Jeanne Rizzo – Breast Cancer Fund

In this TED Talk, Jeanne Rizzo, the CEO of Breast Cancer Fund, speaks about the connection between plastic pollution and breast cancer. Rizzo’s vision guided the Breast Cancer Fund to adopt its bold mission to work to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. Under her direction, the organization has become a national leader in translating the science linking breast cancer and environmental exposures into public education and advocacy campaigns that protect our health and reduce breast cancer risk.

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.”

At the World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on February 23, 2017, speakers and leaders focused on Southeast Asian nations as the “sources” of plastic pollution in the oceans. But we know that the real sources of plastic pollution in waterways and on land are the multinational corporations that make single-use plastics, not the people of Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia who continue to battle this onslaught of unnecessary and toxic waste.

Recently, a team of artists, scientists, students, and filmmakers traveled between Bali and Komodo Island to analyze the impacts of plastic pollution in the region. Single-use plastic does not simply go “away.” It all goes somewhere. See where it ends up – along shorelines and in landfills, in backyards and in shallow waters. This film serves as a “call to action” to citizens around the world: Stop using single-use plastic, and actively demand that industry stop making it, too.

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.

In her eye-opening and engaging book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, journalist Susan Freinkel treks through history, science, and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic in our lives, describing the crisis point we’ve reached. She tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: the comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Each one illuminates a different facet of our synthetic world, and together they give us a new way of thinking about a substance that has become the defining medium — and metaphor — of our age.

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.