Wasteland: The Dirty Truth About What We Throw Away, Where It Goes, and Why It Matters
Out June 23rd, 2023 (UK) and 18th July 2023 (US).
‘A vital call to action’ – Publishers’ Weekly
‘Brilliant’ – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
‘A fascinating, deeply researched and hugely important exposé’ – Gaia Vince
‘An incredible journey… full of fascinating characters and mind-bending facts’ – Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland and Butler To The World
“One day,” the man said, “everything you own will belong to me.”
There, I thought, is a story.
We are living in a waste crisis. Sewage flooding our rivers, plastics in ours oceans, rivers, bodies; rubbish shipped abroad and inflicted on the world’s poor. Why? Why do we think so much about where stuff comes from, but almost never about where it goes after we’re done?
Wasteland is that story. It’s my attempt to explore what happens to our stuff after we throw it “away” – the places it goes, and the people who deal with it when it gets there. It’s a story that took me around the UK, to the USA, India, and Ghana; a story that took me from the inside of dumpsters to mountainous landfills, super-sewers to ghost towns, via the largest nuclear waste store in Europe.
‘There are stories in all our discarded things: who made them, what they meant to a person before they were thrown away. In the end, it all ends up in the same place – the endless ingenuity of humanity in one filthy, fascinating mass.’
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