Today, the Heinrich Böll Foundation is publishing the digital non-fiction book Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me.
Digital edition in English
Today, the Heinrich Böll Foundation is publishing the digital non-fiction book Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me. With colourful graphics, short texts, and true stories, the book explains the entire life cycle of plastic: from its production and use to its disposal – from oil and gas wells and processing to the plastic in our everyday lives and plastic waste.
Plastic is everywhere: 60 per cent of our clothing contains plastic, it is found in our food, and it threatens marine life as well as large land animals. And the plastic mountain continues to grow: All of the plastic ever produced now weighs more than all living animals and humans combined.
In 70 easy-to-understand answers to 70 compelling questions from young people about plastic, Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me underlines why we urgently and dramatically need to reduce our production and consumption of plastic. Who produces and who uses how much plastic? Why is recycling not a solution? Who exports their plastic waste to Malaysia and Thailand? And why are zero-waste cities in the Philippines interesting models to learn from?
This book does not leave young readers to address these problems alone: It offers alternatives and solutions such as reuse, unpackaged, and zero-waste examples. It also offers practical suggestions such as a guide to becoming a plastic-free school or university as well as ideas for a plastic-free festival.
Barbara Unmüßig, director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, says: “It is a book by and for young people that shows how much we are polluting the planet with non-degradable plastic, fuelling climate change, and irretrievably destroying biodiversity. Birds’ nests made of plastic, dromedaries starving with their stomachs full of plastic, marine animals entangled and suffocating in plastic – this is happening right now around the world. What kind of images do we need to get out of this plastic madness? With this book, we show how things can be different and which steps we need to take.”
This book for teens on plastic would not have been possible without the cooperation of young people because it addresses their concerns directly. The youth advisory board of Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me is composed of young people from Canada, China, Germany, Kenya, Thailand, Tunisia, and the United States.
Chompupischaya (Thailand), Jeremy (Kenya), Michelle (Kenya), and Veronika (Canada) from the youth advisory board say: "Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me was an incredible project that united youth from all around the world to come together and join forces to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis. We do not want to live on a plastic-filled, toxic, and polluted planet. We want change! We are calling upon politicians to address plastic pollution on the national and international levels, and we are urging youth and adults to start making better choices: Use less plastic, become more sustainable, and educate yourself about this growing issue. Together, as one strong global community, we can stand up and make our voices heard to achieve a real difference today!”
Unpacked! Plastic, Waste, and Me is aimed at students, multipliers, teachers, parents and grandparents, and everyone who is interested in plastic.
The launch event will be streamed online on Thursday 3rd of June, 14:00-15:00 CEST, at www.boell.de/stream. For a participation via Zoom You may still register here for the event.
The digital book, all graphics as downloads, and a video clip of the youth advisory board can be found at www.boell.de/unpacked.
Michael Alvarez Kalverkamp
Heinrich Böll Foundation
T +49 (0)30 285 34-202