PPC Webinar | Greenwashing 2.0: Debunking Recycling Myths

June 5 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

People often ask what really happens to their plastic recycling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter where your discarded plastic is collected, whether at the end of your driveway, at your local recycling center, or in a municipal recycling bin: Most plastic items collected as recycling are not actually “recycled. Many people are now realizing that plastic is not designed to be recycled—it’s a false solution sold to us by corporations and governments. What’s more, plastic recycling drives continued production and pollution of plastics and fossil fuels, and their related injustices.

So what should you do? Stop trying to “recycle” plastic altogether? During our June 5 webinar, we will discuss the realities and harmful impacts of plastic recycling, from recycling’s toxic transfer and magnification of plastic chemicals, to its links to waste colonialism and injusticemicroplastic pollution, and much more. Instead of doubling down on a broken system, we need real plastic-free reuse, refill, repair, share, and regenerative solutions to solve plastic pollution. Our panelists will include: Davis Allen, Investigative Researcher at the Center for Climate IntegrityJim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network; and Kristine Kubat, Executive Director of Recycle Hawaii. The conversation will be moderated by Aditi Varshneya, Network Development Manager at GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives).

Date: Wed., June 5
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Davis Allen

Davis Allen (he/him) is an Investigative Researcher at the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), where he identifies and compiles evidence of the fossil fuel industry’s historical—and ongoing—deception. Prior to joining CCI, Davis completed a PhD in History at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.



Kristine Kubat

Kristine Kubat (she/her) was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, and for the past 40 years has been a resident of Hawaii, where she lives in Hilo in close proximity to her two children and five grandchildren. Kristine’s tenure at Recycle Hawaii began in 2010 when she managed the county’s used motor oil program, assisted in the development of new programs, and wrote grants. Kristine joined the board of Recycle Hawaii in 2019, serving briefly as the President until becoming Executive Director. Kristine’s wide-ranging background in politics, advocacy, journalism, project management, and community outreach serve the organization well.


Jim Puckett

Jim Puckett (he/him) is Founder and Executive Director of the Basel Action Network (BAN). An activist for over 35 years, his work on preventing toxic waste generation and the toxic waste trade helped pioneer numerous global instruments and market-based solutions to protect the environment and health of the world’s poorest communities and workers. Jim was the first to investigate and expose the export of electronic waste and transformed this unknown dumping practice into a global environmental justice issue. Prior to establishing BAN, Jim led global campaigns as Toxics Director for Greenpeace International, which were instrumental in generating public and government support for sustainable trade policies throughout the globe.


Moderator

Aditi “Adi” Varshneya

Aditi “Adi” Varshneya (she/her) is an organizer working as the U.S. & Canada Network Development Manager for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), where she provides movement support to groups fighting incinerators and building a just transition to zero waste. Before joining GAIA, Adi’s professional journey included grassroots community organizing and advocacy in Harlem, New York, city planning in the Bronx, and urban climate policy research. She is an alumna of New York University, with a BA in Metropolitan Studies and an MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy.


Resources

April 17 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

April is Earth Month, and many people around the world this year are focused on plastic pollution. With the fourth of five sessions of UN Plastics Treaty negotiations taking place in Ottawa, Canada, beginning on April 23, it is critical that key decision makers understand the urgent need to end plastic pollution at the source. It is now evident that plastic is toxic and is poisoning all people. Plastic pollutes throughout its existence, or “life cycle”— which begins with fossil fuel extraction and refining — and people living on the front lines of extraction, production, transportation, and disposal sites are especially harmed.

No matter who you are or where you live, your health is affected by plastics. Microplastics and plastic chemicals are now in all of our bodies, and people living in frontline communities face greatly elevated risks of autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, and other serious illnesses. This is unacceptable, and threats to our health will only grow more dire without urgent action to end fossil fuel and plastic production.

During our April 17 webinar, we will discuss the impacts of plastics on human health and implications for the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations happening later this month. Our panelists will include: Aidan Charron, Director of End Plastic Initiatives at EARTHDAY.ORG; Dr. Jamala Djinn, Policy Advisor at Break Free From Plastic; and Ruth StringerScience and Policy Coordinator at Healthcare Without Harm. The conversation will be moderated by Renee Sharp, Director of Plastics and Petrochemical Advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).This webinar is being organized in collaboration with EARTHDAY.ORG, whose theme this year for Earth Day on April 22 is Planet vs. Plastic.

Date: Wed., April 17
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Aidan Charron

Aidan Charron (he/him) is a dedicated environmental advocate who is actively engaged in the End Plastics Campaign at Earth Day Network. Drawing inspiration from a childhood spent along the picturesque beaches of North Carolina, Aidan developed a deep-seated passion for the environment. With a focused commitment to plastic legislation at the local, national, and global levels, Aidan strives to raise awareness about the profound impact of plastics on our food, water, air, and overall well-being.



Ruth Stringer

Ruth Stringer (she/her) is an environmental scientist with over 35 years of experience. She started out in research at the University of London as a founding member of Greenpeace’s Science Unit, analyzing hazardous waste including that from the PVC industry. This led to policy work, both on specific technical issues and the broader themes of waste prevention and clean manufacturing. Moving to Health Care Without Harm to specialize in medical waste, she is again focused on plastics, both how to manage them at the back of the hospital, and how to prevent them getting there in the first place.


Dr. Jamala Djinn

Dr. Jamala Djinn (she/they) is a condensed matter and materials physicist and senior policy advisor from Detroit, Michigan. She uses her many years of experience in government and science to work to curb the presence of toxic chemicals in our bodies and the environment. As Policy Advisor for the Break Free From Plastic movement, she is actively involved in discussions with the U.S. government regarding the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations.


Moderator

Renée Sharp

Renée Sharp (she/her) is the Director of Plastics and Petrochemical Advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and has more than 20 years of experience in environmental policy, research, and program implementation. Prior to joining NRDC, she spent 15 years at Environmental Working Group where she held a variety of roles. Renée has consulted for numerous national NGOs on environmental health and clean energy issues. She also served as the Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Bay Area, where she worked to expand solar power and electric vehicle access for low-income families.


Resources

March 28 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

With World Water Day on March 22, this month is a time to take action to expand water equity and access to the 2 billion people around the world don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. Water filters offer a solution that can remove many of the dangerous water contaminants—without billions of single-use plastic bottles—during water disasters and poor infrastructure like the toxic lead service lines bringing water into the homes of 22 million people in the U.S.

In this month’s webinar, Filtered Water: Preventing Billions of Plastic Bottles From Flooding U.S. Communities, we will discuss how proactive distribution of filters is a sustainable and affordable solution for providing clean water to the millions of people in the U.S. waiting to undergo the replacement of toxic lead pipes. Our panel will also explore why single-use plastic bottles are not the solution, as they are toxic to produce, can leach dangerous chemicals and microplastics into the water they carry, and end up in landfills or the surrounding environment. 

We are grateful to be joined by a panel of expert scientists and community advocates, including Deandrah Cameron, Policy Manager at New Jersey FutureDr. Sherri A. “Sam” Mason, Associate Research Professor and Director of Sustainability at Penn State Erie Behrend College; John Rumpler, Clean Water and Get the Lead Out Director at Environment America. The conversation will be moderated by Madison Dennis, Project Manager for the Plastic Pollution Coalition Filtered Not Bottled campaign.

Date: Thurs., March 28
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Deandrah Cameron

Deandrah Cameron (she/her) develops and advances New Jersey state policies that affect health, water infrastructure, and redevelopment, with a primary focus on lead in drinking water. She serves as the backbone staff to the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force, working closely with the Lead-Free New Jersey Collaborative. Before joining New Jersey Future, Deandrah was a Monmouth County Health Department case investigator. Deandrah holds a B.S. in Public Health from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a Master of Public Health focused on Health Systems and Policy with a Graduate Certificate in Public Health Nutrition from the Rutgers School of Public Health.


Dr. Sherri A. “Sam” Mason

Dr. Sherri A. Mason (aka “Sam”) (she/her) currently serves as the Director of Sustainability at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. She completed her doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Montana as a NASA Earth System Science scholar. While a Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Fredonia, her research group was among the first to study the prevalence and impact of plastic pollution within freshwater ecosystems. Sam has won several awards and has been featured within hundreds of mass media articles, including BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, HuffPost, and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Her work formed the basis for the Microbeads-Free Water Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2015. Similar legislation has been approved or is being considered at various locations internationally.


John Rumpler

John Rumpler (he/him) directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our rivers, lakes, streams, and drinking water. John’s areas of expertise include lead and other toxic threats to drinking water, factory farms and agribusiness pollution, algal blooms, fracking, and the federal Clean Water Act. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Alternatives for Community & Environment and Tobacco Control Resource Center. John lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his family, where he enjoys cooking, running, playing tennis and chess, and building sand castles on the beach.


Moderator

Madison Dennis

Madison Dennis (she/her) is a Project Manager for Plastic Pollution Coalition leading the Filtered Not Bottled initiative. Madison has led campaigns across local, federal, and international communities to protect marine wildlife, bolster clean energy, and expand digital equity. In her work, Madison prioritizes systems-based, collaborative solutions that center the impacted communities and the environment. Madison has a BS in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia, focusing on marine biology and conservation. While earning her degree, she witnessed the devastating impacts of plastic pollution on our oceans, and also the communities who rely on ocean systems for food, income, and their way of life.


Resources

February 15 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EST

February is Black History Month in the U.S., and despite major social justice wins over the last few decades, systemic racial and class injustices unfortunately continue to impact the lives of historically underserved groups. The serious consequences are clear: In the U.S., low-income, rural, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are disproportionately subject to and harmed by polluted air, waters, and soils from industrial infrastructure and activities

Join us on February 15 for our webinar From the Frontline: Petrochemicals, Plastics, and Cancer Alley. During this event, hear from frontline activists from communities of color across America’s industrial plastic and petrochemical corridors, who will discuss how they are taking action to protect themselves and their neighbors from pollution and injustice—and how you can, too

Our panelists for this important conversation include “The Father of Environmental JusticeDr. Robert Bullard; RISE St. James Louisiana Executive Assistant Shamyra Lavigne; and Founder & CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, Reverend Lennox Yearwood. The conversation will be moderated by Plastic Pollution Coalition Communications Manager, Erica Cirino, author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis.

Date: Thurs., February 15
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Dr. Robert Bullard

Robert D. Bullard (he/him) is the founding director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice and a distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University. Dr. Bullard is often called the “father of environmental justice.” He is also co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium, and co-chair of the National Black Environmental Justice Network.  Bullard is the author of eighteen books that address environmental racism, urban land use, housing, transportation, sustainability, smart growth, climate justice, and community resilience. In 2019, Apolitical named him one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy. In 2020, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) honored him with its Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2021, President Biden appointed him to serve on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) and in 2023 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Shamyra Lavigne

Shamyra Lavigne (she/her) is a native of St. James, Louisiana. Shamyra is a 3rd generation human rights activist. In 2020, Shamyra returned to her hometown to fight for environmental justice at RISE St. James Louisiana, a faith-based, grassroots nonprofit organization fighting for the eradication of petrochemical emissions impacting disenfranchised Black communities in St. James Parish and surrounding areas. Shamyra currently serves as an Advisor on the Conceptual Committee for the Frontline Resource Institute (FRI). Prior to her work at RISE St. James, Shamyra, an HBCU-graduate, lived out her passion for helping others by working with children and adults diagnosed with mental health disorders for 7 years. It is the privilege of Shamyra’s life to work for human rights on behalf of the people of St. James Parish and Louisiana.


Reverend Lennox Yearwood

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. (he/him) is the President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, a minister, community activist, U.S. Air Force veteran, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. He entered the world of Hip Hop Politics as the Political & Grassroots Director for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004, and as a key architect of P. Diddy’s “Vote Or Die!” campaign in 2004. As a national leader and pacemaker within the Green Movement, he works to bridge the gap between communities of color and environmental advocacy. He is a leader in campaigns calling for divestment from fossil fuels causing climate change, increasing diversity in the climate movement, ensuring everyone has clean water and air, and international efforts to address climate change.


Moderator

Erica Cirino

Erica Cirino (she/her) is the Communications Manager of Plastic Pollution Coalition. She has spent the last decade working as a writer, artist, and author who explores the intersection of the human and more-than-human worlds. Erica is best known for her widely published photojournalistic works that cut through plastic industry misinformation to deliver the often shocking and difficult truths about plastic—the most ubiquitous and insidious manmade material on Earth. This includes her award-winning book, Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis (Island Press, 2021). Erica holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a Minor in Environmental Humanities and a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Stony Brook University.


Resources

January 18 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EST

With a new year comes new resolutions for protecting and improving the health of our bodies, families, communities, and the planet that we all call home. One healthy resolution to consider is to reduce or eliminate plastic from your life. But with plastic used for everything from making clothing to carrying food and drinks, this can seem like a daunting task.

Join us on January 18 for our first webinar of the new year: Plastic-Free Resolutions: Protecting Your Health in 2024. During this event, we will offer tangible, common sense ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your daily life. We’ll discuss why it’s important to avoid plastics, provide you with DIY and low- and no-cost solutions, and highlight helpful products you may turn to when you need an extra hand.

Our panelists for this inspiring conversation include Queer Brown Vegan Isaias Hernandez; Zero Waste Farmer Manju Kumar; and Co-Owner & Co-Founder of Life Without Plastic Jay Sinha. The conversation will be moderated by MADE SAFE Founder Amy Ziff

Date: Thurs., January 18
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Isaias Hernandez

Isaias Hernandez (he/they) is an educator and creative devoted to improving environmental literacy through content creation, storytelling, and public engagements. He is more commonly known by his moniker, Queer Brown Vegan: the independent media platform he started to bring intersectional environmental education to all. His journey to deconstruct complex issues, while centering diversity and authenticity, has resonated with a worldwide audience. He also collaborates with other leaders from the private and public sectors to uplift and produce stories of change for his independent web series, Sustainable Jobs and Teaching Climate Together. Isaias has been featured in several noteworthy publications, including Vogue, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Yale Climate Communications.


Manju Kumar

Manju Kumar (she/her) is an urban farmer, consultant, and activist based in Southern California. Known as the Zero Waste Farmer, her lush home garden, a symbol of permaculture and sustainability, has captured the attention of media giants like the Los Angeles Times, NPR, and CBS.


Jay Sinha

Jay Sinha (he/him) is an ecopreneur, scientist, lawyer, policy advisor, writer, and speaker. He is co-founder and co-owner of Life Without Plastic, a Certified B Corporation and globally established online shop and information resource for safe, high-quality, ethically sourced, Earth-friendly alternatives to plastic products for everyday life. Jay is co-author of the bestselling book, LIFE WITHOUT PLASTIC: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy, an accessible deep dive into plastics health and environmental pollution issues and a how-to guide for living with less plastic.


Moderator

Amy Ziff
Amy Ziff

Amy Ziff (she/her) is Founder and Executive Director of Nontoxic Certified & the MADE SAFE® certification. Amy pioneered the rigorous MADE SAFE seal, the revolutionary Ecosystem Screening Process, the MADE SAFE Banned List, as well as built the organization’s ingredient database. With this platform, she has created a robust community of individuals who want products that won’t harm people or the planet. Amy has consulted with hundreds of companies on ingredient liabilities, opportunities for improvement, and product pitfalls leveraging the 360-degree Ecosystem Approach to improve thousands of products.


Resources