A Toxic Love Story
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
On Sale: April 18, 2011
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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’ve produced as much plastic
in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth
century. 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. And we don’t have
to. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership
with the material we love to hate but can’t seem to live
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