Tonight, in Berkeley, journalist Susan Freinkel will be reading from her new book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story at Books, Inc. Each year we use and consume more plastic; we’ve produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. We’re trapped in an unhealthy dependence – a toxic relationship.
San Francisco-based journalist Susan Freinkel shows in her engaging and eye-opening book that we have reached a crisis point. Freinkel treks through history, science and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic in our lives. She tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: the 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. Freinkel’s 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.
If you don’t catch Freinkel tonight, she’ll be reading at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland on May 9th, and at Booksmith in San Francisco on May 16th. You can also listen to this terrific interview that Terry Gross of Fresh Air conducted with Freinkel.