Plastic Pollution
June 16 2011

‘Plastic: A Toxic Love Story’ Book Discussion

by Bill Hickman

This week the Surfrider Foundation Portland Chapter hosted a book discussion with Susan Frienkel about her new book, ‘Plastics: A Toxic Love Story.”  It was held at a local coffee shop and Portland Mayor Sam Adams kicked off the evening with a call to action to ‘Ban The Bag’ in Portland.  After a failed, but very close attempt, to ban plastic bags in the State of Oregon, it’s up to cities and counties to enact ordinances to help reduce plastic pollution that is plaguing the marine environment.

Susan was a great speaker and captivated the full room of 60+ people with insights from her book and personal life.  She is not a scientist or an activist but instead is someone who wonders how plastic became so prevalant.  It all started with an idea to keep track of everything plastic she touched in one day – something that you may want to give a try.  The list started almost immediately as she headed to the bathroom after waking up and the toilet seat was plastic. 

The book provides a great insight into the history of plastic from the hunt for a better billiard ball (instead of elephant ivory) to bringing fashionable combs to the masses (instead of tortouise shells) to the explosion of disposible plastics and beyond.  It’s a good read with just the right mix of fascinating facts and history interweaved with insights on items that most of us use quite often.  There’s not much doom and gloom to scare people away, just an honest look at the facts.

For more info on the book and where you can purchase it visit:  Better yet, go down to your local bookstore (if you have one left) to check it out in person and support your local businesses.

Here's a short q&a with Susan after the event...