Close-up of 3d Teflon molecule model

The history and evolution of “the forever molecule” is both revolutionary and fortuitous.  Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, was discovered completely by accident on April 6th, 1938 by a DuPont Chemist, Dr. Roy Plunkett, while he was conducting research on chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. Its first broad commercial use was non-stick cookware in 1960. PTFE has since evolved and is utilized in an extensive array of products that take advantage of its unique properties.

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iStock/Bulat Silvia

The source of the phrase “There is no AWAY” is the NGO Better Alternatives Now (BAN): “Plastic – a material invented to last forever – can no longer be used to make products intended to be thrown away.  There is no AWAY.” As the director of education and technical affairs at INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, part of my mission is to look at issues affecting our members and determine what we can do. One of the big issues we are examining now is plastics in the environment with an emphasis on single use.

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