"Plastics!" In the 50 years since Dustin Hoffman's character in The Graduate was instructed that this was the career field of the future, we have not been able to escape this ubiquitous but poorly understood material. Author Jack Buffington argues that the plastics crisis is careening toward a tipping point from which there will be no returban. There is still time, however, to do something about this crisis if we have the imagination and the will to move away from the failed policies of the past.
This book is the first to propose a new model for linking our synthetic world to the natural one, rather than seeking to treat them as separate entities. The key is supply chain innovation. Buffington presents five market-based solutions based on this principle that will allow consumers to continue to use plastic, which has in many ways enabled our way of life. Alongside these proposed solutions, he also addresses the proliferation of plastic as we know it—growth that, if left unchecked, will lead to a "planetary crisis," according to the United Nations—and considers how the material itself might be adapted for a sustainable future.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 What Is Peak Plastic? 1
Chapter 2 The Good, Bad, and Unknown of Plastic 15
Chapter 3 The Waste-Driven Supply Chain 41
Chapter 4 2030: A Plastic Tipping Point (Peak Plastic) 57
Chapter 5 The Alternative to Peak Plastic: Exponential Thinking 75
Chapter 6 Solution 1: Stop the Bleeding 87
Chapter 7 Solution 2: Open-Source/Access Plastic (Open-Source Capitalism) 99
Chapter 8 Solution 3: Sustainable Polymerization 111
Chapter 9 Solution 4: A Closed-Loop System for Plastic 121
Chapter 10 Solution 5: Fixing the Invisibility Problem 135
Chapter 11 Summary: Make It Happen! 141