Turning the Tide on Plastic
Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
In this vital book for our times, Siegle first introduces our reliance on plastic, how it all began and the dire situation our trash-strewn planet finds itself in (she had me at “enough plastic is thrown away annually to circle the world 4 times”). Then, crucially, she presents her passionate call to arms telling us how we can alter our habits to remove unnecessary plastic, reduce and reuse our “stuff” and recycle more effectively. The most valuable stocking filler ever.
Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the world 4 times
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year
300 million tonnes of new plastic is produced every year
An estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic now litter the world’s oceans
38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK
A million plastic bottles are used per minute around the world
500 million plastic straws are used per year
Without big action, at the current rate, pieces of plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. That is the legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren.
Plastic flows into our lives from every direction and most of it is not recycled. Instead it is incinerated or ends up in landfill, where it will sit for hundreds of years, or enters the world’s seas where it fragments into tiny pieces to become microplastics – the environmental scourge of our times.
Many of us had assumed that governments, brands and waste authorities were dealing with plastic on our behalf. But the impact of shows such as Blue Planet along with national beach cleans and high-profile campaigns have resulted in a collective wake-up call. If there were plans and strategies, they have not worked as we imagined. It would be easy to feel despondent but instead we need to turn our anger and emotion into action, starting by making a big dent in our own enormous consumption.
Turning the tide on Plastic is here just in time. Journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle provides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. It is a clear-eyed, authoritative and accessible guide to help us to take decisive and effective personal action.
Because this matters. When it comes to single-use plastics, we are habitual users, reaching out for plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, plastic straws and carrier bags multiple times a day. If only 12 of us adopt Lucy’s ‘reduce, rethink, refill, refuse’ approach, we could potentially ditch 3K-15K single items of plastic in a year. When we consider our power as influencers – whether at school, the hairdressers, at work or on the bus – we suddenly become part of something significant.
So now is the time to speak up, take action and demand the change you want to see in the ocean, in the supermarket aisles and on the streets. It’s time to turn the tide on plastic, and this book will show you how.
A clear-sighted and immensely useful overview of the problems caused by plastic and the potential solutions. — Ian Critchley * SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE * [An] eye-opening manifesto…This is THE guide on how to turn the tide on plastic. * SUNDAY TIMES STYLE Instagram * Informative — Ella Walker * PRESS ASSOCIATION * An impassioned and highly practical account of how to reduce our plastic consumption. — Hannah Beckerman * OBSERVER * ‘Turning The Tide on Plastic suggests simple and practical ways in which each one of us can help to reduce the use of plastic. I urge everyone to read it and take action.’ DR JANE GOODALL DBE, world-leading primatologist and anthropologist ‘Long before plastic pollution rose to the top of the public’s consciousness, Lucy was a constant voice asking difficult questions and demanding answers on behalf of all of us. This excellent book tells the heartbreaking truth about the scale of the problem. It is a heroic wake-up call for everyone to take action, for the sake of future generations. I hope it will be part of the sea change our planet needs.’ RICHARD WALKER, CEO Iceland ‘Turning the Tide on Plastic is great, providing not just a cracking analysis of how we’ve let the plastics monster trash our planet, but a step-by-step guide on what we can do to start putting things right.’ JONATHON PORRITT, Founder, Forum for the Future ‘Lucy Siegle turned the tide on the fashion pandemic in her last book. Now she turns her attention and brings her authority to bear on plastic, the environmental struggle of our age’. LIVIA FIRTH, UN Leader of Change and Founder of Eco Age Ltd. ‘Feisty, excellent journalism, as you’d expect from Lucy Siegle, but also great practical ways we can all kick the plastic habit and start turning the tide. A must-buy, must-read book’ KATE HUMBLE ‘It is a great gift to be able to take a difficult and technical subject and turn it into a conversation with a friend that really stimulates you. Congratulations then to Lucy Siegle …where most books on the environment blend the whiff of cordite with the style of Old Testament prophet. This book is special because it genuinely addresses the genius and threat of plastic and suggests solutions along the way. Most of all it is written in such a way as makes you want to read it rather than suffer through it. Intelligent, witty, passionate and serious of intent. This is a gem of a book- a primer and a call to action that will genuinely drive change.’ SIR TIM SMIT, co-founder of the Eden Project ‘Lucy is one of the true plastic-pollution pioneers’ HUGO TAGHOLM, CEO Surfers Against Sewage