NotJustLaura’s Review: I requested a digital copy of this book from the nice people at NetGalley really just on a whim. I do have some green credentials although I tend to enjoy reading about environmental issues rather than putting what I learn into practice. Before reading Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, I was mildly bothered about how much of the stuff, after a single use, ends up in my rubbish bin and destined for landfill. Now I’ve read the book, I’m starting to do something about it, albeit in a small way, by reusing my shopping bags and thinking about my shopping and consumption habits.
Ms Freinkel really knows her stuff. In this book she’s chronicled the life of plastic from the Second World War right into the present day when we’re realising our love affair may not have a happy ending. Her research seems to have been exhaustive. She’s visited laboratories and landfills and the factories where plastic is fashioned into the myriad of items we take so much for granted. She explains the chemistry which makes plastic so versatile – and so hard to get rid of.
Don’t get the idea that this is a dull book of facts though. Ms Freinkel has a gift of making the driest facts personal in her own life and in that of the reader. Yes, some of the chemistry went over my head but I still know more than before reading this book. Yes, parts of her account are very USA-centric but they’ve made me wonder where Scotland might be better or worse. All-in-all, this is a very readable book for anyone who’s ever wondered if broccoli really needs to be shrink-wrapped.