Plastic used to be:

▪️ Considered as a solution to protect the environment.

▪️ Big step up by a $10,000 prize.


HomoPlastic is a campaign implemented by CHANGE in collaboration with the French Embassy, part of the COMPOSE project. The goal of the project is to build a system to monitor the social and environmental movement of plastics in Vietnam, providing reliable data to raise awareness and contribute to public policies. reduce plastic pollution.

OTHER PRODUCTS OF THE “HomoPlastic” campaign

HomoPlastic Animation:

Website HomoPlastic laboratory:

Reasons for the birth of PLASTIC

In the nineteenth century, around the time of the first industrial revolution, manufacturing industries developed massively, leading to the need for a huge amount of natural materials such as wood, natural fabrics, even… Ivory. But these materials are limited in quantity, such as ivory – once considered a material for making piano keys and billiard balls. Humans need a replaceable material to maximize capacity. That has been a great motivation for scientists to dive into research and create a new type of matter – “Plastic” as we know it today. [1]

HIstory of plastic

👁️‍🗨️ In 1862: The “foundation brick” to create plastic appeared

At the International Exhibition in London in 1862, Alexander Parkers shocked the scientific world when he announced the first man-made plastic material – “Parkesine” made from cellulose. However, this plastic is not really optimal for industrial production, because cellulose contains nitrate, so it is easy to catch fire; As well as at room temperature (about 25 degrees Celsius), Parkesine has a hardness equivalent to ceramic or bone. [8]

👁️‍🗨️ 1869: Continuing to develop plastic from the motivation of the $10,000 prize for ivory substitutes

When the number of elephants plummeted because of the demand for ivory, to make combs and frets, a New York company offered a $10,000 prize to anyone who could find a substitute for ivory. John Wesley Hyatt – who was impressed by the above offer, successfully researched and invented the first synthetic resin product – Celluloid from cellulose nitrate, camphor (a waxy resin obtained from the European camphor tree. Asia), and alcohol [2]. The advantage of this synthetic resin is that it retains certain plasticity even at room temperature. At the same time, he also launched an injection molding machine in 1973 to mass-produce products such as buttons, hairbrushes, etc. [3] However, the composition of Celluloid synthetic resin is still nitrate, so it cannot be widely used because of the risk of fire and explosion. [4]

👁️‍🗨️ Strong rise of the plastic industry in twentieth-century

In 1907, Leo Baekeland successfully developed a new synthetic resin called Bakelite, which was based on fossil fuels consisting of phenol (a substance made from coal) and formaldehyde. This is a type of plastic that is optimally evaluated as a “predecessor” because of its cheaper production cost and has eliminated the flammability disadvantage of celluloid plastic, marking an era of exploding plastic quantities around the world.

During the period 1912 – 1931, a series of other types of plastic were born to meet the production needs of everyday life such as: Polystyrene – thermoplastic used as insulation, VINYL – synthetic plastic used in furniture construction, automobile manufacturing, etc., ACRYLIC (also known as Mica sheet) – a synthetic plastic material with many applications in interior design and decoration. [5]

In 1933, Polyethylene plastic was introduced by two scientists Fawcett and Gibson, which really changed the plastic industry. This type of plastic is the same plastic that is still used today to make common materials such as water bottles, storage bags, and shower gel bottles. At the same time, Injection Molding technology has been more perfected, making all production activities easier. [6]

By World War II (1939 – 1945), plastic became the most used material for the mass production of military equipment such as helmets, waterproof jackets, parachutes, etc. Plastic factories have sprung up like mushrooms in the US, leading to a nearly 4-fold increase in plastic production. [7]

After the war ended, factories producing plastic for wartime gradually switched to producing household items such as plastic bottles, bags, toothpaste tubes, etc. Initially, people praised plastic products because they could replace products from natural materials, very cheap and durable.

The current state of plastic

Over the decades of development, plastic has become a part of human life. From materials developed as solutions to reduce the use of resources, has become an environmental burden. 8,300,000,000 tons of plastic have been produced globally, of which 6.3 billion tons are waste, and only 9% is recycled, 12% is incinerated, the remaining 79% remains in the natural environment [9], including the marine environment, causes a host of problems for marine species and humans.


[1]: The Age of Plastic: From Parkesine to pollution. (2019, October 11). Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[2]: Alexander Parkes. (2020, November 08). Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[3]: 4ocean Team. (2020, April 01). A Brief History of the Plastic Crisis. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[4]: Dev. (2015, November 30). A Short History of Injection Moulding. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[5]: John Wesley Hyatt. (1998). Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[6]: Lintsen, H. W., Hollestelle, M. J., & Hölsgens, H. N. M. (2017). The plastics revolution: how the Netherlands became a global player in plastics. Foundation for the History of Technology.

[7]: Jagger, A. (2008, May 08). Polyethylene: Discovered by accident 75 years ago. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[8]: Rosane, O. (2019, December 18). Plastics: The History of an Ecological Crisis. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

[9]: University of Georgia. (2017, July 19). More than 8.3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded. ScienceDaily. Truy xuất từ

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