Better living through chemistry
A prominent local chain of dry cleaners has recently changed its name from Kem Cleaners to Greener Cleaners.
The company’s “story” says that they’ve been in business for over 60 years. That puts their founding just after World War II. Technology had won a long and costly war. “Better living through chemistry” became a catchphrase during this time, and as we look back, became an unofficial motto of the 1950s. New and exciting plastics were created and marketed during this time, and chemistry became the pathway to the future.
Chemists now seek to solve different problems. Rather than producing cheap consumables, companies need to produce sustainable products. Chemistry allows us to analyze the entire lifecycle of a product, not just find the cheapest way to manufacture it. Packaging using paper, cardboard, or even glass seemed antiquated in the 1950s. Now companies seek to find more environmentally-sound methods for packaging their wares.
And the association with chemistry, still in the minds of non-scientists as the dead-end road that “old chemistry” now is, could be a death-knell for a business trying to stay alive in a competitive climate.
A couple generations worth of enlightenment results in a tremendous change in viewpoint.