Europes plastics suppliers association, PlasticsEurope (Brussels, Belgium) recently hosted futurist Ray Hammond, member of the U.K.s Royal Society of Arts, World Innovation Foundation, and employed at the Human Computer Interaction Laboratory of the University of Maryland, who presented his vision of the world 23 years from now during a recent web-cast, The World in 2030. According to Hammond, plastics appear to have a brilliant future, including in such new applications as plastic robots aiding people in everyday life. He foresees men and women living until they are 130 in many developed nations, but it will be plastics robots that will be taking care of many seniors during their twilight years as well as in illness. Plastics will also play a key role in the development of ersatz organs produced from stem cells.
The year-long research project, commissioned by PlasticsEurope, indicates that much of the technology leading to such future developments can only become a reality with the help of plastics. Other areas that polymers will play an increasing role in the next two decades are in providing better energy efficiency and climate protection, says Hammond.[email protected]