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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How to Give Up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time
author: Will McCallum
publisher: Penguin Life
hardcover, 208 pages