The Plastic Paradox: 28 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know

1Hard hats

Hard hats

The plastic used to make Legos is the same type of plastic used to make hard hats.

2Peanut butter

Peanut butter

Peanut butter in a plastic jar at the supermarket usually has a sell-by date of about 18 months after it hits the shelf. Past this date, if it’s unopened it’s still perfectly good. Opened, peanut butter will slowly develop off-flavors of rancid nuts over the next five or so years.

3Plastic yellow ducks

Plastic yellow ducks

In 1992, thousands of plastic yellow ducks broke free from a cargo ship on the Pacific. They floated halfway around the world for years and were used to study ocean currents.



Many toothpastes contain small plastic beads which may lodge in the gums, are likely harmful to the environment, and are included in toothpaste for decorative purposes only.

5Ken Belanger

Ken Belanger

In early 2000s entrepreneur, Ken Belanger sued Microsoft for illegal use of his "Pocket PC" trademark. Ken's "Pocket PC" was a 1985-made plastic coin with 0 and 1 engraved on the front and back sides.

6Ocean cleaning system

Ocean cleaning system

Scientists in the Netherlands are developing an ocean cleaning system which uses the ocean's currents and a barrier to remove plastic waste. A 100 km long system will be deployed in 2020 to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

7C-4 plastic explosive

C-4 plastic explosive

C-4 plastic explosive is so chemically stable that it can be shot, microwaved, or even set on fire without exploding. Soldiers in Vietnam would sometimes use it for cooking fires, and, supposedly, would eat small amounts to fake illness.

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8American cheese

American cheese

Plastic-wrapped American cheese slices aren't slices at all and are actually put on the plastic as a warm blob that's flattened into a slice shape as it cools.

9Plastic dishes

Plastic dishes

Plastic dishes can't absorb enough heat to evaporate water, which is why the dishwasher dry cycle doesn't work on them.

10Ferrite Bead

Ferrite Bead

The little plastic thing at the end of data cables is called a Ferrite Bead, and it is used to block interference from radio signals from other electronics.

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