New book explains how to give up plastic, run a beach clean-up and campaign for change

Publication date: 24th May 2018









A new book by Greenpeace oceans campaigner Will McCallum, published today, gives an insight into how ocean plastic pollution became one of the most high-profile environmental issues of the decade. It offers practical advice on how to use less plastic from the bathroom, to the kitchen to the workplace.


How to Give Up Plastic details the short history of campaigning to end ocean plastic pollution, explains why plastic is so problematic, and shares inspirational stories from people around the world. It offers tips for how individual people can make a difference, including how to organise a beach or park clean-up or survey, and how to plan your own plastic pollution campaign.


Will McCallum, author of How to Give Up Plastic, said:


“The problem of plastic pollution is one that affects us all, and one for which we all share responsibility as individuals but also, more importantly, collectively. As individuals we can change our behaviour, limit our use and help reduce, even by a little bit, the amount of plastic out there.


“But working together we can achieve much, much more. Amplifying your actions by talking about them with your friends, colleagues and on social media, you can have so much more impact than only working behind closed doors; and joining forces with others in your community to send the message loud and clear to those with more power in politics and business is perhaps the best opportunity we have to get to a world without plastic pollution.”


Fiona Nicholls, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:


“No matter our age, job or where we live, there’s something we can all agree on – plastic pollution in our oceans is no good thing. A rubbish truck of plastic enters our oceans every single minute, and with plastic production set to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2050 – action needs to happen fast.


“But we can’t just recycle our way out of the ocean plastics problem, we need to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic we’re discarding, and put pressure on those who produce the stuff in the first place. How to Give Up Plastic is full of ideas to help people move away from plastic, choose sustainable alternatives, and get organised by setting up their own campaigns against plastic.”


Will McCallum is available for interviews.

Extracts from the book are available for use with the publisher’s permission.




Notes for editors:


How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum, published by Penguin Life on 24th May 2018 in hardback, £12.99

Will McCallum is the Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, leading the team campaigning to end ocean plastic pollution, create an Antarctic ocean sanctuary, secure sustainable fisheries post Brexit and protect marine wildlife such as whales. Will is also a nature columnist for the Hackney Gazette.


Five top tips for getting rid of plastic:  

  1. Go on a plastic-free spree – buy some essential refillable and reusable containers
  2. Go on a plastic-free purge – remove single use plastic from your home
  3. Do some plastic-free preaching – share ideas for cutting back on plastic with your friends
  4. Make some plastic-free plans – make an action plan for how to avoid plastic packaging when you shop
  5. Start your own plastic-free campaign – talk to business owners about alternatives they could use to avoid throwaway plastic


Greenpeace will keep putting pressure on companies and governments to make sure that the action being promised matches the scale and urgency of our plastic problem.


Media contacts:


Greenpeace UK press office,, 020 7865 8255


Penguin Life publicity team, Josie Murdoch,, 020 7139 3383