The use of plastics has increased over the years, until we have come part of a plastic pollution society. If I spin the dial back to the days when I grew up, lunch was taken to school in waxed paper wrappers (for sandwiches and such) which was before plastic-wrap. Take-away foods were available from your local Chinese restaurant, but you brought along your own saucepans from home and handed them over to the staff on arrival, after having placed your order. On their return you would have some boiled, steamed or fried rice in one pot and the beef & black-bean sauce, or sweet & sour pork in the other pan. A quick dash back to your car and back home and, there you had it – Chinese takeout in your home.
Then, all of a sudden, seemingly overnight, your saucepan was superfluous, and you received your takeout meal in a disposable, plastic container. Before you knew it, you were staring into the cold cabinet at your supermarket, and suddenly the once rounded tins of ice-cream became rounded or square tubs of ice-cream in plastic containers. Prior to ‘plastic fantastic’ infiltration into the supermarket another phenomenon was happening in your own lounge room…
…the evolution and popularity growth of Tupperware. This juggernaut started in 1946, when Earl Silas Tupper in Leominster, Massachusetts, developed plastic containers to be used in households to contain and its contents airtight.
- His original patent included the “burping seal” which was a famous aspect incorporated into his Tupperware, which distinguished it from other competitors. (I guess the seal represented his seal of approval).
- Tupperware parties became a local phenomenon as it spread through UK, and Europe and later around the world.
- A technique called “carrot calling” helped promote the parties: where representatives would travel door to door in a neighbourhood and ask housewives to “run an experiment” in which carrots would be placed in a Tupperware container and compared with “anything that you would ordinarily leave it in”.
The mind boggles!