1839 Berlin apothecary Eduard Simon distils styrol resin from the Turkish sweet-gum tree. A century later, this is developed into polystyrene by the German IG Farben company.
1862 Alexander Parkes develops the first synthetic plastic, Parkesine.
1869 American John Hyatt creates celluloid, which is soon used instead of ivory to make billiard balls.
1933 British chemists Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson of the ICI company create the first practical polythene.
1954 Italian Giulio Natta and German Karl Rehn independently invent polypropylene, now the most widely used plastic.
The discovery of synthetic plastics in the ...