Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without bike helmets, baggies, toothbrushes, and pacemakers? But a century into our love affair with plastic, we’re starting to realize it’s not such a healthy relationship. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. As journalist Susan Freinkel points out in this engaging and eye-opening book, we’re nearing a crisis point. We’re drowning in the stuff, and we need to start making some hard choices. Freinkel gives us the tools we need with a blend of lively anecdotes and analysis. She combs through scientific studies and economic data, reporting from China and across the United States to assess the real impact of plastic on our lives. She tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Her conclusion: we cannot stay on our plastic-paved path. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love to hate but can’t seem to live without.
About the Author
Susan Freinkel has written for the New York Times, Discover, Smithsonian, and Health, among other publications. She is the author of American Chestnut, which Mary Roach called a perfect book and Richard Preston described as a beautifully written account filled with top-notch writing and reporting. READER BIOPam Ward has had many incarnations, having performed in dinner theater, summer stock, and Off-Broadway, as well as in commercials, radio, and film. But she found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress Talking Books program, for which she received the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award from the American Foundation for the Blind. She now records from her studio amidst the beauty of the Southern Oregon mountains.
"Pam Ward voices this far-reaching book with the same zeal expressed by Frienkel...Ward’s professional voice communicates seriousness but also prevents data fatigue by deftly recounting Freinkel’s humorous anecdotes..." - AudioFile Magazine
"Freinkel's tour of the history of plastic...benefits from Pam Ward's cheery and conversational narration...Ward captures the spirit of Freinkel's prose..." - Publishers Weekly
"...powerful...the recently green and the not-yet-converted will find Plastic: A Toxic Love Story full of facts worth mulling." - Barnes & Noble Review
"It’s impossible to read [Freinkel’s] book without developing an appreciation for and a concern about the role that plastic plays in our lives." - The Columbus Dispatch
"...a perfect book." - The Brooklyn Rail
"An important book, a thorough dissection of the complexities surrounding this material and its consequences...flat-out fascinating." - The Register-Guard