Final instalment of The Plastics Revolution published

Final instalment of The Plastics Revolution published

16 November 2017

DPI, the collaboration platform for industry-driven research in the field of polymers, is pleased to announce the online publication of the fourth and final instalment of The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands Became a Global Player in Plastics. The first three instalments were published online in July, September and October, respectively. The book provides a historical overview of the invention and further development of plastics during the past hundred years and the important role Dutch science and industry have played in the process. It shows how plastics, an entirely new category of materials, have had a profound impact on human life.

The Epilogue brings together the various strands of the plastics vs. sustainability debate introduced in the previous instalment. The authors describe our attachment to plastics as a kind of love-hate relationship: we are aware of the downside of the materials but cannot live without them. This section sets out the main issues involved, together with a review of current thinking on the way forward towards sustainability and a circular economy.
The Plastics Revolution is written by a team of three authors led by Professor Harry Lintsen of the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The other two authors are Dr. Marijn Hollestelle (Foundation for the History of Technology) and Dr. Rick Hölsgens (Technischen Universität Dortmund). The Plastics Revolution is an initiative of DPI and is published under the auspices of the Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT) in the Netherlands.

As a key enabler of industry-driven collaborative research in polymer science and technology for the past two decades, DPI is proud to be the initiator of a book that presents the fascinating story of the rise of plastics, their role in shaping modern life and the challenges they pose to society and the natural environment today. DPI believes that we can learn from history and hopes that The Plastics Revolution will help readers to view plastics in a broad and balanced perspective.

This fourth instalment completes the online publication of the book. The four instalments published are:

  • July 2017 – Foreword and Prologue
  • September 2017 – Part I: The First Plastics Revolution (1945-1970)
  • October 2017 – Part II: Towards the Second Plastics Revolution (1970-2015)
  • November 2017 – Epilogue: The Second Plastics Revolution

Each instalment includes a short introduction by an academic or industrial expert, as well as a contents page providing a full overview of the topics covered in the book. The digital instalments are accessible via the websites of DPI ( and SHT (

A complete, printed edition (ISBN: 978-90-73192-48-5) is now also available. The official presentation of the book took place at a special event on 8 November 2017, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of DPI. 

Download here all 4 instalments and introductions:

The Plastics Revolution, fourth instalment  Introduction by Dr. W. Sederel

The Plastics Revolution, third instalment Introduction by J. Mulderink

The Plastics Revolution, second instalment  Introduction by Prof. em. Challa

The Plastics Revolution, first instalment Introduction by Prof. Tom McLeish

Order here the book "The Plastics Revolution - How the Netherlands Became a Global Player in Plastics"