How to Give Up Plastic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This book is an important and necessary read for everyone. McCallum not only outlines the issue and repercussions of plastic waste on our planet—but offers ways to minimize your own plastic waste. An essential read!
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I think that most of us know that plastic pollution is a problem that we are currently facing in a way that no other generation has had to face.  We're made aware that we should bring our own canvas bags to the grocery store instead of taking a plastic bag because it's bad for the environment.  But how bad is it?  Can my refusing a plastic bag really make a difference?  Is there anything else I can do? Will McCallum, author of How to Give Up Plastic let's us know - Yes.  You really can make a difference.

McCallum, who is the 'Head of Oceans' at Greenpeace, and as such has seen far more of the plastics pollution than most of us ever will, gives us some very unfortunate facts and figures regarding plastics pollution as well as his eye-witness accounts and the information isn't pretty.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done and many of them can be done at the individual level - starting with things we already know ... reduce, reuse, recycle.  Beyond that, we can also do a much better job of selecting items and products that aren't unnecessarily wrapped in plastics. Just think of all the items that have redundant plastic packaging!

On a personal level, I think about when I go to the grocery store and buy meats ... in the cooler section, the meat is on a non-recyclable styrofoam plate and wrapped in plastic wrap - often two or three layers of it.  But if I go to the meat counter, the butcher cuts the meat I want and wraps it in a butcher paper. ...And why do I buy from the cooler section?  Is it really more convenient?  If yes, does the convenience really outweigh the pollution production?  The answer is no.

Some of the options here surprised me and I look forward to getting more information on how to make a better life of less plastic following some of these suggestions.

Some of the items mentioned seem beyond my ability (or perhaps really, my desire?) to change.

But one of the notions listed here is the fact that we can all make a difference and even a little difference is a difference. And our little difference can hopefully snowball into making other people making changes.

There is a lot of good information here and it is well worth reviewing.

Looking for a good book? How to Give up Plastic by Will McCallum is a great primer for getting on to making changes to save the planet by getting off one of the most harmful but common and useful items ... plastic.

I received a digital copy of this book, which I read on my plastic-molded Kindle, from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow. I thought I was doing okay, but I totally need to do way more. 

"Our world functioned before plastic packaging existed, so it's obvious that we can exist without it again."

This book had so many helpful tips and resources. There is so much good information! I'm planning on buying a physical copy to keep for reference and to have more access to the lists and charts. I really enjoyed reading through this book and found it super helpful.
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Informative without preaching, McCallum does a fantastic job covering the bases to assist people of varying interest levels on how to improve their waste-reduction efforts.
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For anyone wanting to make changes but overwhelmed by the scope of giving up plastic in our daily lives, British author and anti-plastics advocate McCallum offers practical tips, top-five lists, and incremental improvements.
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This book not only shows us how, but also why it is so important for us to give up plastic:
Reading this book, it becomes clear that the plastic we discard on a daily basis comes back to us like a boomerang with dire consequences. Plastic takes ages to disintegrate, yet a lot of plastic items are single-use and become trash shortly, sometimes just minutes after we have acquired them. Working for Greenpeace, Will McCallum shares his broad knowledge about the devastating effect that plastic has on our oceans, the viability of marine live, and ultimately the viability of humanity itself.  It is very concerning that microplastic can now be found in the bodies of  fish and birds, even in remote places. Inevitably, plastic also will find its way into our bodies through our food chain. Will McCallum gives examples on how  we can reduce plastics at home, on the go, at work, and in the community. He does not only show us how a single person can make a difference by changing his or her consumer habits, but also asks the readers to raise their voices in public, so that  also the producers of plastics are held more responsible for what happens  to a  plastic item once it has reached the end of its usefulness. After reading this book, I am motivated to eliminate single-use plastic containers and plastic bags from my life, to think about the clothes I wear, and to replace plastic with more sustainable materials as much as possible.   If you have not been overly concerned about the use of plastic in our daily life, it's time to read this book.
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