Plastic “Tox” Episode 5: Powering Collective Action Through Art and Music with AY Young

“People always tell me what they can’t do. I’ve heard so many people say, ‘well I’m not Coca-Cola! I don’t have a lot of money!’ Everyone downplays what we can do. You can plug in locally. You can stimulate your local economy by instead of going to the store chain, maybe you can support a local farmer. Or plug in with your local community and donate an hour of your time at the food kitchen and that fights poverty. I don’t know why everyone thinks everything has to be 10 million views and 10 million followers to make a difference. Where did that come from? You do not need to have a million followers to play live in Times Square twice!”

AY Young

AY Young (@aymusik) is a musician, songwriter, artist, producer, and sustainability advocate who uses his creativity to highlight issues related to the global climate crisis. He is a Plastic Pollution Coalition Youth Ambassador and Notable Member and was recently named by the United Nations (UN) as a Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—one of 17 youth leaders from around the world “recognized for their leadership and contribution to a more sustainable world.”

In 2021, AY kicked off “The Battery Tour”— a renewable-energy powered grass-roots concert series that raises money through donations to purchase portable, solar-powered boxes for villages that do not have reliable access to electricity. To highlight the UN SDGs, AY launched “Project17”—a concept album to include 17 tracks (one for each of the SDGs) with the collaboration of 17 artists, 17 organizations, 17 sponsors, and 17 impact projects designed to make our planet a healthier, kinder, and more sustainable world.

AY sat down with PPC Co-Founder & CEO Dianna Cohen to discuss the power of individual small actions and how coming from a family of changemakers influenced him to use the power of art and music to bring awareness to important issues and drive change.


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