Print this page Share

Plastics and the Environment

ISBN: 978-0-471-09520-0
792 pages
February 2003
Plastics and the Environment (0471095206) cover image


Plastics offer a variety of environmental benefits. However, their production, applications, and disposal present many environmental concerns. Plastics and the Environment provides state-of-the-art technical and research information on the complex relationship between the plastic and polymer industry and the environment, focusing on the sustainability, environmental impact, and cost—benefit tradeoffs associated with different technologies.

Bringing together the field’s leading researchers, Anthony Andrady’s innovative collection not only covers how plastics affect the environment, but also how environmental factors affect plastics. The relative benefits of recycling, resource recovery, and energy recovery are also discussed in detail. The first of the book’s four sections represents a basic introduction to the key subject matter of plastics and the environment; the second explores several pertinent applications of plastics with environmental implications–packaging, paints and coatings, textiles, and agricultural film use. The third section discusses the behavior of plastics in some of the environments in which they are typically used, such as the outdoors, in biotic environments, or in fires. The final section consists of chapters on recycling and thermal treatment of plastics waste. Chapters include:

  • Commodity Polymers
  • Plastics in Transportation
  • Biodegradation of Common Polymers
  • Thermal Treatment of Polymer Waste
  • Incineration of Plastics
The contributors also focus on the effectiveness of recent technologies in mitigating environmental impacts, particularly those for managing plastics in the solid waste stream. Plastic and design engineers, polymer chemists, material scientists, and ecologists will find Plastics and the Environment to be a vital resource to this critical industry.
See More

Table of Contents





An Environmental Primer (A. Andrady).

Common Plastics Materials (A. Andrady).

Polymers and Energy (I. Boustead)


Plastics in Packaging (S. Selke)

Plastics in Agriculture (I. Hussain & H. Hamid).

Coatings (L. Hill).

Wastes From Textiles Processing (B. Smith).


Environmental Effects on Polymeric Materials (N. Searle).

Biodegradable Polymers (S. McCarthy).

Plastics in the Marine Environment (M. Gregory and A. Andrady).

Flammability of Polymers (A. Tewarson).

Biodegradable Water-Soluble Polymers (G. Swift).


Polymers, Polymer Recycling, and Sustainability (J. Brandrup).

Plastics Recycling (M. Fisher).

Thermal Destruction of Wastes and Plastics (A. Gupta & D. Lilley).

Recycling of Carpet and Textile Fibers (Y. Wang, et al.).

Polymers in Automobile Applications  (W. Lange).


See More

Author Information

ANTHONY L. ANDRADY, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist in the Chemistry and Life Sciences, Engineering and Technology Division, Research Triangle Institute, in Durham, North Carolina.
See More


"...contains numerous very useful diagrams, tables and photos...it is highly recommended..." (Polymer News)
See More

Related Titles

Back to Top