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Erica Cirino

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Cirino Erica.jpg
Cirino Erica.jpg
Erica Cirino
Author

Erica Cirino is a writer, artist, and author who explores the intersection of the human and more-than-human worlds.

Latest by this author


Erica Cirino is a writer, artist, and author who explores the intersection of the human and more-than-human worlds. She is best known for her widely published photojournalistic works that cut through plastic/fossil fuel industry misinformation to deliver the truths about plastic—the most ubiquitous and insidious manmade material on Earth. This includes her award-winning book, Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis (Island Press, 2021).

Cirino took on the role of communications manager of the nonprofit Plastic Pollution Coalition in 2022. Her photographic and written works have appeared in Scientific American, The Guardian, VICE, Hakai Magazine, YES! Magazine, The Atlantic, and other publications. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, a gold Nautilus Book Award, and several awards for visual art.

Publications by this author
Island Press | October 2021

Much of what you’ve heard about plastic pollution may be wrong. Instead of a great island of trash, the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of manmade debris spread over hundreds of miles of sea—more like a soup than a floating garbage dump. Recycling is more complicated than we were taught: less than nine percent of the plastic we create is reused, and the majority ends up in the ocean. And plastic pollution isn’t confined to the open ocean: it’s in much of the air we breathe and the food we eat.  

In Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis, journalist Erica Cirino brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. From the deck of a plastic-hunting sailboat with a disabled engine, to the labs doing cutting-edge research on microplastics and the chemicals we ingest, Cirino paints a full picture of how plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health.

Thicker Than Water reveals that the plastic crisis is also a tale of environmental injustice, as poorer nations take in a larger share of the world’s trash, and manufacturing chemicals threaten predominantly Black and low-income communities.  

There is some hope on the horizon, with new laws banning single-use items and technological innovations to replace plastic in our lives. But Cirino shows that we can only fix the problem if we face its full scope and begin to repair our throwaway culture. Thicker Than Water is an eloquent call to reexamine the systems churning out waves of plastic waste.

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