In fact one might say that there is no future without Plastic! Plastic! Plastic!
So, In this article we shall be lookin' at alternative methods to create plastics without relying on crude oil. Okay, let's go...
Bio-mass is what many hope is the replacement for crude oil, not only for fuel but also to create the plastics of the future.
Article from 2006: http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/chem/2007-0621-201429/NWS-E-2006-3.pdf
Article from 2009: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616144533.htm
Article from 2011: http://www.fujixerox.com.au/company/media/articles/679
Article from 2012: https://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6070/835.abstract
Article from 2012: http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2012/apr/plastics-biomass-043012.html
Article from 1958: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj/abstracts/50/10/AJ0500100598?access=0&view=pdf
Alrighty so, "olefins" or "alkenes" or "napthas" seems to be what we need to make this darned plastic. These can be created through modifying crude oil and gas products but that is not the only way to get them.
From the articles above, we know as early as 1958 someone was making plastic out of biomass (he was using cornstarch).
Knowing this, I am not sure that the "we need oil for everything we use" rhetoric you hear all the time is a very convincing argument. It seems we make the things we need for modern life out of fossil fuels not out of necessity but out of greed. Doing everything we do with fossil fuels is very profitable for a select group of people. That seems to be the only reason we don't implement the alternative methods.
Oil companies make a lot of money by keeping society addicted to their product. Alternative ways of operating society will cause great damage to their profits. It's not hard to figure out why we are dependent on oil, they've literally set it up that way. It makes for a fancy and aesthetic rhetoric, where defenders can always claim,
"If you don't like oil then don't use plastic or any other [insert good(s)/service(s) here]! You bum!"
It's a good argument and all, but it won't work on people who follow science. People who follow science understand that as a society we have the methods to create alternative fuels and synthetic products but implementing them is almost impossible. The oil lobby in America alone is unreal, I predict it's much higher but this site might give you an idea. Meanwhile the country I live in is very open about this, Canada is honest about being an oil company it doesn't even pretend to be a country anymore.
Reliance on fossil fuels that has been enforced on society has stagnated scientific research for more than a century now. Everyday some brilliant scientists are discovering new more efficient, effective, cleaner ways to operate yet the new methods/products are not implemented into society for the sole reason of keeping monetary profits high for the beneficiaries of the archaic and obsolete methods/products.