The trash bag has finally arrived! We at PlasticPlace, of course, have recognized its hotness (and coolness) for ages. But now, popular culture is finally waking up and realizing that trash bags are great: durable enough to double as fabric, cute enough to pass for pleather, and as dazzlingly versatile as they are readily-available. Lately, trash bags have been winning starring roles, from catwalks to sidewalks, from ceremonies to after-parties, from N.Y.C. to L.A. So, without further ado, let’s count down the five “trashiest” moments in high-fashion history. Continue reading
Waste disposal reform evolved in two distinct stages. The first stage, in the 19th and early 20th century, aimed to improve public health and reduce toxicity: “sanitation theory,” or the idea that filth could contribute to human illness, developed in 1850s England. The second stage, much later, intended to clean up the environment.
By the twentieth century, new technological advances and consumer goods improved lives – automobiles, refrigerators, televisions, and of course plastics – but also created more solid waste. In response, massive dumps and landfills became more prevalent. In 1948, the Fresh Kills landfill was “temporarily” established in Staten Island. (It finally shut down in 2008, after briefly closing in 2001, then reopening on 9/11 to handle disposals from Ground Zero.) At nearly 3,000 acres, Fresh Kills was the world’s largest city dump – and the largest manmade object on the planet. Continue reading
The Trash Bag in History: Part I
The trash bag may be humble, but this unsung invention has nevertheless had the power to change the way we live.
Before the invention of trash bags, managing and disposing of refuse was a dirtier, smellier, less sanitary, and – to use the technical term – “yuckier” job than it is now. Trash bags have no doubt saved countless lives by containing germs and preventing the spread of disease, and they have improved public health by keeping trash out of public areas. Though many vilify plastic bags for contributing to environmental problems, biodegradable trash bags lessen that role. Indeed, good ol’ trash bags can be viewed as downright heroic. Continue reading