New Research Connects Plastic with Climate Change

photo: by Olivier Poirion for BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45043989

“One of the great tragedies of modern society is that we have politicians cherry-picking science in the interests of their own social, cultural, political and religious belief systems, and that’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy…If your belief is not based in objective truth then maybe you should not be creating legislation based on it.” That’s Neil deGrasse Tyson on climate change. This is how plastic is connected. [Read more…]

Can Starbucks Straws Solve The Plastic Problem?

Photo: money.cnn.com

The decision to eliminate Starbucks straws by 2020 is making headlines. But is it a step in the right direction? Because they can be made of so many different types of plastic and don’t include an identifying “chasing arrow” symbol, straws aren’t typically recycled. Americans use 500 million every day. So eliminating Starbucks straws seems like a good thing, right? Well, maybe. [Read more…]

Solo Cups Are Styrofoam?

red solo cup made of polystyrene aka Styrofoam on polluted beach

photo: Metro Waste Authority (mwatoday.com)

From coffee cup lids to straws, cutlery and cups, polystyrene and “Styrofoam” products are everywhere. Even SOLO cups are made of 100% polystyrene plastic—the same plastic that’s in a Dunkin’ Donuts foam coffee cup.

Yes, really.

In honor of #plasticfreejuly, I’m sharing more information about the growing problem of plastic polluting our oceans. And “Styrofoam” is a huge culprit. [Read more…]

Plastic: 4 Facts You Should Know

seahorse plastic earbud

photo: National Geographic

Have you heard the stats on plastic? One million plastic bags used every minute around the globe. Three million water bottles used every hour in the United States. Five million straws used every day in America. Plastic production increased 2,000 percent from 1964 to 2014. More than 300 million tons of new plastic produced annually and less than 10% recycled.

Plastic overconsumption is affecting our environment—and our health. Reports show that eight million tons go into the ocean each year (the equivalent of a garbage truck full every minute) and that if we don’t do something about it, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

In the last two years that I’ve spent focused on this issue, I’ve come to understand the bigger picture about plastic pollution—and what we can do about it. If you care about climate change, your health or animal welfare, you need to know these four facts about plastic. [Read more…]

Watch My TEDx Talk!

I feel so honored to have been chosen by TEDxSantaBarbara to share my vision of how one straw can change the world. What are you doing to fight plastic pollution? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks!

More Plastic in Oceans Than Fish?

I was startled when I read this prediction: By 2050, we’ll have more plastic in oceans than fish. Today, by weight we have about 20% plastic in oceans, as compared to fish, which is still a startling statistic. But a new report shows that we may have passed the tipping point. Why–and what can you do? Read on! [Read more…]

MN Takes Silver with #Microbead Ban

Yesterday, Minnesota announced a ban on plastic microbeads, nearly a year after Illinois became the first state to ban them. With New York’s Microbead-Free Waters Act pending, more states are set to follow suit, as lawmakers act on the microbead pollution problem.
[Read more…]

Top 10 Recycling FAQs Answered

Girl drinking soda through a red strawI am not great about remembering my reusable water bottle. Unless I’m going on a picnic, I tend to forget it in the car whenever I resort to plastic bottles or cups, I make sure to recycle them—even if it means carting them home in my purse.

You might think I’m crazy, but the truth is nearly 80% of plastic water bottles aren’t recycled, and plastic makes up 80% of the trash that pollutes our oceans. Hopefully the fact that I just signed Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap pledge to pack reusable water bottles this summer will keep me in line. (Want to join me? Sign here!)

But what about the rest of the plastic? Even the most seasoned treehugger can be stumped by a straw. Does it go in the blue bin or the black? If I’m recycling, do I need to wash it first? Here are easy answers to some frequently asked questions. [Read more…]