I read a great book and I wanted to let you all know the details!
I wanted to find a book that explained the history of plastic, explain how the plastics industry got so out of control, etc. If I was going to be starting a plastic-banning adventure I wanted to fully understand why, and sound like I know what I’m talking about when I explain it to other people!
It’s called Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel
This was the book about plastic that was the highest rated on amazon, so I got it from my local library (for a zero waste read). And it was surprisingly amazing. The author is a great writer, I flew through this book, she really makes it easy to stay interested and easy to understand. This book provides a great history of plastic by focusing on a few ubiquitous pieces of plastic – frisbees, chairs, combs, lighters, plastic bags, water bottles, medical supplies, mainly IV bags. She doesn’t completely focus on these, in each chapter she branches out to discuss other facts and history, but always nicely ties it back to the object she started with.
I learned a TON. My favorite piece of new info is that most things made out of plastic these days were never created because they were necessary. The plastic people just went out into the world and were like “what could we capitalize on.” Plastic bags? Literally nobody asked for them. They just decided they would make them really cheap and basically force their way into stores. When they first came out, people didn’t like them because they tore easily and didn’t fit as much stuff, but then they were just forced to like it because they were cheaper to buy than paper bags. And as they became more and more prevalent people stopped bringing their own bags. Weird, right?
I highly suggest you read it if you want a good background on plastic, specifically learning about the different industries (because interestingly the different industries (toys, water bottles, packaging, etc) are all completely unrelated and don’t really associate with each other), the chemical backgrounds of different types of plastic, law suits that have been filed, history of plastic recycling, etc. It was super interesting if you’re as obsessed with plastic as I am 🙂
Check it out!