Apr 5 - More On Rethinking Plastic Consumption

In her book, "Plastic", author Susan Freinkel describes the evolution of society’s relationship with plastic. Originally used as a substitute for natural, more expensive materials, plastic was soon embraced for its durable, lightweight, and affordable attributes. Today, plastic is found in many items, from life-saving apparatus and medical equipment to single-use foodware and bags.

For years now the public has been exposed to the benefits and disadvantages of our plastic dependence. Using eight common plastic objects, Freinkel describes how we’ve become more dependent and confused about where to stand with plastics.

One of the items she highlights is the plastic grocery bag. Freinkel interviewed CAW Executive Director Mark Murray for the chapter on the plastic bag. Murray is quoted in the book:

"I’m not out there suggesting that we ban every plastic product. But there are some whose environmental costs exceed their utility, and the bag is one of them."

Freinkel’s approach to plastic consumption is similar. She acknowledges that using plastics in some products is useful, even vital to protecting human health, and compromises must be made. We can’t live in a world without plastic, but collectively we can be selective about how much and what type of plastic we use to reduce our dependency on it.

Freinkel also wrote a recent article in the New York Times. Read more about the article, and see what CAW is doing to fight plastic pollution here.