Book Review - Zero Waste 50 tips for a plastic free life by Caroline Piech


  • Book is short, could’ve been a blog post
  • Spits out straight facts, backed up with a lot of references from various valid sources
  • Few great tips
  • Most tips may be familiar, as they might've been repeated by many zero-waste and sustainability blog articles scattered throughout the internet.
  • Great DIY recipes provided in this book, which will let your create your own face creams, deodorants and detergents.


Alright, ok, alright, here we go with another blog post. We came across this little book on Amazon. Link is provided below. Don’t worry, it’s not an affiliate link, we will warn you if we do something like that beforehand.


This book begins with a brief historical overview on plastics – when it was first created (1869 by an American called, John Wesley Hyatt); how bad it is; how much it’s polluting our environment, oceans and marine life ( has a dedicated section on Great Pacific Garbage Patch - enormous mounds of plastic swirling around in the North Pacific Ocean).

 Human carrying garbage

The book progresses through to an interesting fact - World War II fuelled the plastic industry’s expansion, in order to conserve scarce resources. As a result, the most common types of plastics we know today, are created and integrated in military equipment and soldiers' clothing. You might be familiar with these plastics:


  • Polyethylene – There are two types – (Low Density Polyethylene) LDPE and HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). LDPE is used to create soft plastic materials – bags, bottles and packaging. HDPE is a harder material, which is used to create construction materials and pipes.
  • Nylon – used during the war for ropes, body armour and parachute lining. Now, used mainly in clothing.
  • Polyester – Clothing as well
  • ABS – Most widely used for appliance covers, headsets and suitcases.


The author explains, the production of plastic progressed rapidly to the stage where it has been polluting our oceans for years. Plastics break down into micro plastics and marine animals consume them - thinking they are food.


The second part of the book informs the reader that gradual measures are being taken to tackle the plastic problem.


  • Clothing companies are researching into biodegradable materials or upcycling old plastic into clothing or footwear – Adidas Parley for example.


  • German food delivery company Foodpanda provide the option for their customers in the Asia-Pacific region to choose whether or not they want to include disposable cutlery with their food delivery.


  • European countries have recycling initiative, they recycle more than 30% plastic


Plastic is closely integrated in our everyday lives. We use plastic to brush our teeth, do our make-up, listen to music, watch TV and more. The author’s intentions are to help readers slowly peel away from this ultra-dependence on plastics, by integrating eco-friendly and zero-waste alternatives in our everyday lives.


Food delivery driver receiving order from restaurant


This leads to the final part, the most important part. The 50 tips on how to live a plastic free life are located here. The tips can be segmented into the following categories:


  • Recycle, keep reusing bags - try organic cotton bags for food shopping and avoid single use plastics like straws and plastic cutlery.
  • For yourself – replace toiletries with zero-waste alternatives. Bamboo toothbrush is better than plastic toothbrush, etc. Try and buy essentials without the plastic packaging – eggs in cardboard cartons, milk in glass bottles, plastic free skincare products.
  • Use natural household cleaning products (Caroline provides DIY homemade recipes for these cleaning products and more)


At the end of this book – the author provides useful recipes to create your own skin cream, deodorants, household cleaning products to clean windows, dishes, sinks and laundry.

 Coconut scrub in a jar with a spoon in it


All of these recipes can be found on the internet.


Verdict: Spits out straight facts, easy to read, too short and not worth $3.99 on kindle or $6.99 on paperback. Probably worth half of that.

Here’s her book - Zero Waste 50 tips for a plastic free life

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