Monday, 10 December 2018

No. More. Plastic. by Martin Dorey | Book Review

In my Ethical Gift Guide, I mentioned this book as a great beginner’s guide to plastic reduction and as an introduction into a more zero-waste lifestyle. 
Overall, I think the book is good and very much needed in our current situation. I would recommend anyone give it a rad – whether you’re a well-seasoned zero/low waster or just trying to see what all the fuss is about. Dorey provides useful evidence of why a severe reduction of our collective plastic use is needed and lots of simple ways which combine to make a huge impact and are quite easy to implement into your life. 

Whilst I would definitely recommend this book, there are definitely flaws in it. 


For example, Dorey places a heavy emphasis on recycling rather than simply reducing. He says to look through the items that you use and vow not to buy them again if they are not recyclable or look for other products which use recyclable plastic. This is a very useful approach for people who are looking to gradually reduce their impact or don’t necessarily have the means to buy items packaging-free. However, there is only a limited amount of time that plastic can be recycled, and even then it can often disperse micro-plastics out into the environment. Out of the three Rs (as Jack Johnson once sang…), the emphasis should be put on reduce and reuse as our recycling systems are under too much pressure and aren’t as effective as is needed. 

Similarly, Dorey seems to simply gloss over the issue of animal agriculture for the environment. Even setting aside the emissions produced by animal agriculture, the waste produced is astounding. Can you even buy fish and meat without plastic? The elephant in the room: veganism. It’s so much easier to reduce plastic use when you’re buying plant-based. I’m not saying full-on veganism is right for everyone, but the general strategy of reducing as much as possible is the way to go in my opinion. The mention of the ‘butchers’ and ‘fishmongers’ even goes so far as to suggest that eating animals can be done in a sustainable way. There is a little acknowledgement about the fact that the fishing industry is one of the biggest global plastic polluters, but the topic needs to be discussed further in order to make a difference.



One useful element of this book is a small section where Dorey breaks down the different types of plastic: their common uses, recyclability and toxicity. This is something I don’t know much about and I think is quite interesting to know about. 

I feel like I may have come off a little harsh when discussing this little book. My criticisms shouldn’t marr the usefulness of it. The term ‘plastic-free’ has become somewhat of a buzzword in the past year or so, and that is incredible. Books like these and documentaries such as Liz Bonnin’s Drowning in Plastic are doing wonders to bring the issue to the attention of the wider public and help more people think differently about the way they consume. And hey, I always love a good environment stat, and this book has lots!

3.5 stars. 

Last week, Hannah Brown wrote a blog post recommending books based on this here blog. The books she recommended seem really interesting and have gone straight on my TBR. If you like the content of my blog then you’d probably be interested in the titles she suggested too, so go and check them out here

Jemima x

If you liked this post you might like: Books I've Read This Summer (2017)

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