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A Biography of Plastic
July 12, 2011 - 8:45pm

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel

A Challenge: Write down every object that you use in one day that is all or part plastic. Also write down a list of the objects that you use that day that contain no plastics. Maybe even share your list with all of us.

Plastic dominates our life to such a degree that we hardly notice it anymore. Our post-industrial information economy runs on plastics made from petroleum products. And what is amazing is that our plastic economy is a fairly recent development. You are related to people who grew up in a non-plastic economy.

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story covers the history, science, economics, and politics of plastic. My brain works best if I can try to understand the world through a narrow frame, the big picture through a single object. Freinkel's biography of plastic makes for a good story, and she tells it with the right balance of personal antidote, storytelling, and reporting.

For a list of some other of my favorite micro-histories click here.

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