Plastic is everywhere in our modern world. If you’d like to find ways to cut back on using it, then check out Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles! by Michael SanClements. He starts with a concise history of plastics (which includes case studies of women’s nylons and Tupperware), talks about the science behind the different types of plastics, then goes into detail about how you can make better choices about the plastics you use. SanClements breaks plastics into three categories: the good, like medical equipment or computers; the bad, like toxic food storage containers; and the ugly, like single-use plastics. He advocates keeping the good plastics, limiting the bad plastics, and completely avoiding the ugly ones.
Plastic Purge really shines in the earlier chapters. I enjoyed his case studies and learned a lot in the chapters on the science of plastic (I honestly had no idea that some plastics weren’t recyclable!) In the chapters where he categorized plastics into good, bad, and ugly, SanClements has great rationale for why some plastics are okay and others should be avoided. I also liked how he didn’t make an exhaustive list of guidelines for purging plastics from your life, but instead encourages you to find your own solutions (while offering a few of his own). Unfortunately, Plastic Purge is American, so some of the solutions SanClements offers aren’t applicable in Canada. There are also a few areas of the book where SanClements doesn’t really have much to offer, like in the pets section. Other than these quibbles, Plastic Purge is an excellent read, perfect for getting you started with eliminating plastics from your own life.