Plastic Pollution Coalition Ignites Social Movement with TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch -- Concluding with Four Challenges to Individuals, Businesses and Policymakers
Challenges will drive international REFUSE campaign
Source: PR Newswire Nov. 8, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch concluded with four specific challenges to business, policy makers and individuals to refuse disposable plastics. The now-viral video REFUSE campaign has already begun online with celebrities and thousands more pledging to REFUSE disposable plastics. The four challenges will become the core goals of the Plastic Pollution Coalition's 2011 international campaign to end plastic pollution.
'They say nothing in the world lasts forever. But all the plastic ever made is still here.' Jackson Browne
Plastic Pollution Coalition seeks to elevate plastic pollution to the forefront of global social, environmental and political discourse, and the challenges are the outcome of the TedxGreatPacificGarbagePatch forum attended by leaders in ocean conservation, health and environmental issues, including Sylvia Earle, Van Jones, Jeanne Rizzo and Fabien Cousteau, and notable supporters including Norman Lear and Ed Begley Jr.The creative, collaborative spirit of the participants coalesced into these fundamental principles, and everyone united around the shared belief that we can together achieve these goals.
'This campaign presents four strong challenges for change which will have an immediate impact on our environment,' said Daniella Russo, executive director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition. 'The window of opportunity is now. We need to make these changes together. We promise to work with individuals, businesses, and government policymakers to ensure we stop the devastating, toxic plastic pollution of our oceans, our environment and our bodies.'
In addition to the 150 leaders, artists, activists and scientists attending the event in person inSanta Monica, there were more than 75 watch parties and satellite events, with events taking place across the United States and on every continent. Thousands of people participated globally, watching and commenting on the livestream online broadcast. The day was filled with informative statistics – Beth Terry (author of the Fake Plastic Fish blog) shared that the average American uses 100 lbs of plastic each year. David de Rothschild encouraged people to incorporate creativity and collaboration into worldchanging action – International Fishing for Plastic Day – raising awareness of global plastic pollution with a global eco-game where you can win points for finding plastic caps, bags, and bottles.
These are the challenges and the speakers who delivered them:
The first challenge was to individuals and businesses: REFUSE Disposable plastics.
Social activist and media personality Erica Williams said nothing justifies the use of disposable plastics for personal or business use. These objects, created to be used for only a few moments, stay with us forever at a tremendous cost to the planet and the environment.
'We challenge all individuals and businesses to end their dependence on disposable plastic, today,' said Williams. She was recently named by Politico.com as one of Top 50 politicos to watch, and she is the former Deputy Director and Advocacy Manager of Campus Progress as the Center For American Progress.
Attendees at the live event and those watching online signed the REFUSE pledge athttp://www.tedxgreatpacificgarbagepatch.com/refuse-campaign/. Photos and videos taken at the event will launch a global 'REFUSE Plastic' photo petition, and the viral videos (including by Benicio Del Toro, Jack Johnson, and others) will inspire people to create their own 'REFUSE Plastic' messages. Individuals worldwide are encouraged to upload their own video and photos to YouTube channel (username REFUSEplastic, password refuseplastic)
The second challenge was to manufacturers of virgin resin product, plastic packaging and plastic products: Take responsibility for your products, develop alternatives, and voluntarily cap non-biodegradable virgin resin product.
This ambitious proposal was delivered by scientist Wallace 'J.' Nichols, Phd, an activist, community organizer and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences and Founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates. 'We challenge you to own the responsibility of your product until the very end,' said Nichols. 'The packaging you choose for your products is your responsibility, not the buyer's.' With this challenge, Nichols said he hopes to see industry rethink the design of products - to reduce both the carbon footprint and the plastic footprint of goods shipped around the world. 'We want industry to begin investing resources into developing a new generation plastic product - plant-based, non-toxic in any stage of its existence, and biodegradable.'
The third challenge was to policymakers and political leaders around the globe: Develop policies that curb the irresponsible use of plastic
Leslie Tamminen, Ocean Program Director for Seventh Generation Advisors, urged public leaders to adopt policies that support and incentivize individuals and businesses in their efforts to eliminate disposable plastics. Policies such as the bans on plastic bags in regions ofIndia or the tax on plastic bags in Washington, DC, need to be embraced worldwide.
The fourth challenge was to plastic manufacturers from the Ocean Nations: Come together and form a union against the onslaught of plastic to your environment, economic well-being and public health.
H.E. Mr. Stuart Beck, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from the Island of Palau, addressed the participants at TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch with a moving call appealing to the world on behalf of all small island nations. 'Plastic pollution is destroying our ocean, our planet, and ultimately our own individual bodies and health. The time has come to a put a stop to it.'
The four challenges are the organizing principles of this new social movement, and the foundation upon which the Plastic Pollution Coalition's efforts, campaigns and programs will be based. Similar to the 2005 UN Millennial Goals, these four challenges will be the touchstones as we combat plastic pollution in its many forms.
PHOTO: Captain Charles Moore signs on to the REFUSE plastic campaign.
DOWNLOAD PHOTOS AT:http://www.flickr.com/photos/tedxgp2
About Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic Pollution Coalition (www.PlasticPollutionCoalition.org) is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
Plastic Pollution seeks to elevate plastic pollution to the forefront of global social, environmental and political discourse.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self organized.
*This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Follow TED on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at facebook.com/TED.
SOURCE Plastic Pollution Coalition
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