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Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century
Perhaps Dustin Hoffman should have paid attention to that unsolicited investment advice in "The Graduate." Plastics really are the future. Indeed these smooth oil-based synthetic polymers, available in a spectrum from rainbow-colored through raindrop transparent, are already so ubiquitous in our lives that we barely notice them. Expertly and entertainingly, Stephen Feniche ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published June 28th 1996 by HarperCollins Publishers
(first published 1996)
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The story on the invention of plastic. Like modern money it has become indispensible to capital economies (endless cycle of cash -> products -> cash) because it's conveniently dispensible and clogging the Earth's rivers and oceans with soda-pop, crisps and candy containers. At a billion tonnes of the stuff produced each year, most likely on drink and food containers and junk toys, it's a big growing mess. No solution in sight. I experience the ignorance of littering as heart-breaking, espe ...more
The history of plastic parallels the cultural history of America through the Industrial Revolution leading up through Vietnam. The politics involved and the unique plastics fanatics that saw the material through to its preeminent position perched upon a sterile and brightly colored throne of Industry.