Plastics have transformed every aspect of our lives. Yet the very properties that make them attractive—they are cheap to make, light, and durable—spell disaster when trash makes its way into the environment. Recent bans on single-use straws and bags have increased awareness of this issue. But, for most people, the full extent of our plastic problem is difficult to grasp. Plastic Soup: An Atlas of Ocean Pollution is a beautifully-illustrated survey of the plastics clogging our seas, their impacts on wildlife and people around the world, and inspirational initiatives designed to tackle the problem.

In Plastic Soup, Michiel Roscam Abbing of the Plastic Soup Foundation reveals the scope of the issue: plastic trash now lurks on every corner of the planet. The book surveys topics ranging from microplastics in cosmetics and the impact of balloon releases on wildlife to toxins in the food chain and threats of nanoplastics to human health. While the book provides a realistic look at our plastic crisis, it also sends a message of hope: although the scale of the problem is massive, so too is the dedication of those working to solve it. Plastic Soup highlights a diverse array of projects to curb plastic waste and raise awareness, from plastic-free grocery stores and innovative laws to public art installations and products made from ocean plastic. The book also suggests actions for readers to counteract plastic pollution, ranging from refusing plastic straws and disposable plastic items to avoiding double packaging and synthetic clothing. 

According to some estimates, if we continue on our current path, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2050. Created to inform and inspire readers, Plastic Soup is a critical tool in the fight to reverse this trend. Check out a slideshow of images from the book below. 

Plastic Soup: An Atlas of Ocean Pollution