Paper Or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World

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Sierra Club Books, 2005 - Nature - 168 pages
2 Reviews
The deceptively simple supermarket choice echoed in the title symbolizes the dilemma of a society on a collision course with the planet's life-support systems. Do we clearcut forests, process pulp, and bleach it with chlorine to make paper bags? Or do we make a pact with demon hydrocarbon, refining ancient sunlight into handy plastics? About half the total volume of America's municipal solid waste is packaging--at least 300 pounds per person each year--and the "upstream" costs in energy and resources used to make packaging are even more alarming.
In this fascinating look at the world of packaging, writer Daniel Imhoff and photographer/designer Roberto Carra give consumers, product designers, and policymakers the information we need to take steps toward a more sustainable future. They delve into the histories and life cycles of packaging materials and look at the countless ways that packaged goods shape our culture. Using case studies, they explore the positive trends that are changing packaging, including producer responsibility and "take-back" laws being enacted in Europe; the eco-design movement; plant-based plastics; labeling to disclose the ecological and social impacts of products; and producing and consuming locally and in bulk versus the wasteful global exchange of single-serving containers. Carra's remarkable color photographs illustrate both the important functions of packaging and its many unintended consequences around the globe.
Despite recent advances, the packaging problem keeps growing, Imhoff warns. Real solutions must incorporate new (or rediscovered) ways of producing, distributing, packaging, consuming, reusing, and reprocessing products and materials. As consumers, there's much we can do, and Paper or Plastic offers a checklist for consumer action, along with resources for information on products, programs, and policy options. It's one book that is truly worth the recycled paper it's printed on.

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Review: Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World

User Review  - Talia - Goodreads

Just started reading this book for my sustainable package design class and I'm loving it. Definitely another eye opener. Read full review

Review: Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World

User Review  - Lindsey - Goodreads

Reading for a paper... Read full review

Contents

Foreword by Randy Hayes
6
THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS
36
A FUTURE BEYOND THE BOX
124
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (2005)

Daniel Imhoff is the editor of "The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories" and the photo-format companion volume, "CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation): The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories". He is a writer and independent publisher whose many books include "Food Fight", "Farming with the Wild", "Paper or Plastic", "Building with Vision", and "Farming and the Fate of Wild Nature". He lives in Northern California.

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