Facing the Plastic Pollution Crisis Recording
Thursday, 2 June, 2022
Because it is not biodegradable,
all the plastic that has ever been manufactured
is still present on earth.
Think about that statement. And then think about where plastics may be found after they have been used. The answer(s) are outlined in the talk that was given on April 21 by Megan J. Wolff, PhD, Policy Director at Beyond Plastics, a nationwide project with the purpose of eliminating plastics pollution.
Beyond Plastics seeks to educate the media, policymakers, and the public on the plastic pollution crisis; encourage businesses to eliminate single-use plastics; train students to become leaders in the anti-plastics movement; and help block new plastic manufacturing and plastic burning facilities.
The Facing the Plastic Pollution Crisis lecture was recorded and edited and captioned. It is now available for viewing through July 29 via this link.
In commemoration of Earth Day 2022, Cultural Affairs and the Sustainability Committee brought Dr. Wolff to the Middletown campus to deliver the message of the seriousness of the plastics crisis. In an organized presentation which included many photos and graphs, she gave examples of the day-to-day pervasiveness of the use of plastics as well as the larger scope usage in companies all of which contribute largely to climate change. “Plastics are critical because they serve as a “wedge” issue, drawing together so many of the problems of extraction, emissions, and toxic waste that threaten the biosphere and those who inhabit it,” she states.
To give practical applications of her talk and Beyond Plastics goals, Dr. Wolff provided this supplement: …a few simple ways of getting involved in helping to reduce plastic pollution in home, neighborhood, state, and beyond.
1. Get connected! First and foremost, if you're not already on Beyond Plastics' email list, please sign up here to stay in the loop.
And if you use social media, I encourage you to follow Beyond Plastics on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
2. Get Active! Below are a couple of ways you can help to end plastic pollution. For more, check out the website https://www.beyondplastics.org/
· We’ve made it easy to contact all three of your members of Congress to urge them to co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 in one fell swoop at: https://bit.ly/CosponsorBFFPPA
· Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper about the need to pass the BFFPPA and mention your members of Congress by name in it. You can follow these tips to increase the odds that your letter will be published and feel free to draw from or adapt a sample letter which we can provide by contacting me (Wolff) or Cultural Affairs
3. Volunteer to lead! Beyond Plastics is launching a network of local groups and affiliated organizations working to end plastic pollution. Why? Because state and federal regulation is always modelled on what works at the local level, and on what people are demanding at home.
Thus, we know that real change requires a grassroots movement in the form of local action nationwide. Take action by pulling together a few friends, colleagues, and neighbors and training with Beyond Plastics to make your voices hear.
Questions? Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Director of National Organizing, Alexis Goldsmith.
Megan J. Wolff holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MPH and PhD in Public Health History and Policy from Columbia University.
General questions may be directed to email@example.com
Image credits from top to bottom: Beyond Plastics - Bennington College logo; marine debris collecting on a shoreline by Asher Pacht; photo of Megan Wolff by Jim Smith.