cover image Plastic: Past, Present, and Future

Plastic: Past, Present, and Future

Eun-Ju Kim, trans. from the Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort, illus. by Ji-Won Lee. Scribble, $17.99 ISBN 978-1-950354-06-1

In 1992, a shipwreck sends thousands of plastic bath toys adrift across the ocean; curiously, the toys do not disintegrate despite their “long and unusual journey.” From this introduction, readers are launched into a close examination of plastic—how it came to be, how it’s made and used, and how it has changed the world, for better and for worse. The book objectively presents the petroleum-based substance’s contributions to the field of medicine and to the accessibility of manufactured goods alongside its increasingly harsh toll on the environment. “If we can’t avoid plastics, then we must use them responsibly, through reuse and recycling,” Kim states, briefly highlighting scientific advances and systemic waste-reduction efforts around the world (and stating that “recycling alone cannot solve our plastic problem”). Lee’s boldly colored digital illustrations attractively and neatly chart out complex phenomena such as microplastics consumption. Ages 6–10. [em](Apr.) [/em]