Green Reads: Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry

If all the plastic free living nerds lived in a town, Beth Terry would be elected mayor unanimously. An early warrior for the plastic free movement Beth has gained hundreds of thousands of followers over the course of her journey. Recently she released an updated version of her book Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.

Now I am not just reading this book because I am in it (cheesy grin). I decided to read it because simply I never have. Which is silly, because I should have bought this book the minute I decided to go plastic free 4 life!

Green Reads: Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry

I came across Beth’s blog when I was partaking in my first Plastic Free July and I remember umming and ahhhing about buying her book for a long time. At the time I had just moved house and stubbornly did not think that the money would be worth it. After all, what could it give me that the internet already had?

Ha. I laugh at the Erin of July 2013 and the hours she spent ransacking the internet for answers to problems encountered. All the while everything was neatly tucked into a book by the mayor of the town I was about to move into. If you want to quit plastic and would like to have a comprehensive guide on hand and not waste time scrolling pages then please invest in this book because it is a fantastic resource.

The usual plastic suspects are covered in the book; plastic bags, disposable water bottles, grocery shopping, recycling, eating out, cleaning, and personal care. There were sections that did not apply to my life yet but without a doubt I learnt a lot.

One of the key themes I loved about this book is the constant reminder that there will be some emotional ups and downs, and that those speed humps are normal. Giving up plastic is not a walk in the park; it’s hard and even more difficult when it feels like you are the only one. And it won’t just be hard because of the plastic you are giving up but also many other factors that can leave you feeling frustrated and angry at times. Beth gets this, has rode it out and gently reminds readers as they move along how to deal with the emotional hang ups and feelings of guilt that pop up.

There are checklists and activities to work across as you move through the book plus funny anecdotes and interviews with individuals from around the world. If this book morphed into a human being it would be your very own plastic free cheerleader.

And another thing I loved about the book was the lack of plastic involved in the printing of the book. This lady walks her talk right down to how the book was put together.

G I V E A W A Y 
I am giving away ONE copy of this book. 
To enter all you need to do is write in the comments below or email me the most bizarre plastic item you have come across. Whether it is packaged food or something else that has left you asking whhhhy. 
Please don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you have won. The giveaway closes 14th June and the winner will be notified the 16th June, giving me time to get the book for Plastic Free July. Feel free to share this giveaway with any of your friends. Competition closed. Thanks for entering :)


  1. The most bizarre item was a book about reducing plastic use and reducing waste that arrived in the mail shrink wrapped in plastic and in a plastic satchel!!!

  2. Anonymous6/09/2015

    The oddest i've seen is at my mother in law's in the US. They have plastic plates that are designed to hold paper plates. They creep me out every time - double the waste! Why not just use a real plate?!

  3. Marcylala6/09/2015

    It's a tough call as there are so many wasteful things out there. I'm being cheeky and including two:

    The plastic packing that supermarkets put around their organic fruit and vegetables. Seems like they are missing the point why people may be buying organic in the first place.

    The second happened just yesterday. I was eating at a cafe, out the back on a raised verandah overlooking the Yarra river. We asked for a glass of water and were pointed to a central water urn...which was stocked with flimsy plastic cups. Yet diners inside had glasses set on their tables. Perplexing and disappointing. Apart from being incredibly wasteful, the silliness of this was made worse when the wind easily caught these cups once empty, meaning these were likely to be blown off the cafe balcony into the adjacent Yarra river.

    marcyvanlalab (at) gmail

  4. The worst I've seen are *peeled* bananas wrapped in plastic film on a styrofoam tray. Whyyyyy. Bananas already have their own natural handy wrapping!

    Another contender was a *single* bulb of garlic wrapped in plastic mesh with a big plastic tag, and a metal clip holding the bag together. None of this was recyclable of course! Argh. So wasteful!

  5. Anonymous6/09/2015

    Wow the other comments are pretty good already! I'm going to agree with Marcylala and say how weird it is that some restaurants will only provide water to diners in disposable plastic cups. Not even the option to use a glass. Ridiculous.

    I don't want to leave my email on a public blog in case of spammers - but I'll check back on your blog to see if I'm lucky enough to be a winner & email you directly :)

    - Lex

  6. The one that breaks my heart is the packaging around refillable ball point ink pens. I work in healthcare and need ball points to write in charts (I was using a fountain pen for everything else). I had bought a Lamy pen and was so disgusted by how short the life of the refill was and the amount of unavoidable packaging on each refill... I came to the conclusion that a basic ball point likely had a much smaller footprint than the Lamy ballpoint + refills.

    The one that I question in utter disgust, but is easy to avoid, are the countless products sold at Costco (USA). I did not renew my membership when I realized that it is a mecca of unnecessarily over packaged items. Too bad as they do have great prices and bulk sizes (although they seem to depend on impulse purchases more than I care for as well).


  7. Anonymous6/12/2015

    I have to agree with Marcylala - the weirdes was a single sweet potato at coles sitting on a plastic tray and wrapped in a few layers of plastic.
    My per hate is balloon "skins" that I find everywhere - even bushwalking in national parks. People seem to be fairly unaware of dangers of those to native fauna.

  8. Not a particularly bizarre item, but a moment at the beginning of my plastic free journey and one that made me want to scream/cry/laugh hysterically: I went out for a coffee to a local cafe with some friends and since it was a nice day, decided to sit outside. The only problem with outside was that they could only serve drinks in takeaway cups. Some stupid regulation/zoning with the council said they can't have "cafe" space outside, so everyone outside is treated as take-away. I wanted to move inside but my friends didn't so the compromise I chose was to ask for takeaway cups without the lid and I'd take the cups home to compost. Well. We ordered and asked, and they said ok. We also asked for water for outside, without the lids (already so much waste but at least I could compost it). The drinks came out and they were in takeaway cups but with plastic lids. Then the waters came out, in plastic shake cups with plastic domed lids and plastic straws. SUCH a waste! I will never be going back there again!

    Also, a ridiculous item I've seen advertised is that little plastic seal thing for the hole in the mouth of takeaway coffee cups, like what Starbucks advertise to save you from spilling your coffee in the car! It's actually patented as something like Stixtogo!

  9. My husband and I were doing a really good job of not buying pretty much any food products in plastic containers. Then my mom visited us for a month to help take care of our baby while we finish our PhDs. Next thing I know, she's gone shopping and absolutely filled our fridge with single serving yogurts (because the kind she wanted only came that way), fruits, veggies, and other pre-made foods all covered in plastic. I hadn't seen that much plastic in our fridge in a looonnnngggg time. So yeah, nothing particularly exciting, but it's always interesting to see what your old life was like and realize how ridiculously wasteful it was.

    Also, I'm with Anonymous in that I don't want to leave my email lying about, but I will check back just in case it's my lucky day with the giveaway.

  10. Such shocking stories here! Especially the peeled banana and the garlic. That's so over the top! Here in the Netherlands small to-go grocery stores at train stations sell apples cut into pieces in a small plastic wrap. Also Very Unneccessary. Whoever won the book will have a very successful Plastic Free July. The book is a great resource.

    1. I agree - they are shocking. The lady who won it was very pleased and I agree it is a wonderful resource to have.

  11. Anonymous4/06/2016

    When I'm really busy or unable to cook I get 2 minute mi goring noodles -however the packaging is ridiculous. Ditto for a particular brand of teabags so much so that I changed brands (I prefer loose tea but if I'm in a hurry I use teabags and compost them). The funny thing is the overpackaged brand was advertised as part of the rain forest alliance. It has four layers- plastic,outer card box ,foil wrap and 2 inner card boxes- and thats even before the teabags.

    1. That is sad to hear. It's so easy for us to want to support these kind of brands, but when we step back and see the green washing, its best to go for an item that really is aligned with the health of the rainforest.


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