Book Reviews · Eco-Friendly Living

Book Review: Turning The Tide On Plastic

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.

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What I Thought

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 as fun as reading fiction. 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 I Learned From Turning The Tide On Plastic

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.


0 thoughts on “Book Review: Turning The Tide On Plastic

    1. Very well written. I’m also incredibly moved by what animals are now experiencing through human wastage of plastic and am keen to learn more about what to do personally to help.

  1. I love that there are published pieces of literature about the environment’s truth. Glad that you learned a lot from the book. It is so important that we do anything we can to be more environmentally friendly.

    Nancy ♥

  2. So much of the plastic pollution is a mismanagement of waste. I was so struck at the weekend by pictures from a local seaside town where the bins were full and people were piling bags of rubbish beside them on the seafront….which of course the gulls get into, and the foxes overnight, spreading it back over the beach and into the sea; which could be prevented with larger (gull proof) bins during the summer months.
    I know my Dad struggles with the dilemma of does he put plastics (from food packaging or after reusing the life out of them) in the recycling and take the chance that they won’t be recycled/will be irresponsibly dumped, or does he put them in the general waste which goes to an incineration plant with scrubbers that produces energy so he knows they won’t end up in the oceans but it also finishes the use of that finite amount of oil.

    1. I was astounded at how little that goes in recycling bins ends up actually recycled! I think we all need to rely less on single use plastics so there’s no dump or ending up in the ocean.

  3. I have been wanting to get my hands on this. The amount of plastic we have dumped is so incredibly disturbing, and yet far too many people remain completely oblivious to the problem. While I will fully admit we’re not perfect, but we make an effort to avoid as much plastic as possible in our daily routine.

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