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Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles!

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  130 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Now a Denver Post #1 bestseller. Plastic is everywhere we look. Our computers and children's toys are made out of it, and our water and slices of American cheese are packaged in it. But why is there so much and what is it doing to our bodies? Is it possible to use less plastic and be happier and healthier?

In Plastic Purge, ecologist, SanClements has put together the most u
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Jan 25, 2016 Tori rated it it was amazing
Fabulous! I already considered myself a semi-tree hugger, but reading actual numbers and facts about how BAD plastic can be for mot only the environment, but also your body, has really made me re-think a lot of interactions I have with plastic. I mean, who knew receipts were leaching BPA into our bodies?? I'm definitely taking a few suggestions from this book into my everyday life.
Oct 12, 2014 Pammie rated it it was amazing
This book is well researched, quick and fun to read, and has lots of good tips for how (and best of all, WHY) to avoid plastics in our everyday lives. I liked the balanced presentation of pointing out that plastic is not all bad, showing which plastics are the worst for us and for the environment, explaining the total costs of plastics and their use, and the graded system for eliminating the worst plastics from your personal use. Some things I already knew and have been doing for years--bringing ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Lise rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads program in return for an unbiased review.

First of all, a confession. Even though I am an ecologically conscious, self-aware, Green Party geek, I was a little bit worried that this book would be too preachy and guilt-inducing to read. I was relieved to find that it was readable, entertaining, and that the author acknowledges (fairly often) that change might be difficult, and that each of us will make our own risk-benefit analysis.
Jacqueline Hendricks
Aug 27, 2014 Jacqueline Hendricks rated it really liked it
It was eye-opening and so informative. If you had any questions about the dangers of plastic, please read this book. The chemicals used to produce the stuff leach into our bodies. From IV bags at hospitals to the receipts from the store. We are being inundated by the cancer-causing chemicals. They are in our face scrubs and tubes of toothpaste. They are washed down the drain and slip into our rivers, lakes and the ocean. And guess who eats them next? The fish that we consume. So if you think you ...more
May 04, 2014 Rita rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I could only get through the first 30 pages of this book. I really wanted to go further, because the premise and content were so interesting to me, but the writing couldn't make up for that. When the word "downright" was used twice in one paragraph, and phrases such as "people went freaking crazy" and "Crazytown, right?" became frequent, I gave up. When I read about science and history, I get distracted if the text sounds like a Valley Girl conversation.
May 20, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
I feel the title of this book is incorrect, and instead should be Plastic Purge: The History Of Plastic, Why Its Bad, And How You Can Avoid It. Because the first 2/3s of this book are all about the history of plastic and how its bad for you. And while I think that information is important, I didn't need it(as I've already done my own research), and so I read through much of it annoyingly, expecting something more. Eventually I was skimming, then just skipping chapters, until I came to the last t ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Tori rated it really liked it
This was a great intro to plastic reduction. I would have liked more detail on how plastics are made and what goes into recycling them, but he is definitely trying to appeal to a broad base who are not as interested in the hard science. It was a quick and amusing read, which is great for getting as many people as possible to read and reduce. It was a realistic point of view and SanClements acknowledges that plastics are here to stay and they are many benefits that have come from them (especially ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Ella rated it it was amazing
I'm buying this as a gift for everyone I know this year, and you'll want to too.
Buy it for yourself first!

Dec 23, 2014 Mezzie rated it liked it
There are good things about his book. It has excellent information, some of which isn't included in the other books I've been reading about plastic. I kept reading because of that.

Unfortunately, the writing makes me feel like I'm grading my high school students' research papers. My students write decently, but they lack maturity and variety. Too many words and transitions in this book were overused, too many short sentences ended with exclamation points, and too many points (sometimes word for w
Dec 11, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
Great, easy to read. Includes both a background on plastics and how to reduce your usage. SanClements also remains balanced, sharing the benefits of plastic in our world today, while also discussing the negative affects.

Some wisdom:
- "Only plastics # 1 and #2 are routinely and efficiently recycled" pg 56. (i.e. soda bottles, salad dressing bottles, detergent bottles, milk jugs).
- "85% of plastic ends up in landfills or as litter" pg 68.
- Avoid aluminum cans, due to BPA linings on the inside, w
For the first chapter or two or three, I was worried that this was going to be a book "preaching to the choir." It stands to reason the majority of the people who pick up this kind of book are the kind who already care and are trying to do the right thing for themselves and the environment. And while that's probably true, there is *much* to learn, as I soon discovered.

There's a quote on the back of the book that sums the book up so well, I'm going to re-quote it here:
"Even as a conscientious co
Apr 02, 2015 Samantha rated it liked it
This book should be looked at as a starting place for anyone who wants to get into the process of purging plastic out of their daily life. It also can be used as a quick read about the history of plastic. But note, this is not a bible of plastic do's and do not's and while I agree that the title could be formed a bit better, he does touch on each of those facts and explains why purging plastic are natural ways to get you to eat better, keep toxins out and save (or at least reduce the harm to) se ...more
Oct 18, 2014 tawnie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I learned a lot from this book, although I found the tone to be a little uneven and at times annoying- he jokes about not getting into the boring science details at one point but umm this IS a science book and he is a scientist. Then he does get into some rather technical terms later, with no explanation. And later references Urban Dictionary to explain what a frenemy is. Eye roll. Most of the book was okay though as far as tone.

Anyway, onto what I learned - plastics numbers 2, 4, 5 are relativ
Jena Buckwell
Jan 05, 2016 Jena Buckwell rated it liked it
Definitely worth a read to learn more about the history and production of plastic. Other books definitely offer more advice on how to actually use less plastic on a day to day basis, but this book was by far the most informative on what makes plastics (particularly single-use plastics) so dangerous for our environment and our health.
James Harris
Apr 22, 2016 James Harris rated it liked it
It is a good basic overview of the types of plastics out there, their general pros/cons, and how to deal with recycling them. I wanted some more details in the book, and it plainly said it was not that type of book, so I can't really fault it.
Feb 28, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this book about the negative effects of plastic, and what we can do to reduce plastic usage in our lives. An easy read, and quite informative.
May 14, 2014 Pea. rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
much like a really long magazine article ... some detailed information nothing ground breaking... maybe to someone who has been living with their head in the ground the past twenty years.
I was really hoping to find more "advanced" plastic alternatives (like how to pick up dog poo). Good basics, and a really interesting background on plastics and our increased use as a society. Just more of a starter book than what a hardcore "antiplastic" person wants to read.
Aug 12, 2015 Ari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Informative and yet dull to read, I enjoyed this book. I did feel like the tips were pretty well known already but the history behind some materials was fascinating.
Jul 05, 2014 Barb rated it it was amazing
This book has really smart info about what we are ingesting and how to stop hurting ourselves and our planet! Get past the beginning!
Aug 19, 2015 Michaela rated it really liked it
Good book, easy read! Full of insightful statistics, along with common sense tips. Really makes you stop and think....yikes!!
Candace Piar
Jul 12, 2014 Candace Piar rated it it was amazing
This book was eye opening. I loved it. The other also offers up (good) alternatives to plastics in our lives.
Feb 29, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
This should be required reading!
Beth (MrsGinTN)
May 30, 2014 Beth (MrsGinTN) rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was informative and interesting. I'm definitely going to pass it on to others in my family.
May 25, 2016 Dejah rated it it was amazing
This book gives readers a comprehensive understanding about what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint by using less plastic and wasting less materials. The last portion of the book was most beneficial because it helps us realize that there are different ways to help the environment even , if not all actions are dramatic.
Sherry Wheeler
Jun 19, 2014 Sherry Wheeler rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a giveaway. It is very informative. I never really paid too much attention to plastic before reading this book.
Selby Gunter
Oct 01, 2015 Selby Gunter rated it it was amazing
Very informative and a little scary.
Irina Callegher
Irina Callegher marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
Amanda marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
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Michael SanClements is a scientist at the National Ecological Observatory Network and affiliate of the University of Colorado Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. As an ecologist, his research has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and he has presented at more than a dozen international conferences on ecology and the environmental sciences. His journalism and photography have appeared ...more
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“Depending upon the accounting, approximately 4.3 or 17.6 percent of the plastic bags produced each year are recycled. The 4.3 number is the 2010 EPA number for plastic number 2 bags. These are what you think of as the typical grocery bag.” 0 likes
“For example, Japan is far better than we are at recycling plastic. They recycle a very respectable 77 percent of plastic consumed. Which makes our 7 to 8 percent percent look pretty shameful. Japan’s recycled plastic is sent overseas to make toys and used in production of textiles, bottles, packaging, industrial parts, and a whole host of other products. Sweden also steps up the game when it comes to using waste as a fuel. In fact, they’ve become so efficient at converting waste into fuel that only 4 percent of their trash winds up in landfills. They even started running out of trash to convert, and began importing around 800,000 tons of garbage per year to create power and heat for homes.” 0 likes
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