Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World

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Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World

Format:  Paperback,

168 pages

Publisher: Pgw

Publish Date: May 2005

ISBN-13: 9781578051175

ISBN-10: 1578051177

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
The deceptively simple supermarket choice echoed in the title symbolizes the dilemma of a society on a collision course with the planet's life-support systems. Do we clearcut forests, process pulp, and bleach it with chlorine to make paper bags? Or do we make a pact with demon hydrocarbon, refining ancient sunlight into handy plastics? About half the total volume of America's municipal solid waste is packaging--at least 300 pounds per person each year--and the "upstream" costs in energy and resources used to make packaging are even more alarming.
In this fascinating look at the world of packaging, writer Daniel Imhoff and photographer/designer Roberto Carra give consumers, product designers, and policymakers the information we need to take steps toward a more sustainable future. They delve into the histories and life cycles of packaging materials and look at the countless ways that packaged goods shape our culture. Using case studies, they explore the positive trends that are changing packaging, including producer responsibility and "take-back" laws being enacted in Europe; the eco-design movement; plant-based plastics; labeling to disclose the ecological and social impacts of products; and producing and consuming locally and in bulk versus the wasteful global exchange of single-serving containers. Carra's remarkable color photographs illustrate both the important functions of packaging and its many unintended consequences around the globe.
Despite recent advances, the packaging problem keeps growing, Imhoff warns. Real solutions must incorporate new (or rediscovered) ways of producing, distributing, packaging, consuming, reusing, and reprocessing products and materials. As consumers, there's much we can do, and "Paper or Plastic" offers a checklist for consumer action, along with resources for information on products, programs, and policy options. It's one book that is truly worth the recycled paper it's printed on.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Pgw
Publish Date: May 2005
ISBN-13: 9781578051175
ISBN-10: 1578051177
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 168
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.77
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 8.96 x 0.44 x 8.0

Chapter outline

Foreword
The Right Stuff: Reenvisioning Waste and Our Future,
The Packaging Landscape
The Package Is the Product
Wading Upstream in the Waste Stream In Packages We Trust
Does Packaging Waste Equal Food?
Intrinsic Environmental Consequences of Trade-Related Transport,
Acceptable Levels of Waste
Curbside Confessionals Tracking a Package's Footsteps
In Search of Water from a Deeper Well
A World of Less Bad Solutions?
Can Packaging Have a Meaningful Life?
The Search For Solutions Major Obstacles Preventing Packaging Reform
Key Leverage Points and Trends Toward Packaging Reform
Extended Producer Responsibility and Take-Back Laws
Source Reduction: Packing More with Less
Natural Systems Design: Thinking Like a Coconut Packaging Tips from the Porcupine Fish,
Wood Reduction: Packaging and the Fate of the Forests Third-Party Certification
Organizations and Ecolabels
The Rise of the Mini-Mill
The Carbohydrate Economy: On the Trail of Bioplastics
The Global Revival of Local Economies
A Future Beyond The Box What You Can Do
Wraps at a Glance
Beyond-the-Box Packaging Solutions
Packaging Practices Checklist
Tips on Green Packaging
Resources
Notes
Selected Bibliography
About the Author and Contributors
Photo Credits Index

Book description

The deceptively simple supermarket choice echoed in the title symbolizes the dilemma of a society on a collision course with the planet's life-support systems. Do we clearcut forests, process pulp, and bleach it with chlorine to make paper bags? Or do we make a pact with demon hydrocarbon, refining ancient sunlight into handy plastics? About half the total volume of America's municipal solid waste is packaging--at least 300 pounds per person each year--and the "upstream" costs in energy and resources used to make packaging are even more alarming.

In this fascinating look at the world of packaging, writer Daniel Imhoff and photographer/designer Roberto Carra give consumers, product designers, and policymakers the information we need to take steps toward a more sustainable future. They delve into the histories and life cycles of packaging materials and look at the countless ways that packaged goods shape our culture. Using case studies, they explore the positive trends that are changing packaging, including producer responsibility and "take-back" laws being enacted in Europe; the eco-design movement; plant-based plastics; labeling to disclose the ecological and social impacts of products; and producing and consuming locally and in bulk versus the wasteful global exchange of single-serving containers. Carra's remarkable color photographs illustrate both the important functions of packaging and its many unintended consequences around the globe.

Despite recent advances, the packaging problem keeps growing, Imhoff warns. Real solutions must incorporate new (or rediscovered) ways of producing, distributing, packaging, consuming, reusing, and reprocessing products and materials. As consumers, there's much we can do, and Paper or Plastic offers a checklist for consumer action, along with resources for information on products, programs, and policy options. It's one book that is truly worth the recycled paper it's printed on.

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