First instalment of The Plastics Revolution published: book highlights Dutch contribution to the development of plastics

13 July 2017

DPI, the collaboration platform for industry-driven research in the field of polymers, is pleased to announce the publication of The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands Became a Global Player in Plastics. 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 book 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 this book project. The history of the invention of plastics and their subsequent development in academia and industry as well as their widespread use in practice presents a fascinating story, which lies at the heart of The Plastics Revolution. The book shows that polymer science and the plastic materials resulting from it have played a crucial role in shaping modern life. Besides highlighting the benefits that plastics have brought to the world, it also directs our attention to the challenges that these same materials 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.

The book will initially be published online in four instalments:

·         mid July – Foreword and Prologue

·         mid September – Part I: The First Plastics Revolution (1945-1970)

·         mid October – Part II: Laying the Foundations for the Second Plastics Revolution (1970-2015)

·         early November – Epilogue: The Second Plastics Revolution

Each instalment will include 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 will be accessible via the DPI and SHT websites at and

A complete, printed edition (ISBN: 978-90-73192-48-5) will be published in November 2017. The official presentation of the book is planned to take place at a special event on 8 November 2017, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of DPI. The printed edition is available for pre-order.


Introduction by Prof. Tom McLeish

The Plastics Revolution, first instalment

Pre-order The Plastics Revolution