With climate activism becoming a larger part of my blog I wanted to read up on plastic pollution as I continue to write about how we can help live more sustainably, Lucy Siegle’s book sounded like a great starts!
“Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (and you) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again” is about how we got to this point and how to go back. The book is split into two parts, the history behind plastic pollution, and what we can do about it.
Siegle is by far one of the most qualified people to be writing this book as in her career as a journalist, she was talking about pollution and climate activism long before it became a mainstream topic. Her personal and witty writing style helped keep the book interesting – because let’s face it, nearly 250 pages on plastic is not gonna be like reading Harry Potter. She made sure to keep a healthy balance between facts and personal anecdotes, so we learn something but we’re also not judged for having all used single-use plastic before, or even still using it.
Initially I wondered if I’d learn anything new, I’m absolutely not even close to being an expert on plastic pollution or the climate crisis, but I find a lot of repetition in the discussion. I learned so much from this, on the sheer magnitude of the problem – did you know that plastic isn’t just in the fish people eat any more but even other foods and water!?
What was a sad takeaway from this book was that plastic was initially created to help animals, and is now harming them. For example, before plastic, buttons were made from bulls horns, tortoise shells, and/or ivory, which put a lot of strain on animal populations to meet demand. The invention of plastic meant animal products could not be manufactured from synthetic materials. Sadly now, plastic pollution is killing marine life as they mistake it for food, and sea turtles can’t lay eggs on plastic ridden beaches.
The book was an excellent eye-opener for how dire our plastic situation is, but thankfully isn’t bereft of hope as she gives advice on how we can all ditch single-use plastic.
A nice touch was how the book cover didn’t have the plastic covering that most books have, care was taken to use as little plastic as possible when going to print – which should be the standard for all books!
If you’re looking live a lower-waste lifestyle, check out my zero-waste essentials.