Third instalment The Plastics Revolution

19 October 2017

We are pleased to announce the online publication of the third instalment of The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands Became a Global Player in Plastics. The first two instalments were published online in July and September, 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 third instalment covers the years from 1970 to 2015 – a period characterised by a changing research landscape in which polymer science activities at universities steadily increased and initiatives were taken to promote collaboration between academia and industry. As great strides were made in polymer innovation, new trends emerged in plastics and plastics technology. At the same time, a public debate arose on the subject of plastics and sustainability, heralding the need for a second plastics revolution that would bring sustainable alternatives.

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 and their role in shaping modern life. Besides highlighting the benefits that plastics have brought to the world, the book 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 is initially being published online in four instalments:

·         July 2017 – Foreword and Prologue

·         September 2017 – Part I: The First Plastics Revolution (1945-1970)

·         October – Part II: Towards the Second Plastics Revolution (1970-2015)

·         November – Epilogue: The Second Plastics Revolution

Each instalment includes a short introduction by an academic or industrial expert. The digital instalments are accessible via the websites of DPI ( and SHT (

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 from DPI (

Introduction by J. Mulderink

The Plastics Revolution, third instalment

Pre-order The Plastics Revolution