Memorial Hall Library will close at 5pm Wednesday, November 22nd and remain closed through Friday, November 24th for Thanksgiving.

Memorial Hall Library

One word: PLASTICS

Grocery bags, fidget spinners, medical devices, water bottles and cell phone cases. Our economy depends on cheap, practical synthetic polymers to extend the shelf life of food, insulate our homes and design light weight auto parts that make cars more fuel efficient. Plastics undeniably grow the economy and our access to consumer goods, but they pose a threat to the environment and our health. In July Science Advances published the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever made. which revealed that worldwide production since the early 1950’s (when bakelite was all the rage) has reached 9.1 billion tons - more than one ton per person on this planet. Plastic is durable and almost entirely non-biodegradable so scientists know that measuring world plastic production is a step toward understanding the scope of plastic waste and figuring out what to do with it. These numbers seem overwhelming, but there are many very specific things everyday consumers can do to reduce plastic production and consumption. Here are some recommended resources for understanding the broad impact of plastic on the economy and the environment.

Bag It!


Bag It!
Follows 'everyman' Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world. Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics. Answers questions like: Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to our environment, marine life and human health?
planet plastic

Plastic planet. Documentary Film 

It's cheap, practical, and everywhere. But is it dangerous? Viewers are taken on a journey around the globe, from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China to the Alps to reveal the far-flung reaches of the plastic problem. Interviews with experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to the environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects the body, and the health of future generations.

plastic a toxic love story

Plastic : a toxic love story
In this probing look at how plastic built the modern world-- and the price the world has paid for plastic-- journalist Freinkel points out that we're nearing a crisis point and gives readers the tools needed through lively anecdotes and analysis.

american plastic a cultural history

American plastic : a cultural history
A scholarly, interdisciplinary history of plastic and it's many manufacturing technologies. 

Eco-Friendly Knits Using Recycled Plastic Bags Eco-friendly knits : using recycled plastic bags
 Using simple instructions, the guide shows how to create “plarn,” plastic yarn, by cutting strips of plastic from excess bags and then rolling them up to create a ball from which to knit any number of great items.
Reclaimed Textiles

Reclaimed textiles : techniques for paper, stitch, plastic and mixed media
Whether you want to be thrifty and green, or to add a sense of heritage to your work, incorporating old bits of paper, fabric, plastic, and packaging can lead to stunning textile art.

American Experience - Tupperware Tupperware!

Documentary film based on the book: Tupperware : The promise of plastic in 1950's America.

Plastic Ocean Plastic ocean : how a sea captain's chance discovery launched a quest to save the oceans
A  lifelong seafarer, was spurred to activism when his catamaran stalled in a remote area of the northeast Pacific and he noticed a visible proliferation of plastic bits and other trash floating on the water's surface. Dubbed "The Great North Pacific Garbage Patch," it was an ominous indicator of the cavalier way in which humans dispose of tons of plastic trash.
Plastic Purge

Plastic purge : how to use less plastic, eat better, keep toxins out of your body, and help save the sea turtles!

In Plastic Purge, author and ecologist Mike SanClements presents the history and science behind plastics, then teaches you how to cut down on the amount of plastic in your life.


Find out what properties plastic has, where plastic comes from, and how plastic is made.