Plastic waste and pollution have become a global problem but is there any sign of a global solution? And how did we allow this to happen in the first place?
Materials scientist and broadcaster, Professor Mark Miodownik, explores how we fell in love with plastic, why we've ended up with oceans of waste blighting the environment and what science and society can do about it.
Programme One: First Flush of Love
We may not be on speaking terms right now. But we do have a love affair with plastic, in fact it can be all consuming. Adaptable, lightweight, cheap and hygienic - fantastic plastics started to win our affection back in the late 19th century. Bakelite was an early plastic invented to replace expensive wood. Celluloid was one of the earliest plastics, failing to replace ivory in billiard balls, but revolutionising the world as movie film.
Plastic really did change our world. Plastic radar insulation played a role in helping the Allied forces win the Second World War and after th