Monthly Archives: March 2011

Life in the Plasticene

These extraordinary photos were taken by Chinese photographer Gangfeng Wang. This kind of unofficial recycling is a common sight in Chinese cities. But the pictures also seem to me a perfect metaphor for what it can feel like living in … Continue reading

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Ocean Microbes that Eat Plastic

There’s a fascinating report in Naturenews this week on how marine bacteria are dealing with the bazillions of pieces of  plastic debris that now float in the sea, like a vast microscopic armada. The bacteria seem to be eating the … Continue reading

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Trashy Bags

After my op-ed came out in the New York Times last week, I got an e-mail from a recent Harvard graduate telling me about a very cool company in Ghana called Trashy Bags, which collects and recycles discarded plastic water … Continue reading

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Maybe Pepsi has the real thing

In my book I write about Coca Cola’s quest to create a more sustainable plastic bottle, culminating in its introduction last year of what it calls the “PlantBottle.”  The bottle is  made of conventional PET plastic, but about a third … Continue reading

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Is working in plastics safe?

An explosion at a plastics plant outside Boston on Sunday made me wonder again about the safety of the plastics industry. Historically, it was rife with hazards: fires were so common in early celluloid factories that workers were continually dousing … Continue reading

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Cellophane babies

Pollsters in 1940 found people considered “cellophane” the third most beautiful word in the English language, right behind “mother” and “memory”. This 1954 ad (featuring my friend Michael and his twin brother) ties all those sentiments up with a nice … Continue reading

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My book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story will be out April 18. The book – based on three years of research – is an all-around look at the materials that are the defining medium – and metaphor – of modern … Continue reading

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