29 Apr '11, 6pm
The world has cranked out nearly as much plastic in the past 10 years as in the entire preceding century.
A few years ago, writer Susan Freinkel started wondering how much plastic passed through her life. So she conducted a one-day experiment, recording each plastic-containing item she came in contact with. The tally: 196. They ranged from the obvious to the unnoticed, from the dashboard in her car to the dime-sized stickers she had to peel off her apples. The next day, she reversed the experiment, tracking everything she touched that wasn’t made of plastic. Total: 102. Freinkel’s world, she realized, was more plastic than not. Yours probably is, too. Her experiment started Freinkel on a plastic odyssey, learning all she could about its imprint on our economy, lives and health. The resulting book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story , appears at a time of rising anxiety over plastic’s impact. In mid-April, Congress renewed efforts to modernize a 35-year old law addressing chemical saf...