properties of plastics materials can have negative connotations, especially in
relation to the pollution of land and oceans by poorly managed waste streams,
single-use products, and those that are carelessly thrown away. Those same
material characteristics can be put to good use to make objects that help
people survive and thrive in stressful and difficult environments.
To endure a
situation, whether by choice or circumstance, places specific demands on
individuals and the equipment they choose to use. Objects made of plastics are
used to provide water that is safe to drink when there is none readily available
or ease the burden of carrying clean water long distances. By contrast, they
can help prevent flood waters from entering our homes. Plastics are used in
objects that are designed to support successful food production in arid
climates, help to keep us safe from disease and offer protection from the
elements in a crisis. They can be used to protect us from intense heat and
flames, and conversely help us to sustain prolonged effort or activity in
sub-zero temperatures and on snow.
Objects on display show how good
design and the right choice of plastics materials can play a part in reducing
risk to life and help us to survive in a variety of situations, including out
at sea, in the air, and when travelling at high speed.
This exhibition will be on display until 10th
March 2023 in the museum and is also available online