Can the Damage Be Repaired?
Due to their affordability, versatility, and relatively easy production, plastics are used in a variety of products of all different scales, from household goods to computers to airplanes. Advancements in chemical technology following World War I catalyzed innovations in the industry, with mass production beginning in the 1940s. Since the earliest days of production, environmentalists have questioned the sustainability of plastic, and voiced the potential risks of reliance on this synthetic material that has such a slow decomposition rate. Through the New York Times articles and media literacy terms and questions collected here, readers will explore the rise of plastics, the implications of the industry, and the environmental movement that arose in response, posing the question: is a plastic-free future possible?