Plastic “Tox” Episode 2: Break Free From Plastic – Advocating for Strong U.S. Policies. With Jackie Nuñez

There’s a famous speech in 1957 where a marketing guy showed up at a plastics industry conference and said, ‘the future of plastic is in the trash can’…if you can convince people to throw it away.

Jackie Nuñez

From June 13–16, 2022; activists from across the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement converged on Washington D.C. to lobby members of Congress to sign on to/co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. The proposed legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA), builds on the successes of U.S. state laws and represents the most comprehensive set of policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis ever introduced in Congress. 

Jackie Nuñez (@NoPlasticStraws) is Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Advocacy & Engagement Manager and the Founder of The Last Plastic Straw. For 11 years, Jackie has met with policymakers and industry leaders across the world advocating for a plastic-free future. From June 13–16, Jackie took part in the “Break Free From Plastic Week of Action” with allies from across the country. She sat down to tell us what was happening on the ground, next steps, policy updates, and more.

Interviewing Jackie is Erica Cirino, Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Communications Manager. Erica has spent the last decade working as a science writer, author, and artist exploring the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds. She is best known for her widely published photojournalistic works that cut through plastic industry misinformation and injustice to deliver the often shocking and difficult truths about this most ubiquitous and insidious material. In her recent award-winning book, Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis (Island Press, 2021), she documents plastic across ecosystems and elements; shares stories from the primarily Black, Brown, Indigenous and rural communities that are disproportionately harmed by industrial pollution globally; and uncovers strategies that work to prevent plastic from causing further devastation to our planet and its inhabitants.