"Plastic, An Autobiography" by Allison Cobb (Review)
A few months ago, I was gifted some books by a dear friend who works at Nightboat Books based here in Brooklyn. Among the titles I received was Plastic: An Autobiography by Allison Cobb. Although Cobb now works for the Environmental Defense Fund in Portland, Oregon, this book is not your typical environmental activist narrative.
Through a style of writing that oftentimes felt more like poetry than non-fiction storytelling, Cobb weaves together these complex histories of war, industry, chemistry, and culture that emerged through the creation and proliferation of plastics in our everyday life. Of course, Cobb’s relationship to plastic is one of the many threads throughout the book, but there are other linkages, too. We come to learn about the key figures who sought to use this technology for good and evil (and every gray area in between), and its consequences from ingested plastic killing sea birds to high rates of cancer in communities along industrial chemical plants in the South. Nuc…
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