The first drum-like containers were constructed of wooden planks held together with metal bands.  This design was leakproof and required no nails or
glue.  This wooden barrel is still used today in wine and whiskey distilleries.

Steel barrels were introduced in the early 1900s.  With the innovation of the assembly line, steel drums could be produced in mass and were strong in
structure.  With the advancement of technology and advancement of blow molding, the plastic barrel was introduced in the late
1960's.  Plastic barrels
are made from high density, high molecular weight polyethylene (HDPE).  

Polyethylene is inert and resistant to high or low pH contents.  Plastic drums are manufactured through a process called blow molding. This process
allows for various shapes to be created with no seams on the inside. Barrels are molded in a cylindrical shape to allow for rolling and handling using the
same tools as a steel drum.  An added benefit of a seamless design is that it prevents buildup of bacteria in any interior crevices.

Poly barrels are available in a variety of colors, the most common are natural, black, blue and white.  The natural semi-transparent color allows for
visibility of the contents from the exterior of the drum.  Natural drums are non-UV resistant and therefore is not ideal for outside storage.    

Black drums are typically created from recycled material and there while they are great for UV protection there is certainty as to what the previous plastic
material was used, and limits the use for some materials.  

Blue drums has become the industry standard for food grade as most poly drums are manufactured using a blue pigment.  The blue pigment provides a
higher UV protection and hides dirt or residue.  

Because of the inertness and impermeability, the poly drum is a perfect candidate for upcycling.
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