Jeff Bridges Speaks Truth to Plastic

“Open Your Eyes” is narrated on screen by actor/activist/musician/artist and PPC Notable Member Jeff Bridges, whose “oak and leather and cigar smoke and the wilderness” voice helped the film reach more than 60 million views. 

Jeff knows: plastic is a substance the Earth cannot digest. Worldwide reliance on disposable plastic packaging and utensils is poisoning our bodies, killing wildlife, and overwhelming our planet. Single-use plastic deepens our dependence on fossil fuels, contributing to climate change and further harming our most at-risk communities.

The global problem of unnecessary plastics was demonstrated perfectly when a Whole Foods grocer in California was called out for selling pre-peeled oranges in plastic deli containers — and at $6 a pound. “Orangegate” quickly spread on social media when PPC re-posted a photo of the oranges, which reached more than 1 million people on Facebook. To their credit, Whole Foods responded within two days by pulling the oranges from their shelves and issuing an apology on Twitter.

Still, consumers can find everything from plastic-wrapped single bananas to individually wrapped jelly beans on store shelves today. We hope Jeff’s message will continue to prompt consumers and retailers to open their eyes and demand reductions in plastic waste. Meanwhile, Jeff recently shared with us reflections on his own growing awareness of the plastic pollution problem.

Plastic Pollution Coalition:  What motivates your long-standing support of Plastic Pollution Coalition, including lending your voice to our new video?

Jeff Bridges: My father Lloyd Bridges worked on a TV show called “Sea Hunt.” He impressed upon me as a child the importance of taking care of the ocean, and working together to do our part to reduce human pollution. Also, that we are all interconnected and responsible for the oceans around the world.  

PPC: What about your own awareness regarding plastic—specifically, when did it begin, and why?

JB: It began with (PPC) turning me onto what a stupid idea plastic drinking water bottles are.

PPC: What changes have you made to reduce your plastic footprint?

JB: Personally, I do my best to drink my water out of metal containers. I use PCC “Rethink” bottles often. My family and I don’t purchase plastic water bottles at the store. We have a water filtration system to fill up our bottles.

PPC: On tour with Chris Pelonis and out with the Abiders? On set?

JB: When I’m working, on sets or stages, my contracts specify in the rider that no plastic bottles be used. When I’m playing with my band, we all use metal and non-plastic containers for drinking to be ecologically sensitive and show others that this is the way to go.

PPC: What are three easy first steps you abide by and recommend for someone wanting to start out on the path toward a life with less single-use plastic?

JB: 1.) Get off plastic water bottles; 2.) get into metal or glass bottles; 3.) get a cloth shopping bag.

PPC: Any thoughts or observations that you’d like to share about the issue of plastic pollution, alternatives and solutions?

JB: The way to change the world is through individual responsibility and taking local action in your own community. If everyone around the world did this, it would be the first step in solving the problem.

Thank you, Jeff Bridges!

Read the Facts about Plastic Pollution cited in “Open Your Eyes”

Plastic never goes away.

Plastic is a durable material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of it is used once and then discarded. Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.

Plastic spoils our groundwater.

There are tens of thousands of landfills across the globe. Buried beneath each one of them, plastic leachate full of toxic chemicals is seeping into groundwater and flowing downstream into lakes and rivers.

Plastic attracts other pollutants.

Manufacturers’ additives in plastics, like flame retardants, BPAs and PVCs, can leach their own toxins. These oily poisons repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris.

Plastic threatens wildlife.

Entanglement, ingestion and habitat disruption all result from plastic ending up in the spaces where animals live. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of 6-to-1.

Plastic piles up in the environment.

Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year; only 8 percent of it gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills or becomes ‘litter’, and a small portion is incinerated. 

Plastic poisons our food chain.

Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating microplastics and absorbing their toxins. The substance displaces nutritive algae that creatures up the food chain require.

Plastic affects human health.

Chemicals leached by plastics are in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

Plastic costs billions to abate.

Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish and birds—because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable.

NOTE: We are deeply grateful to Jeff for his continued support of PPC and his ongoing activism. Last year, he als
o released an unusual recording called
“Sleeping Tapes” to raise awareness for No Kid Hungry, for which Jeff has been the national spokesman since 2010. 

For the video “Open Your Eyes,” PPC would also like to thank: Georgienne Bradley, Sea Save Foundation, Jon Bowermaster, Ed Begley Jr., Grant James, Javier Mas, Mas y Rallo, Jill Mazursky, Captain Charles Moore, Algalita Marine Research and Education, Nick Thune, Abriel Steadman, Annie Farman, Todd Sali, thesandbox, Chris Kirk, Ekin Akalin, Jimmy Wardell, Bob Nixon, Earth Conservation Corps, Daryl Wallace, Pam Longobardi, Drifter’s Project, Nickos Myrtos, Sergio Ko, Ionian Cultural for Arts & Culture, Mathew John Pearson, Engineered Films, Rajiv Joseph, Veronica Sive, and Sunjive Studios.

Get started living plastic-free.

17 responses to “Jeff Bridges Speaks Truth to Plastic”

  1. says:

    This is a problem that we can solve; each one of us must take responsibility for this mess.

  2. Martin hutchinson says:

    I fell in love with the planet, then this happened to my love.
    Now Peru needs to change its attitude.
    It is 2016 and Toxic Medical Waste is Still Being Dumped Into the Amazon River at Tingo Maria, Peru.
    It has been going on for 20 years now.
    And the garbage keeps on being dumped into the river:
    The problem has been getting worse, not better:
    Watch the videos and then sign and share the petition.
    My questions are who is responsible and how do we stop it?
    Concerned citizen of Earth,
    Martin Hutchinson

    GENERATIONRYSE #marinedumping Petition:

  3. Arnie Metz Jr says:

    Check out Sarah Metz at in Brooklyn.

  4. Paul Goettlich says:

    Each time a new organization forms to fight this problem I am encouraged. It really all started with the clear insight of my friend Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation when he experienced and published the bad news about plastics in the oceans. Coupled with the research of the Berkeley Plastics Task Force on plastics recycling and many others, it became a movement. So, I am happy that this organization seeks to end single use plastics. It will definitely help. As one who has researched and written widely on the health effects of plastics, my opinion is that the production of all plastics must cease. Logically, if plastic does not biodegrade, then it must be stopped entirely. Biodegradable plastic is an oxymoron. Recyclable plastic is also an oxymoron. Sustainably produced plastic is as well. Plastic is bad in all its forms. Of course we experience its many benefits. But the harm far outweighs those perceived benefits. On one hand there are the benefits. On the other hand, along with those benefits is certain death of the life we need to survive. Being that we are at the top if the food chain, we will be effected the most.

  5. Janis Kay Urban says:

    Life to me is a responsibility. We all our responsible for this planets well being. And we have failed miserably. Thank you Jeff for bringing this to our attention. I will do a better job. I promise.

  6. anna thrax says:

    Billions of years from now…..When scientists or aliens dig up remnants of human remains…..they will think we worshiped the God of plastic…we wrap our infants in pampers….drink from sacred cups made from it….and we even inject it into our bodies….face ……and have breasts made of it…..our God…..the age of plastic
    A real throw-away-society.

  7. says:

    Hemp is the answer. ??

  8. says:

    Just the other day I called up Pizza Hut to Tell them That I Thought the new Chicken wing containers where a waste of oil and plastic. And not biodegradable. And said I did not like them using them and would not buy anything from them again. (I usually don’t). They told me I could recycle the container. I said,realistically,How many people do YOU think are going to recycle a messy thing like that? It’s a Huge waste of oil and I don’t agree with it’s use. They said, Thanks for the comment,We’ll bring it to Corporate s attention. Now ,I don’t know if that will do any good. But I hope so. I hate Plastic. I try my best not to bring it in the house and I recycle. But that just means it’s still out there. So I admire you efforts. Thank you for all you do,Mr. Bridges. And for feeding the Kids too. Audrey

  9. says:

    Awesome thing and true

  10. Mark Maguire says:

    Oil, a black tar, foul smelling substance found under the ground (normally) made through thousands of years of plant and animal decay. Humans discover that you can burn this substance and produce energy, they also discovered you can use it in the manufacture of components , that are light weight and strong. However what we did not have the foresight to do was ask the question? What if? What will happen when we burn this oil and its emmisions enter the atmosphere? what are the impacts, we know now that Co2 has started and is the main contributor to climate change.What will happen to the plastics we produce from the oil? We knew that the material was durable, in fact indestructable! And now through its contious breakdown into smaller and smaller pieces it is at the level where it is entering our own food chain. So Oil, a black tar, foul smelling substance found in the ground, its time to leave it there, thats where it belongs. If we dont then it wont be long before we will be in the ground with it.

  11. Shorty C says:

    This is something interesting for the movement to back: — edible spoons & chopsticks 🙂

  12. says:

    Truth. Thank you Jeff.

  13. lisa coe says:

    So True its killing our oceans! Killing our wild life! Most importantly killing us! Wake the F-up!

  14. says:

    Plastic is the bane of our world. All the plastic ever made is still with us. We live in a box.
    How many tons of plastic can you put in the ground before your building houses on it, planting gardens in it, drinking it? Mr. Bridges as you know, new plastic is being made every day. That will not change in the near future, only add to the problem. I can keep millions of tons of plastic out of our landfills every year, save millions of tons of cardboard. It is not that hard. I need help. Can we talk? It will take a big bite out of the plastic elephant, and you have to start somewhere. As you said, recycling is not the answer. It is not that hard sounds cavalier, it is not. It took me a very long time to find the answer,yet once found, it is that easy. Kind of right there in your face easy, Thank you L. J. Yockey

  15. says:

    The old addage "we didn’t inherit the earth from our grandparents, but we are borrowing it from our children" fits in here well, also. Thanks, PPC and Jeff Bridges for your efforts to make the consumers aware of how important this issue is. Personally, I think recycling should be mandatory on many items. It is in some states and it just becomes a good habit, taking the recycling back to your grocery store with each trip and getting a "rebate" back that is then taken off your grocery bill….NOT DIFFICULT PEOPLE !! Let’s wake up, America, and start being responsible for what we are doing to our earth and water with our carelessness and thoughtlessness in how we handle our resources.

  16. says:

    In the near future I will be making a donation, I think this is a worthy cause

  17. Gerwin Legaspi says:

    The answer to your war on plastic… you’re welcome! 🙂

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To Stop Plastic Pollution