic materials in the medical field just like as in plastic bags!
All this came to my mind when the other day, I took my close relative for hair transplant - a form of plastic surgery. He is middle aged man, balding rapidly.
All what the plastic surgeon wanted was an advance payment. Otherwise, he wouldn’t talk. I was not carrying cash.
When I used plastic money (credit card) he accepted us quickly as his clients. Then he gave us a plastic smile in acknowledgement. He has given us appointment for the last week of this month. Whether he will use real or plastic hair is anybody’s guess !!