Once upon a time, tangible, easily processed materials controlled the world – wood, stone and metals. But now, one flexible polymer reigns above all else, composing everything from spaceships to underwear. Plastic, in many ways, is the material of the modern world.

And in case you haven’t heard, that supremacy comes associated with many costs. This miracle material has long been the boogeyman of landfills, oceans and manufacturing ills. Sometimes what seems to be the best option comes with unforeseen consequences.

So, we, as the 40th class of SHERP, decided to investigate how this material has become so ubiquitous with modern living — as an integral part of our lifestyle, society and learning environment. If you’ve ever been curious about this mysterious yet widely used substance, read the stories below.

Crocs are here to stay. Can they lighten their carbon footprint?

October 12, 2022

And what are the iconic clogs even made of, anyway?

Going organic may be not enough to stop fashion’s plastic problem

September 23, 2022

Buying less clothes might be as important as using natural cotton in reducing microplastic pollution from clothes

How scientists absolve their plastic guilt

September 20, 2022

Researchers are changing their single-use plastic habits in and out of work

A look into the plastic inside your clothes

September 9, 2022

An infographic diving into three types of plastic-based fabrics and how they may be affecting our environment

Is it safe to microwave plastic containers?

September 8, 2022

Many plastics contain harmful chemicals, and a zap in the microwave can increase your exposure. The FDA says this exposure isn’t a concern, but some experts recommend caution


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