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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!

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  51 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
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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Hope Miller
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was incredibly informational, yet amazingly digestible and a bit humorous as well. I would recommend this book to everyone that is looking to gain some insight about how we can be care for our environment and ultimately ourselves. I would even consider reading it again in the future!
Tori
Mar 08, 2015 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.
Lise
May 17, 2014 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.
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Pammie
Oct 08, 2014 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
Emily
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Insightful read into the love hate relationship we have with plastics. The author uses humour to help readers not self destruct, while reading about all the problems that accompany high use of plastics. Majority of legislative and regulatory information was American centred, which is useful if you are actually from there. Not useful for anyone outside the U.S.A. It mentions some other countries legislation in passing, but does not elaborate further. A good place to start reading about the use of ...more
Rita
Apr 21, 2014 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.
Danielle DuPuis
I was talking about this book to my students and my colleagues yesterday. I thought SanClements did a wonderful job of covering the topic of plastic- from how it was invented and then became a common household item to which types of plastics to avoid and how plastics can be recycled. I loved the suggestions on how to use less plastic. Great book, and one that I will be purchasing to keep on hand for reference. Highly recommend. This book is 4 years old. I really hope he will update some of the i ...more
msleighm
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
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Jacqueline Hendricks
Aug 27, 2014 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
Ella
Sep 09, 2013 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!

Lee
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this book depressed me! I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat eco-conscious. After all, I’ve recycled since the very first Earth Day when I was in middle school (and got my parents to join me), I brought my own re-usable bags to the grocery store before it was cool, used cloth diapers for my children and even when we travel, I collect recyclables until we can find a place to recycle them. I’m so trained that it is depressing to read current headlines that recycling as we know it m ...more
Erin
Mar 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
There's nothing wrong with wanting to cut back on plastic but if you are reading this book you probably already use reusable grocery bags and stainless steel water bottles so you might as well skip reading this book.

- The book begins with a few interesting stories about the history of plastics which I feel could have been expanded upon in more detail.

- The writing style is overly casual which often trivializes the author's intended arguments and makes assumptions that the reader wouldn't want t
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Jessica
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
I really enjoyed reading this. Personally, I have taken quite a few science classes and wish it could have been more in depth on the chemistry, but that is the reason for the resources/bibliography section.

Ever since I was younger, I have been drawn to preserving our earth, or at least trying to keep it looking nice by picking up trash and trying to recycle and reuse as much as I can. But I like how this book showed that some plastics are good (and some bad and ugly). I also did not know about t
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Angela
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read many books on how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. But most of them make such extreme recommendations that I end up morphing into a belligerent teenager while reading them. Mid-way through the book I start thinking, You won't ever let me have any fun at all. You're the meanest author ever.

So I started reading Plastic Purge with some trepidation. But I quickly realized that the author is the Mike Brady of environmentalists. He wants what's best for us and he's gentl
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Sharon
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A compelling book discussing the good, the bad and the ugly facts about plastic and ways you can decrease the amount of plastic that you use. Decreasing the amount of plastic is not just good for the environment but is essential to your health. I love his grading system for ease in making the changes he suggests. One Bottle means something that everyone can do with minimal effort. Two Bottles means requires a little time and effort, but are well worth it. Three Bottles require more effort and mu ...more
Jennifer Stringer
When I was at the Monterey Aquarium last month, I saw their plastics in the ocean exhibit and it is truly disgusting. I saw this book at the library and while a lot of the information included is nothing new, it was good to get a refresher on plastics and their alternatives.
Luis de la Rosa
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting history of plastic. A little sad to see that recycling isn't doing as well as we hoped it would. A little too hard on bioplastics, which I think can be a good path forward.
Good suggestions how to reduce plastic exposure if you are concerned.
Amy
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2017
Informative! I learned a ton about products I use everyday & helpful hints to reduce the use of harmful plastic. Thanks Goodreads! *** Please note I received this book for free from Goodreads First-reads.
Jocelyn Morton
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very informative book ! Would highly recommend it.
Davey
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
The info was better than two stars, but the intended audience appeared to be people who know literally nothing about science. The two stars are for my subjective reading experience.
Jenna
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was very informative AND engaging.
Kim
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is so much interesting information in this book. Even if you're not an environmentalist the history of plastic is so engaging, really.
Cecile
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eco-stewardship
Shame on him for not included breastfeeding as a way to keep plastics and their by-products out of our children. If you breastfeed exclusively, there is no need for any of the baby-feeding garbage made out of plastic and if you need to pump, glass bottles are available that will fit on a Medela pump.
Julia Hahn
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note to self: Quick, easy read that provides useful and realistic ideas for reducing the use of plastic materials in daily life.
Stephanie
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy to read explanations. A good primer, but I wish it addressed appliances more.
Jim
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for everyone!
tawnie
Jun 13, 2014 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
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Samantha
Nov 10, 2014 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
Kate
Oct 27, 2015 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
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Laura
May 20, 2014 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
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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
“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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