Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Enchanted

    Rene Denfeld 9780062285508

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$18.50
List price: $27.00
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Environmental Studies- General

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

by

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 without.

Review:

"What is plastic, really? Where does it come from? How did my life become so permeated by synthetics without my even trying?" Surrounded by plastic and depressed by the political, environmental, and medical consequences of our dependence on it, Freinkel (The American Chestnut) chronicles our history with plastic, "from enraptured embrace to deep disenchantment," through eight household items including the comb, credit card, and soda bottle (celluloid, one of the first synthetics, transformed the comb from a luxury item to an affordable commodity and was once heralded for relieving the pressure on elephants and tortoises for their ivory and shells). She takes readers to factories in China, where women toil 60-hour weeks for $175 a month to make Frisbees; to preemie wards, where the lifesaving vinyl tubes that deliver food and oxygen to premature babies may cause altered thyroid function, allergies, and liver problems later in life. 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. (Apr.) Publishers Weekly

Review:

"It turns out that plastic is not only an ongoing environmental peril, but a compulsively interesting story. This well-reported and lively history helps us see the last decades in a different light. Buy it (with cash)." Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, founder 350.org

Review:

"Susan Freinkel’s book exponentially increased my desirous love and my hate for plastic. What a great read — rigorous, smart, inspiring, and as seductive as plastic itself." Karim Rashid, Designer

Review:

"In a world glutted and fouled with fake plastic crap we never missed during nearly our entire history, Susan Freinkel's timely book on the subject is the real thing. No animals or children were harmed by its writing, I'm sure, but — thanks to her diligence — a whole lot of them just might be saved." Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

Review:

"Plastic is everywhere, and Susan Freinkel explains why. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story is gracefully written and deeply informative." Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Synopsis:

The surprising story of plastic and its effects on design, business, our health and environment, politics, and the broader culture — all through the lens of eight iconic items.

Synopsis:

Praise for Plastic:

“In a world glutted and fouled with fake plastic crap we never missed during nearly our entire history, Susan Freinkel’s timely book on the subject is the real thing. No animals or children were harmed by its writing, I’m sure—but thanks to her diligence, a whole lot of them just might be saved.”—Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

 

“Plastic is everywhere, and Susan Freinkel explains why. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story is gracefully written and deeply informative.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

 

 “The first step to creating change is understanding, and the first step to understanding anything to do with plastic is reading Susan Freinkel’s compelling, much-needed, and truly brilliant book.”—David de Rothschild, leader of the Plastiki Expedition

 

“Who’d have thought that combs, Frisbees, and lighters could have such secret histories and such disturbing futures? Susan Freinkel’s page-turner brings together history, science, and culture to help us understand the plastic world that we have wrought and that has become part of us. Although we should all worry that plastics will persist for centuries, Plastic deserves to endure for years to come.”—Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing

  

“A must-read, and a fun-read, for anyone who wonders how our society became so plastics-saturated and who wants to do something about it.”—Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff

Synopsis:

“It turns out that plastic is not only an ongoing environmental peril, but a compulsively interesting story. Buy it (with cash).”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, founder of 350.org

“Susan Freinkels book exponentially increased my desirous love and my hate for plastic. What a great read—rigorous, smart, inspiring, and as seductive as plastic itself.”—Karim Rashid, Designer

 

Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without pacemakers, polyester, computers, cell phones, sneakers, or chewing gum? (Plastic in gum? Yes!)

        But a century into our love affair with plastic, the romance is starting to fray. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. And yet each year we use and consume more; weve produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. Were trapped in an unhealthy dependence—a toxic relationship.

        In this engaging and eye-opening book, journalist Susan Freinkel shows that we have reached a crisis point. She treks through history, science, and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic on our lives.

        Freinkel tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Each one illuminates a different facet of our synthetic world, and together they give us a new way of thinking about a substance that has become the defining medium—and metaphor—of our age.

        Her conclusion? We cannot stay on our plastic-paved path. And we dont have to. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love to hate but cant seem to live without.

 

Video

About the Author

Susan Freinkel has written for the New York Times, Discover, Smithsonian, and Health, among other publications. She is the author of The 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.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: Plasticville 1

  1. Improving on Nature 12
  2. A Throne for the Common Man 28
  3. Flitting Through Plasticville 52
  4. “Humans Are Just a Little Plastic Now” 81
  5. Matter Out of Place 115
  6. Battle of the Bag 140
  7. Closing the Loop 171
  8. The Meaning of Green 203
Epilogue: A Bridge 233

Cast of Characters 236

Acknowledgments 240

Notes 246

Selected Bibliography 299 Index 302

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547152400
Author:
Freinkel, Susan
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Author:
Schlosser, Eric
Author:
Critser, Greg
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Nutrition
Subject:
Healthy Living
Subject:
Commodities
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.12 lb
Age Level:
from 14

Other books you might like

  1. Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words New Mass Market $11.37
  2. Small Memories
    Sale Trade Paper $7.98
  3. God Is Not a Christian: And Other... Sale Hardcover $9.98
  4. The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in... Used Hardcover $9.95
  5. Caleb's Crossing
    Sale Trade Paper $7.98

Related Subjects

Engineering » Engineering » History
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Materials Science » Textiles

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - English 9780547152400 Reviews:
"Review" by , "What is plastic, really? Where does it come from? How did my life become so permeated by synthetics without my even trying?" Surrounded by plastic and depressed by the political, environmental, and medical consequences of our dependence on it, Freinkel (The American Chestnut) chronicles our history with plastic, "from enraptured embrace to deep disenchantment," through eight household items including the comb, credit card, and soda bottle (celluloid, one of the first synthetics, transformed the comb from a luxury item to an affordable commodity and was once heralded for relieving the pressure on elephants and tortoises for their ivory and shells). She takes readers to factories in China, where women toil 60-hour weeks for $175 a month to make Frisbees; to preemie wards, where the lifesaving vinyl tubes that deliver food and oxygen to premature babies may cause altered thyroid function, allergies, and liver problems later in life. 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. (Apr.)
"Review" by , "It turns out that plastic is not only an ongoing environmental peril, but a compulsively interesting story. This well-reported and lively history helps us see the last decades in a different light. Buy it (with cash)."
"Review" by , "Susan Freinkel’s book exponentially increased my desirous love and my hate for plastic. What a great read — rigorous, smart, inspiring, and as seductive as plastic itself."
"Review" by , "In a world glutted and fouled with fake plastic crap we never missed during nearly our entire history, Susan Freinkel's timely book on the subject is the real thing. No animals or children were harmed by its writing, I'm sure, but — thanks to her diligence — a whole lot of them just might be saved."
"Review" by , "Plastic is everywhere, and Susan Freinkel explains why. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story is gracefully written and deeply informative."
"Synopsis" by , The surprising story of plastic and its effects on design, business, our health and environment, politics, and the broader culture — all through the lens of eight iconic items.
"Synopsis" by ,

Praise for Plastic:

“In a world glutted and fouled with fake plastic crap we never missed during nearly our entire history, Susan Freinkel’s timely book on the subject is the real thing. No animals or children were harmed by its writing, I’m sure—but thanks to her diligence, a whole lot of them just might be saved.”—Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

 

“Plastic is everywhere, and Susan Freinkel explains why. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story is gracefully written and deeply informative.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

 

 “The first step to creating change is understanding, and the first step to understanding anything to do with plastic is reading Susan Freinkel’s compelling, much-needed, and truly brilliant book.”—David de Rothschild, leader of the Plastiki Expedition

 

“Who’d have thought that combs, Frisbees, and lighters could have such secret histories and such disturbing futures? Susan Freinkel’s page-turner brings together history, science, and culture to help us understand the plastic world that we have wrought and that has become part of us. Although we should all worry that plastics will persist for centuries, Plastic deserves to endure for years to come.”—Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing

  

“A must-read, and a fun-read, for anyone who wonders how our society became so plastics-saturated and who wants to do something about it.”—Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff

"Synopsis" by ,

“It turns out that plastic is not only an ongoing environmental peril, but a compulsively interesting story. Buy it (with cash).”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, founder of 350.org

“Susan Freinkels book exponentially increased my desirous love and my hate for plastic. What a great read—rigorous, smart, inspiring, and as seductive as plastic itself.”—Karim Rashid, Designer

 

Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without pacemakers, polyester, computers, cell phones, sneakers, or chewing gum? (Plastic in gum? Yes!)

        But a century into our love affair with plastic, the romance is starting to fray. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. And yet each year we use and consume more; weve produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. Were trapped in an unhealthy dependence—a toxic relationship.

        In this engaging and eye-opening book, journalist Susan Freinkel shows that we have reached a crisis point. She treks through history, science, and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic on our lives.

        Freinkel tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Each one illuminates a different facet of our synthetic world, and together they give us a new way of thinking about a substance that has become the defining medium—and metaphor—of our age.

        Her conclusion? We cannot stay on our plastic-paved path. And we dont have to. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love to hate but cant seem to live without.

 

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.