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Taking on the Plastics Crisis

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Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us. In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced globa Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us. In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Through her personal journey, readers can learn how they, too, can follow in Hannah's footsteps and lower their carbon footprint by simply refusing single-use plastics. Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today's leading activists and artists. In this installment, youth activist Hannah Testa, the founder of Hannah4Change, chronicles both her personal and political mission to save the Earth's oceans by limiting single-use plastic products.


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Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us. In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced globa Pocket Change Collective was born out of a need for space. Space to think. Space to connect. Space to be yourself. And this is your invitation to join us. In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Through her personal journey, readers can learn how they, too, can follow in Hannah's footsteps and lower their carbon footprint by simply refusing single-use plastics. Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today's leading activists and artists. In this installment, youth activist Hannah Testa, the founder of Hannah4Change, chronicles both her personal and political mission to save the Earth's oceans by limiting single-use plastic products.

30 review for Taking on the Plastics Crisis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    A young writer and climate activist of colour is releasing a book about what we all can do to protect and save the environment and I need everyone to know about it

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    First of all, I love the fact that Pocket Change Collective is on a mission to amplify the voice of youth around various social issues. And 17-year-old Hannah Testa will inspire teens with her strong message about the harm that plastics are doing to our planet. That being said, the writing and layout could have been more appealing. The cover art is great, but there are no illustrations or text features to break things up. There is so much rich information that just calls out for a chart or “did First of all, I love the fact that Pocket Change Collective is on a mission to amplify the voice of youth around various social issues. And 17-year-old Hannah Testa will inspire teens with her strong message about the harm that plastics are doing to our planet. That being said, the writing and layout could have been more appealing. The cover art is great, but there are no illustrations or text features to break things up. There is so much rich information that just calls out for a chart or “did you know” to grab the reader. The writing is uneven, fluctuating between a more conversational style where we’re clearly hearing the voice of a teenager, and a couple of chapters that are much more adult-teacher voice. There are some instances of assuming privilege (“like most kids my age, my friends and I loved American Girl dolls”). Many of the suggestions about reducing plastic involve money (have your bamboo utensils handy! Keep extra aluminum straws in your car! Have the meat wrapped in paper instead of plastic!) A mixed bag. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3. Thank you, Penguin Random House and Edelweiss, for the electronic ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex Engels

    This was a good introduction to the plastics crisis and does give young people ideas on how to create change. But, it’s just an introduction. I wish there were more tips and list of further reading, watching, and listening. I also wish that there was more research included.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Another great essay from the Pocket Change Collective. Hannah Testa has been an activist since she was a child, and she uses this platform to inspire other teens to action. She explains the way that plastic use has ballooned over the years, acknowledging its benefits (space travel!) while staying focused on the major problem of single-use plastics like straws, utensils, cups, and the ubiquitous plastic grocery bags. She expands on the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) to include "refuse" and "raise Another great essay from the Pocket Change Collective. Hannah Testa has been an activist since she was a child, and she uses this platform to inspire other teens to action. She explains the way that plastic use has ballooned over the years, acknowledging its benefits (space travel!) while staying focused on the major problem of single-use plastics like straws, utensils, cups, and the ubiquitous plastic grocery bags. She expands on the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) to include "refuse" and "raise awareness" in a way that's clear easy to remember. She also uplifts many other young activists and their projects, emphasizing that young people of any age can get involved and make meaningful change. I have two main critiques that keep this from being a 5-star read. One, I wish she had taken the time to acknowledge the privileges of wealth (buying metal/glass replacements) and non-disability (re: straws) that would affect a person's experience while addressing the plastics issue. Two, I wish there had been more of a discussion of the role of reusable plastics in this environmental fight. I know some people try to minimize plastic use entirely, and I wonder what she would have to say. These essays are short by design, but I feel that this would have benefitted from even a brief expansion on both of those points. I received a copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Continuing the series of raising awareness with these pocket exchange booklets that feature the voices of those focused on doing something about the topic or having experienced it. In this one, teen advocate Testa who as a young teen had taken up the banner for fighting for the environment specifically as it related to plastics and the waste spilling into the oceans which lead to complicating factors related to animal life, oxygen levels, etc. For as wide-ranging as the topics she covers, it mov Continuing the series of raising awareness with these pocket exchange booklets that feature the voices of those focused on doing something about the topic or having experienced it. In this one, teen advocate Testa who as a young teen had taken up the banner for fighting for the environment specifically as it related to plastics and the waste spilling into the oceans which lead to complicating factors related to animal life, oxygen levels, etc. For as wide-ranging as the topics she covers, it moves quickly, doesn't get bogged down in too many intricate details, and generally helps raise awareness for the issue. She certainly has done a lot for such a young person and that might be intimidating to others reading it. But her passion certainly shows. She gives some concrete examples of things to do and things to be aware of to take or leave as you wish and it seems as if she's approaching it logically-- as in "let's start here" because the surest way to negate your campaign of awareness and change is to be too extreme. People need to get comfortable with an idea and slowly change bad habits.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Taking on the Plastics Crisis was definitely my favorite of the Pocket Change Collective! First off, it was so informative about the nitty gritty details of the creation, use, and consequences of plastic use. Hannah Testa, and the other activists she mentioned, are incredible examples of ambition, compassion, and perseverance. I appreciated that she outlines the drawbacks of the recycling system, and included ways that consumers can influence business and legislation to make better decisions. Wi Taking on the Plastics Crisis was definitely my favorite of the Pocket Change Collective! First off, it was so informative about the nitty gritty details of the creation, use, and consequences of plastic use. Hannah Testa, and the other activists she mentioned, are incredible examples of ambition, compassion, and perseverance. I appreciated that she outlines the drawbacks of the recycling system, and included ways that consumers can influence business and legislation to make better decisions. With that said, I wish Testa had dedicated a portion of the essay to corporation’s impact on climate change. I firmly believe that individuals should make concentrated efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, but corporations are largely at fault.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Bouyack

    While I knew a lot of the stuff in this book already, it is always important to get a reminder. It is a very important topic that I tend forget day to day. Take care of the planet with your choices and encourage others to do the same.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Norell Hedenstrom

    An autobiographical account of one teen's ability to educate, activate, and initiate legislative action to reduce the use of plastics. An autobiographical account of one teen's ability to educate, activate, and initiate legislative action to reduce the use of plastics.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Phillips

    Do Your Part Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, raise awareness. That is the 5 R's that we need to pay attention to. This book helps you understand the serious impacts of your carbon footprint and how to stop using plastic altogether. Definitely something you should read to educate yourself on the plastic crisis. Do Your Part Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, raise awareness. That is the 5 R's that we need to pay attention to. This book helps you understand the serious impacts of your carbon footprint and how to stop using plastic altogether. Definitely something you should read to educate yourself on the plastic crisis.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Literature Lattes

    "Taking on the Plastics Crisis" is a book from young activist, Hannah Testa. The book discusses Hannah's upbringing and what led her to start her mission against the looming plastics industry which is quickly ruining our planet. The book outlines the journey that preteens and teenagers can take to create meaningful change within their own communities. It dives deep into the issues that plastics are causing and how damaging those problems are becoming. The author does a great job of noting that s "Taking on the Plastics Crisis" is a book from young activist, Hannah Testa. The book discusses Hannah's upbringing and what led her to start her mission against the looming plastics industry which is quickly ruining our planet. The book outlines the journey that preteens and teenagers can take to create meaningful change within their own communities. It dives deep into the issues that plastics are causing and how damaging those problems are becoming. The author does a great job of noting that some non-profit already exist within the arena, but she encourages people to forge their own path. I particularly enjoyed her tips to living a more sustainable lifestyle. These tidbits were simple and practical and presented in a very clear manner. Also, I enjoyed that the author challenges the way that readers currently view plastics. The material presented will redefine readers' understanding of the plastics crisis and hopefully inspire the world to do better. Informative, intelligent and motivational, "Taking on the Plastics Crisis" is a succinct but terrific book for readers of all ages looking to make a change on our planet.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Johnson

    I was drawn to this book because I have been working to make changes in my daily activities in order to help our environment more and harm it less, I was hopeful that it would provide new insights and inspiration to increase my efforts, and it did just that. Hannah Testa is a remarkable young woman who tells the story of how she became an activist for the plastic crisis that is taking a toll on our world. She doesn't just share her journey, but also gives practical solutions that most of us can I was drawn to this book because I have been working to make changes in my daily activities in order to help our environment more and harm it less, I was hopeful that it would provide new insights and inspiration to increase my efforts, and it did just that. Hannah Testa is a remarkable young woman who tells the story of how she became an activist for the plastic crisis that is taking a toll on our world. She doesn't just share her journey, but also gives practical solutions that most of us can implement in our day to day lives. She humbly shares the spotlight by recognizing other young people who are making an effort to change our world, and in doing so she inspires children, teens, and adults alike by showing hey, there are kids from all different places and walks of life that are standing up and they are being heard, add your voice! She speaks her truth in a way that is never preachy, but is instead passionate and encouraging. This is a wonderful book that brings concise information to those looking to make a difference, it's an easy read that is simple to understand, and I think it's going to bring a lot of light to Hannah's cause.

  12. 4 out of 5

    kate

    Did you know that there’s more than the Three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? It’s actually Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and then Recycle. Hannah Testa is a teenage powerhouse, who has been working to educate the world on the dangers of plastic, single-use plastics, and how we can solve this crisis. Before reading this slim but powerful volume, I was completely unaware that single-use plastic straws cannot be recycled, that even when we think we’re recycling something properly (we are probabl Did you know that there’s more than the Three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? It’s actually Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and then Recycle. Hannah Testa is a teenage powerhouse, who has been working to educate the world on the dangers of plastic, single-use plastics, and how we can solve this crisis. Before reading this slim but powerful volume, I was completely unaware that single-use plastic straws cannot be recycled, that even when we think we’re recycling something properly (we are probably not), and because of ocean gyres and littering, plastics from one part of the world will wash up on the shores on the other side of the world. Short, easily digestible chapters, and a short, easily to digest book. Under seventy-pages, this is a title that will not scare off reluctant readers. Testa gives actions that teens and grownups and kids alike can all take to help turn back the tide of a plasticized ocean.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I'm extremely torn about this book. I think it is excellent for raising awareness and inspiring activism in teens. Hannah Testa's writing is likely to engage many readers and want them to do something to help with this movement. It's great to have a book written by a young person who shows that age is not an obstacle in creating change (and indeed, in some ways has aided her). However, the book really suffers from a lack of reference or any back matter. There are a lot of important points made in I'm extremely torn about this book. I think it is excellent for raising awareness and inspiring activism in teens. Hannah Testa's writing is likely to engage many readers and want them to do something to help with this movement. It's great to have a book written by a young person who shows that age is not an obstacle in creating change (and indeed, in some ways has aided her). However, the book really suffers from a lack of reference or any back matter. There are a lot of important points made in this book, but they need to be backed up by research - not just Testa's claims. It would have been great if there had been any back matter at all, such as resources for readers wanting to learn more or help with the movements discussed within. While the goal of this series appears to be inspiring activism, it does also serve as an educational text and the lack of references is disappointing. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for providing this e-ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Magaly C.

    E-Arc made available through NetGally. Pocket Change Collective has a very simple mission: small, small books that bring awareness of big ideas--such as climate change, gender equity, activism, and improving our global communities-- for young adult readers. Testa does an excellent job in summarizing and detailing the effects of the plastic manufacturing cycle on a global scale. She is able to make connections on her own experiences in taking on the plastics crises. By weaving in personal and fact E-Arc made available through NetGally. Pocket Change Collective has a very simple mission: small, small books that bring awareness of big ideas--such as climate change, gender equity, activism, and improving our global communities-- for young adult readers. Testa does an excellent job in summarizing and detailing the effects of the plastic manufacturing cycle on a global scale. She is able to make connections on her own experiences in taking on the plastics crises. By weaving in personal and factual accounts, readers are able to digest this quick read without feeling preached to. This book is a great example of youth activism and the small steps folks can take to reduce their carbon footprint--Testa even includes actionable items like refusing a straw at a restaurant and the impact it can have on a larger scale. Because this is such a short read, I would have liked to see a "further reading" section or a sources cited for those interested in learning more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alysa

    Thank you Penguin Teen and NetGalley for the eARC. A quick, engaging, and informative read for young audiences interested in environmental activism (as we all should be). The book, packed with facts about the plastics crisis as well as easy tips for making sustainable choices and lifestyle changes, also highlights the story and activism of Hannah Testa, a young, POC environmental activist who is unafraid of challenging the status quo and advocating for change in her community and on a national a Thank you Penguin Teen and NetGalley for the eARC. A quick, engaging, and informative read for young audiences interested in environmental activism (as we all should be). The book, packed with facts about the plastics crisis as well as easy tips for making sustainable choices and lifestyle changes, also highlights the story and activism of Hannah Testa, a young, POC environmental activist who is unafraid of challenging the status quo and advocating for change in her community and on a national and even global scale. This is definitely a book to help inspire young readers into further research and activism rather than an academic or scientific text, but keeping the audience in mind it is a great addition to Penguin Teen’s Pocket Change Collective.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erikka

    This young lady is such an inspiration! We truly must do more about the use of plastics in our families, our state, our nation, and our world. The most important takeaway is the there are five R's: reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, and raise awareness. You can reject single use plastic. You can refuse to accept the actions of congresspeople who don't act in the planet's great interest. And you can let others know how vital their voices are in curbing plastic pollution. I was impressed also with th This young lady is such an inspiration! We truly must do more about the use of plastics in our families, our state, our nation, and our world. The most important takeaway is the there are five R's: reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, and raise awareness. You can reject single use plastic. You can refuse to accept the actions of congresspeople who don't act in the planet's great interest. And you can let others know how vital their voices are in curbing plastic pollution. I was impressed also with the amount of other young people she credits with amazing advocacy and work. This next generation is impressive. I hope they can put out the dumpster fire that's been burning for generations that my generation has been gently sprinkling and blessing on for years.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Houde

    *Thank you to Penguin Teen for the advanced copy from Netgalley* This was another really amazing edition on the Pocket Change Collection. I think it’s really important that we look out for our planet, so this book was perfect. These books help inspire teens to do more in the world. It’s a very good book for young activists who want to make a change. In this book Hannah Testa talks about her upbringing and how it led her on this mission to put an end to the plastic industry that is ruining our pl *Thank you to Penguin Teen for the advanced copy from Netgalley* This was another really amazing edition on the Pocket Change Collection. I think it’s really important that we look out for our planet, so this book was perfect. These books help inspire teens to do more in the world. It’s a very good book for young activists who want to make a change. In this book Hannah Testa talks about her upbringing and how it led her on this mission to put an end to the plastic industry that is ruining our planet. The really important take away from this book, and that I learned there’s more than 3 R’s, is the 5 R’s in helping us become better at waste and being more mindful. They are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, and Raise Awareness.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bibliophagist_omnilegent

    Thank you PenguinTeen for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. First off single use plastic is evil. This book is a collective call out to all humans to make things better. To stop using things that are killing our ecosystems and hurting us. I love Hannah Testa’s message. As someone who lives in coastal NC I completely agree that we need to keep our beaches clean, our rivers clean and overall our Earth clean. I do feel like the book could use a better structure, it was lacking a flow that wou Thank you PenguinTeen for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. First off single use plastic is evil. This book is a collective call out to all humans to make things better. To stop using things that are killing our ecosystems and hurting us. I love Hannah Testa’s message. As someone who lives in coastal NC I completely agree that we need to keep our beaches clean, our rivers clean and overall our Earth clean. I do feel like the book could use a better structure, it was lacking a flow that would have made it easier to read through. However overall her message came through loud and clear.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Hannah gives great hints and tips to be a helpful to animals, ourselves and the environment via consuming less plastics. Some shocking facts, for example we as humans consume a tea spoon of plastic per week through channels like seafood or drinking bottled water. Another fact was the amount of plastic saved in the UK but introducing a charge for plastic bags in retail. Plastic consumption is intersectional and this book does a great job of explaining the connections. She’s definitely made me con Hannah gives great hints and tips to be a helpful to animals, ourselves and the environment via consuming less plastics. Some shocking facts, for example we as humans consume a tea spoon of plastic per week through channels like seafood or drinking bottled water. Another fact was the amount of plastic saved in the UK but introducing a charge for plastic bags in retail. Plastic consumption is intersectional and this book does a great job of explaining the connections. She’s definitely made me consider doing more than just recycling my waste. I’ve begun to actively seek ways to buy less plastic in the first place.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tony Gordon

    Very good (fast) read laying out how bad the plastic crisis is and how you can take action. However, she doesn't discuss how most pollution is done by corporations, not people, and that without pushing corporations to change we won't make it out of th3 crisis. Also, she repeatedly mentions plastic straws and getting rid of them, but phasing out plastic straws entirely isn't possible without making some disabled people's lives immensely difficult and even dangerous. Very good (fast) read laying out how bad the plastic crisis is and how you can take action. However, she doesn't discuss how most pollution is done by corporations, not people, and that without pushing corporations to change we won't make it out of th3 crisis. Also, she repeatedly mentions plastic straws and getting rid of them, but phasing out plastic straws entirely isn't possible without making some disabled people's lives immensely difficult and even dangerous.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    A thoughtful, educational, and too the point essay. It discusses how plastics became so widely used, the damage plastics cause to wildlife, the earth and ourselves, and what we can do even as one person to help slow the plastic crisis down. Great for preteens and teenagers especially, but there is great knowledge here for everyone.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

    This was informative, clear, and inspirational for teen readers. I really appreciated the actionable steps that Testa provides. While the writing, particularly in the latter third of the essay, is not as strong as others in this series, that didn't lessen its impact. This was informative, clear, and inspirational for teen readers. I really appreciated the actionable steps that Testa provides. While the writing, particularly in the latter third of the essay, is not as strong as others in this series, that didn't lessen its impact.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Shores

    I will never look at plastic the same way again -- and want everyone to read this book (It can be read in a single sitting.) I am so impressed with this young environmental activist and inspired to do my part in the new year to help reduce the global use of plastics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Love

    Pretty good. Some action items - some other people to be on the lookout for. More cut and dry than the other one I've read. Pretty good. Some action items - some other people to be on the lookout for. More cut and dry than the other one I've read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carsen

    The back half, when testa got to facts and examples, was much better than the front half, which centered on repetitive personal statements.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Whit

    3.5

  27. 4 out of 5

    PWRL

    A

  28. 4 out of 5

    Breanna Morgan

    3.5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shana Zucker

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