World Resources Institute: Plastic Is Your Frenemy

Before plastics became nature’s enemy, they were meant to be nature’s friend.

Created in 1869 as a substitute for the ivory in billiard balls, the first primitive synthetic plastic was hailed as the savior of the elephant and a replacement for wood, metal, stone, bone, tusk, and horn. According to the Science History Institute, plastics were then seen as a way to protect the natural world from “the destructive forces of human need.”


Excerpted from an article on by Kevin Moss.

Photo credit: Susan White/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


December 12, 2018