Plastic Free

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       July 15, 2020


Author  Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, Joanna Atherfold Finn

Distributor:      NewSouth
ISBN:                 9781742236551
Publisher:         NewSouth
Release Date:   July 2020  


Plastic Free July, like so many things was created in a moment of time and without any real thought as to the long term consequences of the simple little line said to a group of friends, ‘I’m going plastic free next month,’ which just happened to be July, back in 2011. With those simple words Rebecca Prince-Ruiz began what has become a world wide moment of people changing their lifestyle and helping to educated the world to the very tragic and real dangers of Plastic.

During 2019, this cause was further helped buy the ABC series War On Waste in which Craig Reucassel created a very visual and confrontational look at just what plastic waste looks like, when only very small portions were gathered together then placed on public display.

Over the years the Plastic Free July movement has expanded to become a global initiative that is gathering traction as more and more people are beginning to question how much plastic they use, some seen and much unseen and making a conscious decision to move to alternatives.

Plastic Free tells the story of how the absolute enormity of a visit to a recycling plant in in Western Australia, the sheer volume of waste passing along the conveyor belts, the men in what seemed to be almost a continuous dance, shifting, extracting, unblocking the huge behemoth of machinery needed to process hundreds of tons urban waste, coupled with the almost deafening noise, was Prince-Ruiz ‘penny-dropping ’moment; the catalyst for going Plastic Free.

Doted throughout the book are wonderful anecdotal stories of changes undertaken by communities, families and workplaces to reduce their waste footprint and make a difference to the world around them. Hot topics such as plastic straws, single use plastic bags and plastic disposable water bottles are addressed amongst other issues, as these are tangibles and very easy to understand.

The subliminal aspect of microplastic, to name only one of the unseen killers which is now present in our waterways is not seen and is in many aspects, one the most dangerous of all, is discussed with solutions offered that take time to have a positive result, but need to be undertaken now.

It has not taken just a few years to reach this crisis point, as is explained, as plastic has been around for more than 100 years, but was not a popular product until post World War II, when much changed; life was becoming faster, even then, with easy solutions being sought. Many will remember the introduction of the wonders of ‘plastic wrap’, which ultimately led to the issues now facing society on a global scale.

If one little line in a conversation can set off a such a train of events, perhaps it is time to ask of yourself and others, what can you change to begin to make a difference. Already through Plastic Free July, much change has been undertaken, many fresh and new initiatives have been established and many, many more people are making informed choices when they shop, buy their morning coffee and pack their groceries into plastic free containers.

Plastic Free and Plastic Free July reminds everyone that making a small difference can have a very positive impact on the environment, on your health and contribute to reducing the tons and tons of waste created by the destructive aspects of our throwaway society.

Plastic Free is an inspiration, a reminder to us all to be conscious when purchasing, a guide as how to best begin in a way that will encourage plastic free as a lifestyle and also a challenge to make a difference to reducing your ‘waste-footprint’ on the environment.