The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle
Illustrated by Pete Whitehead
Little Green Books
Dear Diary, do you ever get the feeling you were meant to do something?
Starting off with a tone reserved for journals, Adventures of a Plastic Bottle connects immediately with the reader. The narrator - initially a blog of crude oil - lies in wait at the depth of the ocean. A "cranking, clattering" drill digs up the crude and a tanker transports it back to the refinery. There, it is separated and morphs into something completely unrecognizable from its original form. But the latter half of the journey, we follow it back to the recycling facility where it takes on a new avatar.
The book gives the feeling of watching an episode of Discovery Channel's How It's Made. We travel with the crude oil to a polymerization chamber, through its separation into naptha balls, and into the moulding process, where it is shaped into a bottle. Along the process, we are introduced to eco-friendly terms - preconsumer waste (something that is produced from material never used), postconsumer waste (product of material used and then recycled).
What we (me and the little readers at home) liked about the book -
- The layout resembles a scrapbook. Torn bits of the 'diary' are taped under the illustrations, the sketches look right out of a page of someone's journal.
- While the topic of plastic bottles and the significance of their recycling is heavy, it is approached with a light tone without any lectural undercurrents.
- The complex polymerization process - the process which separates crude oil into its various components - is pictorially depicted, with very simple text, making it easier to break it down.
Adventures of a Plastic Bottle is a light-hearted read about a topic that weighs heavily on all of us. The ubiquitous presence of plastic is alarming, however, it is important to identify that the culprit is not the plastic itself but its overusage and careless handling. A book like Adventures of a Plastic Bottle serves as a springboard to further explorations, questions about the whys and why-nots, leading to awareness of what and how much we consume.
Printed on 100% postconsumer waste recycled paper, with 100% vegetable based ink, the book itself is a testimony to the productive recycling process.