Originally published: May 2018
Author: Will McCallum
Published by: Penguin Life
Page count: 210
Reading dates: 25 May – 14 June 2018
Star Rating: 4/5
Around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean every year, killing over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight
How to Give Up Plastic is a great little book. Written by Will McCallum who is Head of Oceans for Greenpeace, it is a mixture of shocking facts about the plastic pollution we generate and some ideas to help stop the dependency we all have on plastic. Did you know that in Great Britain alone, we use 35 million plastic bottles a day? Less than half of the 1.3 billion plastic bottles that British people through away each year are recycled.
I’ve been reasonably environmentally minded over the years – I’ve carried my own bags for years rather than take plastic and I’m pretty good at recycling but I’m aware there is a lot more I can be doing, and this book has given me the inspiration to try new products and think differently in my day to day life.
There are sections on each area of the house and how we can reduce plastic consumption in each. We can try and refill our products rather buying new ones, we can use shampoo bars and soaps and we can avoid products with microbeads. We can try to think about our clothing – microfibres from our clothes (especially from polyester and nylon) enter the environment when they are washed. Ideally, we need to think about buying less clothes and only washing them when they really need it.
I was lucky enough to be sent some products too, to show some of the things companies are doing to lesson our dependency on plastic. Beeswax Wraps are reusable and biodegradable, and are the planet friendly alternative to cling film and tinfoil (and they are really pretty!)
Fat & The Moon produce a cream deodorant in a tin or in a glass jar; Truthpaste in a natural mineral toothpaste (again in a jar); Eco Glitter is biodegradable glitter and the Mooncup is a medical-grade silicone menstrual cup and is safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads (the average woman will use between 12000-16000 tampons in her lifetime!)
For those who wish to go even further, there is a section on how to organise a beach clean or how to run campaigns and write letters.
East to read and digestible, this is a fantastic book for those who care about the environment and want to do more.
Thank you to Penguin Life for sending me a copy.
About the author:
Will McCallum has been at the heart of the anti-plastic movement for the past 3 years, in his role as Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK. He regularly meets with the government and companies to implore them to help tackle the plastic crisis. He can be followed on Twitter