Albatross

ALBATROSS is a powerful visual journey into the heart of a gut-wrenching environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on Earth, tens of thousands of albatross chicks lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic. Returning to the island over several years, Chris and his filming team witnessed cycles of birth, life, and death of these magnificent creatures as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. ALBATROSS walks us through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy — and our own complicity — head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a deeply felt experience of beauty and love for the miracle of life on Earth. Stepping outside the stylistic templates of traditional environmental or documentary films, ALBATROSS takes viewers on a lyrical guided tour into the depths of their own spirits, delivering a profound message of reverence and renewal that is already reaching an audience of millions of people around the world.

In this TED Talk, research scientist, activist, author and community organizer, Wallace J Nichols, explains one of four challenges presented to the world at the TEDx Great Pacific Garbage patch event. The challenge to Plastic Product Manufacturers includes: “We challenge you to accept a voluntary cap on non-biodegradable product, and to begin investing resources into developing a new generation plastic product — plant-based, non-toxic in any stage of its existence, biodegradable. We challenge you to own the responsibility of your product till the very end. The packaging you choose to for your products is your responsibility, not the buyer’s. We challenge you to rethink design of products — to reduce both carbon footprint and plastic footprint of your goods shipped around the world.”

In 1997, prominent seafaring environmentalist and researcher Charles Moore discovered the world’s largest collection of floating trash—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (“GPGP”)—while sailing from Hawaii to California. Moore was shocked by the level of pollution that he saw. And in the last 20 years, it’s only gotten worse—a 2018 study has found that the vast dump of plastic waste swirling in the Pacific Ocean is now bigger than France, Germany, and Spain combined—far larger than previously feared.

In Plastic Ocean, Moore recounts his ominous findings and unveils the secret life of plastics. From milk jugs and abandoned fishing gear to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin and be unknowingly inhaled, plastic is now suspected of contributing to a host of ailments, including infertility, autism, thyroid dysfunction, and certain cancers. An urgent call to action, Plastic Ocean’s sobering revelations have been embraced by activists, concerned parents, and anyone alarmed by the deadly impact and implications of this man-made environmental catastrophe.

Marine debris is a global pollution problem affecting marine life, maritime commerce and environmental quality. Scientists, policymakers and the public must be knowledgeable about the source, impact and control efforts if effective solutions are to be developed.

Marine Debris addresses the origin of persistent solid waste in the ocean, from urban and rural discharges to waste from ships and the recreational ocean use. It identifies the key issues from biological, technological, economic and legal perspectives, and gives a framework for controlling each of the main sources of marine debris.

Out of sight, out of mind? Into our trash cans go dead batteries, dirty diapers, bygone burritos, broken toys, tattered socks, eight-track cassettes, scratched CDs, banana peels…. But where do these things go next? In a country that consumes and then casts off more and more, what actually happens to the things we throw away?

In Garbage Land, acclaimed science writer Elizabeth Royte leads us on the wild adventure that begins once our trash hits the bottom of the can. Along the way, we meet an odor chemist who explains why trash smells so bad. This book is a brilliant exploration into the soiled heart of the American trash can.

Tell your representatives it’s time to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 for the health and future of humans, animals, waterways, oceans, and the environment.

The petrochemical industry and the pollution it creates disproportionately harms people of color and low-income communities. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfill 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health, wealth, and well-being of frontline and fenceline communities. In fact, the U.S. produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, and exports much of this waste to the Global South. An astounding 91% of plastic is never recycled. 350 million metric tons of plastic are produced globally each year, and 15 million metric tons wind up as plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) builds on successful statewide laws across the country and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future. Plastic—which the petrochemical industry makes out of fossil fuels—contributes to climate change at every step of its life cycle, from extraction to refinement, manufacture, transportation, disposal, and waste. Breaking free from plastic would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resiliency.

Plastic disproportionately harms low-income communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities by polluting their air, water and soil. Breaking free from plastic would uphold environmental justice by halting the development of new plastic facilities until necessary health and environmental regulations are updated and established.

Plastic is toxic, and includes 144 chemicals or chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health. Microplastic particles are so pervasive in our food and water that the average person ingests a credit card’s worth of plastic (5g) every week. A recent study even documented microplastic particles in maternal human placentas. Breaking free from plastic would protect human health and improve fertility, helping ensure our survival as a species.

This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by:

  • Shifting the financial burden of waste management and recycling off municipalities and taxpayers to where it belongs: the producers of this waste;
  • Spurring massive investments in domestic recycling and composting infrastructure;
  • Phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable;
  • Establishing minimum recycled content standards;
  • Launching a national beverage container refund program to bolster recycling rates;
  • Placing a temporary pause on new and expanding plastic facilities until the Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations to protect frontline and fenceline communities;
  • Prohibiting plastic waste from being exported to developing countries;
  • And more proven policy solutions!