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Plastic: Friend or Foe?

17th August 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us in the Bow Arts’ Courtyard as we team up with the UCL Mobile Heritage Lab and the Bow Arts Centre to examine a key question for our times. Plastic gets a bad rep these days – but is that a fair assessment for what is a fantastically useful material?

We will be there with examples of litter from the Thames and with the help of the UCL scientists you can learn what type of plastic the items are made from as well as learn more about their properties and uses. Examples of historical plastic items will be on display with experts to ask about their origins and history. You can even bring your own plastic objects for analysis by UCL scientists, who will be on hand to test and identify plastics of any age. Perhaps you have old ‘ivory’ handled utensils, which are in fact early celluloid-based plastics made in east London.

This event complements the Raw Materials exhibition at Bow Arts which explores the forgotten industrial history of plastic in east London around the River Lea. The exhibition reveals the story of east London’s central role in the invention and early development of plastics, showcasing some of the very first plastic objects alongside newly commissioned artwork which tell the story of this material’s remarkable journey. Read more about the exhibition here.




17th August 2019
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Bow Arts Centre
183 Bow Rd, Bow, E3 2SJ United Kingdom + Google Map