University of California Press Book Series:
Environmental Communication, Power, and Culture

Cover of book, *Beyond Straw Men*, featuring a photograph by Kenyan journalist and advocate James Wakibia,
“Two boys looking at a polluted river.” Half the proceeds of the book will go to Eco-Rethink, which Wakibia co-founded; the other half to Justice for Formosa Victims.

Addressing plastics can feel overwhelming. Guilt, shame, anger, hurt, fear, dismissiveness, and despair abound. Beyond Straw Men moves beyond “hot take” or straw man fallacies by illustrating how affective counterpublics, mobilized around plastics, reveal broader stories about environmental justice and social change today. Attuned to on- and offline organizing in the Global South and the Global South of the North, Pezzullo engages advocacy campaigns, public controversies, and policies, including interviews with headline-making advocates in Bangladesh, Kenya, the US, and Vietnam on her podcast, Communicating Care.  She argues plastics have become an articulator of crisis, or an entry point into contested contemporary environmental politics including carbon-heavy masculinity, carceral policies, planetary fatalism, eco-ableism, greenwashing, marine life endangerment, pollution colonialism, and waste imperialism. Attuned to plastic attachments—and detachments—Pezzullo illustrates how unsustainable patterns of the plastics-industrial complex can be resisted through imperfect but impactful networked cultures of care.

Table of Contents
Introduction: Care Amid an Ocean of Trouble
Chapter 1: #ThereIsNoAway:
Carbon-Heavy Masculinity and The Life/Death Cycle of Plastics
Chapter 2: Have a Coke and a #FootprintCalculator:
The Myth of Recycling and Transnational Greenwashing
Chapter 3: From #BanPlasticsKE to #ISupportBanPlasticsKE:
Pissed Off Online, Picturing Participation, and Policing Pollution
Chapter 4: Engaging #StrawlessinSeattle and #StopSucking:
The Loneliest Whale, Sporting Fun, and American Exceptionalism
Chapter 5: #SuckItAbleism Intervenes:
Eco-Normative Shaming, Voicing Justice, and Planetary Fatalism
Chapter 6: Creating #toichonca (#IChooseFish):
Trauma, Affective Art, and Big Tech Dominance
Conclusion: #BreakFree(FromPlastics)

Featured in:
Lisa Marshall. October 25, 2022. “Rethinking Plastic.” CMCI Now Magazine.

Julie Poppen. October 5, 2022. 3 things to understand about climate justice. CU Today.


Listen to the Podcast: Communicating Care

Additional resources to network with anti-plastic pollution advocates, including petitions & pledges

More Podcasts on plastics, ecologies, climate justice, disability justice, & care

Videos & links about what Pezzullo calls “the plastics-industrial complex”