Susan Freinkel describes why the plethora of plastics has created a major problem—we’ve produced as much plastic in the last 10 years as we did in the entire 20th century, and plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. In Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, Freinkel tells the story of plastic through eight familiar objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. 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, and how we can learn to live without it.
Until reading the first chapter of Susan Freinkel's new book, you might not realize just how many things in your life are made of plastic, from your gym clothes to your refrigerator. But what does all this new — and sometimes life-saving, or at least life-altering — material mean for how we live our lives? And what are the consequences of a single-use culture? We talk with Freinkel about her new book, "Plastic: A Toxic Love Story" and ask, "paper or plastic?"