PLASTICS UNWRAPPED – NEW EXHIBITION AT THE SOUTH FLORIDA MUSEUM EXAMINES UTILITY AND IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON DAILY LIFE Exhibition on Display in the Museum’s East Gallery through May 4, 2014

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Jessica Schubick, Communications Manager
Phone: 941-746-4131, ext. 14
Email: [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 02-07-14

PLASTICS UNWRAPPED – NEW EXHIBITION AT THE SOUTH FLORIDA MUSEUM EXAMINES UTILITY AND IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON DAILY LIFE
Exhibition on Display in the Museum’s East Gallery through May 4, 2014

(Bradenton, FL) Before the 1950s, we hardly used plastics. How did they go from being rare to being everywhere? Plastics Unwrapped, a new exhibit at the South Florida Museum, explores how material culture was changed—rapidly and perhaps permanently—by plastics. On exhibit in the Museum’s East Gallery through May 4, 2014, the exhibition is included in Museum daily admission [Adults – $18, Seniors (65+):  $16, Children (4-12): $14, Children under 3: Free). Learn what life was like before plastics, how they are made, why they’re so convenient and beneficial to use, and what happens after we throw them away.

Can you imagine a time when there were no waterproof raincoats? No plastic buckets? Humans existed without plastics for centuries. Now, we rely on them to meet our basic needs. Plastics help keep us safe and healthy. They make our daily lives convenient in so many ways, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without them. The exhibit explores how plastics have changed the world, through topics ranging from life before plastics to the effects of plastic on our health and the environment. Understand what the recycling numbers mean on plastic items, and learn about promising breakthroughs in science that are changing the role of plastic in our lives.

The Museum’s Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator Matt Woodside notes, “Over the last 75 years, the production of synthetic polymers, which we call ‘plastics,’ has developed into a multibillion dollar industry – changing the way we live, eat, travel, sleep, and maybe even think. Plastics Unwrapped explores the science,
the history of development, and the daily impact of ‘plastics.’ The exhibition also explores plastic’s applications in the health care field – helping to save lives, improve the quality of life for people who have lost a limb, and advancing our ability to survive surgeries and operations.”

Plastics were once marketed as the “material of the future.” Now, that prediction has come true. They will stay in landfills and oceans for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Mr. Woodside continues, “Despite the practical application and technical innovations of the field, the amount of global plastics waste has become a problem we must face with imagination and determination. The exhibition puts forth ideas for how we can manage these issues if we are willing to make different choices and “rethink” how we use these marvelous materials that are here today and still here tomorrow.” In order to counter the impact of plastic waste, we need to rethink our relationship with plastics. Discover how, at Plastics Unwrapped.

Plastics Unwrapped is a traveling exhibit organized by the Burke Museum, University of Washington. The National tour has been generously sponsored by The Boeing Company and the University of Washington. The exhibition will be available for viewing at the South Florida Museum from February 1 – May 4, 2014. All Museum exhibitions are included in Museum daily admission.  Please contact Jessica Schubick with any inquiries or requests – 941-746-4131, ext. 14 / [email protected]

About the South Florida Museum
The largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs which interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit. The facility also includes both the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Outfitted with a brand new, state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system in October of 2013, the NEW Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with young manatees from the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership. These injured or orphaned animals are taken care of by the Parker Aquarium staff until they are ready to be released into the wild. For more information about current exhibitions and special programs, membership, hours, or admission prices please call 941-746-4131 or visit SouthFloridaMuseum.org.

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