Nowadays, with the large cumulative build-up of plastic waste, there are more and more books on plastic recycling, sustainable plastic, and related issues. The following is an extensive selection in different sections, from kids to advanced technical books and ebooks.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, written by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.
“I didn’t call out the problems. I called out solutions.” —Isatou Ceesay
“The inspiring story of five women who creatively dealt with their village’s plastic trash problem.” A true story of many small steps leading to a great change. “One... Then two. Then ten.”
With an official website for the book, including plenty of related information, activities, and resources.
Print book and ebook, ages 5–9
Poly and the Poopy Heads: a story about plastics and recycling, written by Eric R. Larson, illustrated by Hans Koopman.
“This story is intended to teach children about the world around them, including how things are made and the importance of asking questions, especially when rules are being made by poopy heads.”
A children’s book maintaining that plastics can be environmentally friendly when used and recycled responsibly.
No. More. Plastic.: What you can do to make a difference, by Martin Dorey, foreword by Chris Packham.
It all started with the #2minutebeachclean campaign for no more plastic rubbish littering the beaches. And now this popular book supports “reducing, re-using and recycling” by including “smart, surprising and simple solutions”, #2minutesolution, to reduce plastic use, especially of non-recyclable plastics.
“Plastic is a wonder material with all kinds of brilliant uses. But we need to use less of it, use it more wisely and stop letting it pollute our oceans.”
Print book and ebook, 2018
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, by Susan Freinkel.
This is a very informative and easy to read book with everything about the plastics that flood our lives today.
“It turns out that plastic is not only an ongoing environmental peril, but a compulsively interesting story.” —Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, founder of 350.org
“The first step to creating change is understanding, and the first step to understanding anything to do with plastic is reading Susan Freinkel’s compelling, much-needed, and truly brilliant book.” —David de Rothschild, leader of the Plastiki Expedition
Print book, ebook, and unabridged audiobook, 2011
The Sustainable Plastics Economy, by Teresa Clark.
Subtitled “A guide to implementing Circular Economy principles within the plastic industry for sustainable development and design”.
From the abstract: “The Circular Economy was created from the idea that we can create sustainable human systems by mimicking the sustainable processes in nature.”
This brief guidebook quickly explains the broad outlines of a complete system for plastics sustainability. The author provides a complimentary copy in PDF that can be downloaded from her article The missing link between the Circular Economy and Sustainability.
Plastics and Sustainability, by Michael Tolinski.
One of the best books on plastics. Deeply informative and fact-based, while at the same time clear, readable, and interesting. Suitable for both technical and non-technical readers, including company managers, product developers, policy makers, environmental researchers, and plastics industry engineers.
“The book’s essential argument is that with careful thought about multiple issues, optimally sustainable decisions can be made about the use of industrial materials such as plastics.”
Print book and ebook, 2011
Sustainable Plastics: Environmental Assessments of Biobased, Biodegradable, and Recycled Plastics, by Joseph P. Greene.
A “resource for practitioners, scientists, researchers, and students.”
Chapters include: Introduction to Sustainability. Environmental Issues. Life Cycle Information. Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers. Biobased and Recycled Petroleum-Based Plastics. End-of-Life Options for Plastics. Sustainable Plastic Products. Biobased and Biodegradation Standards for Polymeric Materials. Sustainable Strategies for Plastics Companies. Future Sustainable Plastics. Appendices.
Print book and ebook, 2014
Sustainability Managers Complete Guide to Plastics, by Teresa Clark.
Subtitled “A pragmatic approach to sustainable management of plastic materials”, this book focuses on today's realities and working alternatives. It examines in detail landfilling, recycling, incineration, and composting of plastic, paying special attention to degradable, biodegradable, and compostable plastics.
On recycling, the book affirms: “The recyclability of a package or product will change over time as recycling technologies improve. Today, recycling on a mass scale is limited to PET beverage bottles and HDPE rigid containers.”
The print edition is published as Plastics: Establishing the Path to Zero Waste.
Print book and ebook, 2015
Hazardous substances in plastics: ways to increase recycling, by Åsa Stenmarck and 5 more.
“The aim of the project is to create a knowledge base on how plastics recycling can increase without increasing the risk of emitting hazardous substances in the environment.”
The IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, one of the publishers, also provides a full free download in PDF. There are print and electronic versions published by the Nordic Council of Ministers, including Open Access in DiVA (PDF).
Print book and ebook, 2017
Economic Policy Instruments for Plastic Waste: A review with Nordic perspectives, by Magnus Hennlock and 10 more.
“This report reviews the status and trends for plastic waste flows and treatment in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Furthermore, it gives an overview of existing policy instruments and the main challenges for designing policy instruments for improved recycling of plastic waste in these Nordic countries.”
There are print and electronic versions published by the Nordic Council of Ministers, including Open Access in DiVA (PDF).
Recycling of Polymers: Methods, Characterization and Applications, multi-authored, edited by Raju Francis.
Chapters of this detailed reference source include: Common Additives used in Recycling of Polymers. Methods of Recycling. Recycling of Plastics (PLA, PVC, PE, PP, PS, PET). Recycling of Rubber. Fibers. Recycling of Polymer Blends and Composites (Epoxy Blends). Recycling of Other Layered Mixed Plastics or Resins: Polyurethanes. Ecoprofiles of Recycled Polymers at a Glance.
Print book and ebook, 2016
Plastics Fabrication and Recycling, by Manas Chanda and Salil K. Roy.
Technical book in two parts. The first is “Fabrication Processes”, covering a large number of processing techniques (compression molding, transfer molding, extrusion, injection, blow molding, calendering, etc.) for thermosetting plastics and thermoplastics.
The second part, “Recycling of Polymers” describes recycling methods for PET, polyurethanes, PVC, cured epoxies, mixed plastics waste, polyethylene films, ground rubber tires, and car batteries. There is a section on plastic recycling equipment and machinery.
Print book and ebook, 2016
Industrial Applications of Renewable Plastics: Environmental, Technological, and Economic Advances, by Michel Biron.
Extensive resource (615 pages) for engineers and materials scientists. With chapters on the actual situation of plastics, genesis of renewable plastics and integration in the plastics stream, recycling as the first source of renewable plastics, renewable plastics derived from natural polymers, biobricks, renewable alloys, compounds, composites, additives, environmental impact of renewable plastics, application examples, economic overview, and future prospects.
Print book and ebook, 2016
Biopolymers Reuse, Recycling and Disposal, by Michael Niaounakis.
A very interesting, still small, but fast-growing materials sectors is the production of biopolymers or bioplastics. These include several groups of polymers (plastics, etc.) that are bio-based and/or biodegradable. Bio-based polymers (part of them biodegradable) are made from renewable raw materials rather than fossil fuels, while biodegradable and non-biodegradable polymers can be made from both sources. This 432 page book is the first one “covering all aspects of biopolymer waste management and post-usage scenarios”.
Print book and ebook, 2013
Life Cycle Engineering of Plastics: Technology, Economy and the Environment, by Lars Lundquist, Yves Leterrier, Paul Sunderland, and Jan-Anders E. Månson.
A book for technologists, managers, and financiers, that wants to “provide a practical and readable guide to environmental strategies for the plastics industry”.
Life Cycle Engineering gives a methodology for maximum efficiency (feedstock, production, transport, use) and minimum waste (reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery), “with the aim of optimising resource use and minimising environmental impact”.
Print book and ebook, 2001
Automotive Recycling, Plastics, and Sustainability: The Recycling Renaissance, by David Schönmayr.
Academic book that begins with a theoretical “holistic and transdisciplinary overview on sustainability and automotive plastics from all angles including economy, ecology, technology, and politics with a focus on Europe”. Then it examines the practical issues of automotive plastics and recycling, and proposes sustainability and circular economy solutions.