The craze for plastic is not anything new. The mechanical, thermal and aesthetic properties of this synthetic polymer, derived from petrol and invented in the twenties, have been constantly modified and improved.
As early as the end of the sixties, designers were making the most of the opportunities offered by plastic moulding processes to design a plethora of useful and decorative objects for the home and garden.
Plastic has numerous benefits: economical, produced industrially, infinitely reproducible, accessible to everyone. It made it possible for design to grow in popularity and is the reason that it is to be found in every home. It's hardly surprising therefore that the consumption of plastic products increased rapidly in response to changes in lifestyles: buy, stack, replace and discard.
Now a symbol for the years of consumption, plastic has gradually been abandoned in favour of natural products. And the problem of how to dispose of it has become a greater issue.
But we haven't heard the last from it yet!
Plastic and the environment
Nowadays, plastic is reinventing itself with new materials and new manufacturing processes that are more environmentally friendly.
A new generation of designers is rediscovering it. They are looking for materials that are easy to implement, cheap and recyclable. It is one of the reasons why plastic remains a favourite for furniture and decoration.
Plastic for design?
Most definitely. Plastic offers a great deal of freedom.
Injected or rotomoulded plastic pots have several advantages: they are light, resistant to frost and UV and available in an infinite number of shapes and colours. They are easily adapted to every style.
Designers know this well. They endeavour to make the most of the creative capacity of the new polymers: working on the colours and light or even on textures and the feel of the materials.
Plastic, a material of the future
The future of materials depends on their capacity to respect the environment. And no matter what they say, plastic still has a trick up its sleeve in this regard: 100% recyclable, low energy requirements at the production stage, even biodegradable in the case of the new bioplastics.
Easy to mould and transport, it is light and yet solid. For all these reasons, plastic is set to outlive the effects of fashion.