We have grown very dependent on plastic containers, and without them, our daily lives will be drastically and adversely affected. Simply put, plastic containers have made our lives much easier and more convenient, and without them, different aspects of the society will be affected for all the wrong reasons. In 1983, journalist and novelist Norman Mailer said that plastics have become an integral part of the society. Truly, plastic containers had and have been playing a vital role in mankind’s progress and society’s development.
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Plastic bottles have a very rich and diverse history. The first plastic was invented in the 19th century. Plastics then were used to replace ivory, rubber, and shellac. However, only few people took notice of the potentials and wonders of plastic it was not well received at first. This changed in 1862, however, when inventor Alexander Parkes invented the first manmade plastic. He derived his version of plastic from cellulose (now known as Parkensine). The inventor presented his findings and invention before the Great International Exhibition in London. He argued that his invention is much more versatile and cost-efficient than rubber. However, things did not go smoothly for Parkes. Although he was able to manipulate the plastic into different shapes, the materials used to produce the invention were unreasonably expensive.
In the late 19th century, plastic was again put into the spotlight as American inventor John Wesley Hyatt developed celluloid from a mixture of shredded tissue paper, nitric acid and sulfuric acid to develop the first thermoplastic. This development resulted in the production of photographic films later on. In 1907, American chemist Leo Baekeland invented ‘Bakelight.’ This paved the way for the production of various military weapons, radios, false gums, silverware handles, electrical insulators, and radios. In the 1920s, rayon and cellophane hit the market by storm. Some historians suggest that the 1920s saw the ‘plastics craze.’
It is in the late 1930s and early 1940s when production of plastics went full throttle. During these years, manufacturers started producing nylon, acrylic, neoprene, SBR, and polyethylene. In the late 1930s, inventors Enoch Ferngren and William Kopitke started using blow molding method, a manufacturing method process that uses hollow plastic parts to form different shapes of containers and plastic products. This also resulted in other industries like production of plastic bottles. According to historical accounts, plastic bottles were first commercially produced in 1947.
Since then, many innovations have flourished in the plastic manufacturing industry. Many companies have invested a lot of money to come up with the most cost effective and efficient ways to ensure that the growing demand of the society is being met. And from then on, more and more items have been made up of plastic materials.
Plastic bottles and blow molding have untangled relationship ever since. Through the discovery of blow molding process, production of plastic bottles became a hit. Although the first two decades of commercially produced plastic bottles were not very successful in the market because of their high price; however, in the 1960s, production became cheaper, which resulted in commercial plastic bottles boom.
Today, blow molding method is still very widely used in producing plastic bottles and plastic containers, and yes, even those you see at cricket bats online stores. There are many companies that continue to thrive in the plastic manufacturing industry today. Thanks to many innovations and the hard work of many engineers and designers.
The next time you use a plastic item, whether that is a bottle, a gadget, a cricket bats online, or any other plastic item, you can thank the valiant and creative efforts of different inventors and manufacturers.