Alexander Parkes created the first man-made plastic. He publicly demonstrated his material called “Parkesine” at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. Parkesine was an organic material derived from cellulose that once heated could be moulded, and it retained its shape when cooled.
Leo Hendrik Baekland is also considered to be the father of modern plastic. He invented ‘Bakelite’, the first completely synthetic plastic material. The name ‘Bakelite’ was coined by the Belgian-born inventor to describe the amber-coloured synthetic resin made by the condensation of phenol and formaldehyde in the presence of a catalyst.