We have a complicated relationship with plastic, despite its omnipresence in our consumer culture. Associated with the cheap and mass-produced, plastic is synonymous with disposability. The very qualities that have made it so perfect for mass production—its protean nature and ability to be reliably molded with heat and pressure into an astonishing variety of shapes and sizes—contribute to our perception of the material as utterly synthetic and machine-made.
The word plastic is also used to describe someone who is inauthentic. If all of that, coupled with the enormous heaps of trash piling up on our planet, weren’t unsettling enough, we also have cause to be concerned about the health effects of plastics.