Tupperware containers, c 1984.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Though manufactured in the 1980s, these tupperware boxes represent designs from the 1960s. Known today by its tradename 'Polythene', the history of polyethylene began in March 1933, when a minute amount of a white waxy solid was found on the walls of an experimental high presure bomb. Thanks to the far-sighted views of a group of ICI Alkali Division scientists, an entirely new range of products were discovered, which have changed the way we live.