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Global plastics production and consumption, 1910-2018

During World War II plastics production boomed. The war drove technological advances in the petrochemical industry, resulting in new cheap and flexible plastics used in a multitude of products including aircraft parts (Freinkel 2011). The post-war years were a period of worldwide economic expansion and the starting point for mass production of plastics for consumer products. Many plastic manufacturing factories that once supported the production of items with military applications were retooled as plastics became an everyday material. Because of their strength and light weight, among other characteristics, plastics are used in a wide range of products (Parker 2020).

Year: 2021

From collection: Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics

Cartographer: Levi Westerveld/GRID-Arendal

Tags: marine litter plastic waste vital graphics

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