The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

Seattle museum explores impact of plastics

By Don Loepp | January 8, 2013 06:00 am ET
Keywords: PHA, Recycling, Washing

Plastics Unwrapped

Seattle's Burke Museum just opened a new exhibit called "Plastics Unwrapped," which explores how material culture has been changed by plastics.

The story isn't all positive for plastics, to be sure. In fact, an arts critic for the Seattle Times writes today: "The exhibit, of course, focuses on the downside of these wonders, summed up in the phrase 'Here today, still here tomorrow.'" ("'Plastics Unwrapped' nicely packaged at the Burke").

But this isn't all about plastics bashing. "Plastics Unwrapped" also looks at benefits of plastics, like what they mean to improved healthcare.

"Plastics help keep us safe and healthy. They make our daily lives convenient in so many ways, it's nearly impossible to imagine a world without them," says a press kit about the exhibit.

It continues: "Learn what life was like before plastics, how they are made, why they're so convenient and beneficial to use, and what happens after we throw them away.

"The exhibit explores how plastics have changed the world, through topics ranging from life before plastics to the effects of plastic on our health and the environment. See pre-plastic objects from the Burke Museum's collection, understand what the recycling numbers mean on plastic items, and learn about promising breakthroughs in science that are changing the role of plastic in our lives."

The exhibit, which runs through May 27, also includes some special programs.

On Feb. 5, the Seattle Theatre Group will present an evening of "Short Takes on Plastics," with 10 experts from the University of Washington and elsewhere discussing discussing the benefits and unwanted side effects of plastics on health, cultures, and environments across the globe.

And on Wednesday evenings between April 3 and May 22, the museum and the university's Program on the Environment will present a weekly seminar series called "Plastics Unwrapped: The Good, the Bad, the Debate."

The first speaker will be Susan Freinkel, author of "Plastic: A Toxic Love Story." (See Plastics News' interview with Freinkel here: "Book examines controversy over plastic.")

It says something about the reputation of plastics that a museum exhibit would feel the need to pointedly include information on both "The Good" and "The Bad" of the material. Would an exhibit on glass, paper, aluminum or steel have this sort of emphasis?

Meanwhile, If any Plastics Blog readers in the Seattle area visit the exhibit or take part in the special programs, I'd like to hear from you.


Recent Blog Posts

Let's take a look at the fastest growing thermoformers   February 16, 2015 11:19 am ET
Plastics, thermoforming and the 2015 Super Bowl   February 2, 2015 10:59 am ET
Some great videos about the future of plastics, plus a serious complaint   January 27, 2015 2:32 pm ET
Obama talks about composites and 3-D printing at Techmer PM   January 10, 2015 10:01 pm ET

Comments

Seattle museum explores impact of plastics

By Don Loepp

Published: January 8, 2013 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 17, 2013 12:40 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events