Plastic: A Toxic Love Story
HMH, Apr 18, 2011 - Nature - 336 pages
“This eloquent, elegant book thoughtfully plumbs the . . . consequences of our dependence on plastics” (The Boston Globe, A Best Nonfiction Book of 2011).
From pacemakers to disposable bags, plastic built the modern world. But a century into our love affair, we’re starting to realize it’s not such a healthy relationship. As journalist Susan Freinkel points out in this eye-opening book, we’re at a crisis point. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. We’re drowning in the stuff, and we need to start making some hard choices.
Freinkel tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: a comb, a chair, a Frisbee, an IV bag, a disposable lighter, a grocery bag, a soda bottle, and a credit card. With a blend of lively anecdotes and analysis, she sifts through scientific studies and economic data, reporting from China and across the United States to assess the real impact of plastic on our lives.
Her conclusion is severe, but not without hope. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love, hate, and can’t seem to live without.
“When you write about something so ubiquitous as plastic, you must be prepared to write in several modes, and Freinkel rises to this task. . . . She manages to render the most dull chemical reaction into vigorous, breathless sentences.” —SF Gate
“Freinkel’s smart, well-written analysis of this love-hate relationship is likely to make plastic lovers take pause, plastic haters reluctantly realize its value, and all of us understand the importance of individual action, political will, and technological innovation in weaning us off our addiction to synthetics.” —Publishers Weekly
“A compulsively interesting story. Buy it (with cash).” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
“What a great read—rigorous, smart, inspiring, and as seductive as plastic itself.” —Karim Rashid, designer
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryCin - LibraryThing
This book takes us through the history of plastic, the different types of plastics and how they are made; and it focuses on certain common plastic items, such as: Frisbee, comb, chair, lighters ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Devil_llama - LibraryThing
A detailed look at the modern world's infatuation with plastic and the mess it's leaving behind. The author looks at plastics through several small items that are so commonplace most of us probably ... Read full review
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Common terms and phrases
American Chemistry Council American Plastic Author interview babies Bakelite beach began biodegradable bioplastics bisphenol blood bottle bill California carbon celluloid chemical China combs compostable consumers containers credit cards DEHP develop discs disposable lighter early Environment environmental ethylene exposure factory Frisbee furniture garbage global green grocery Guangdong gyre Health Hong Kong hormonal human hundred landfill Laysan albatross litter look makers manufacturers marine debris materials Meikle million mold molecules monobloc natural NatureWorks NICU ocean Panton paper bags pellets percent PET bottles phthalates plant plas plastic bags plastic chairs plastic debris plastic packaging plastic products plastics industry Plasticville polyethylene polymer polypropylene polystyrene pounds problem recycling programs researchers resin San Francisco single-use soda bottle sold studies synthetic T-shirt bags there’s things thousand toys trash tubing Verner Panton vinyl Wargo waste Wham-O Wharton State Forest What’s York