Inspiring Talks


Dianna Cohen - TED Talk 
Tough Truths About Plastic Pollution 

Visual Artist Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition, shares some tough truths about plastic pollution in the ocean and in our lives -- and some thoughts on how to free ourselves from the plastic gyre.










Dianna Cohen - Ink Talks
Rethink Plastic 

Plastic doesn't go away - it ends up int he depths of the oceans, the bellies of birds and fishes, the bloodstream of babies.  Visual artist Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition, argues that we need to turn off the faucet and change our ways - towards a world free of plastic.









Dianna_resized.jpgDianna Cohen - There is No ‘Away’: How Each of Us Can Help Stop Plastic Pollution

Last month, Indonesia pledged to cut plastic pollution by an astounding 70 percent by 2025, in response to the UN Environment Programme’s #CleanSeas campaign. This commitment is a huge step forward in reducing the more than 8 million tons of plastic going into our oceans every year. But this is only a starting point: We must all take collective action in our communities to stop the flow of plastic into our environment.









Dianna_2_resized.jpgDianna Cohen - Tough Truths about Plastic Pollution

October 5, 2015 | In this talk delivered for Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, Dianna Cohen, CEO/Co-Founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, raises awareness of ocean waste – the majority of which is non-degradable plastic – and everyday strategies to cut down the amount of plastic we use and throw away.











Arlene Blum - Plastic Pollution In Our Homes


Arlene Blum Ph.D.,Founder and Executive Director of theGreen Science Policy Institute, is chemist, author, mountaineer and a Visiting Scholar in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. The Institute’s work has contributed to reducing the use of flame retardants and other harmful chemicals in consumer products worldwide. Blum led the first American ascent of Annapurna I; the Great Himalayan Traverse across the mountain regions of Bhutan, Nepal, and India; and hiked the length of the European Alps with her baby daughter on her back. Her current “mountain” is to work with decision makers in business and government to produce and purchase products with safer chemicals
for a healthier planet.  

A scientific advisor for Plastic Pollution Coalition, Arlene speaks about the connection between plastic pollution
and flame retardants.







Anna Cummins- TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen

What to Do with 5.25 Trillion Particles of Plastic Smog?

Executive Director Anna Cummins and her husband Marcus Eriksen co-founded The 5 Gyres Institute, dedicated to engaging people in policy and design solutions to end the global threat of plastic pollution.  Our oceans are steadily filling with plastic – 5.25 trillion particles globally.  In this talk, Anna shares how she co-founded 5 Gyres to explore plastic on a global level, and leverage their science to drive solutions. Recent 5 Gyres findings are driving a nation ban on a previously unknown source of pollution - microbeads - lurking in many of our personal care products.






Captain Charles Moore - TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch 
Great Pacific Garbage Patch - Ten Years Later, the Gyre is All Around Us 

“Let’s talk trash,” says Captain Moore, found of the Algalita Research Foundation, in his introductory line before launching into what he found ten years after his initial popularization of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  The disturbing findings call for immediate action to change our behavior





Body_Burden_of_Plastic__Emily_Penn_resized.jpgEmily Penn - The body burden of our plastic problem, TEDxUbud - 13:30 min.

Ocean advocate Emily Penn has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in the oceans. She explains how the toxins from plastic makes their way into our food chain and how we might be able to stop it.A  A TEDX Ubud. 





Wallace “J” Nichols: Challenge to Plastic Product Manufacturers

Research scientist, activist, author and community organizer, Nichols presents a 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.



Olivia and Carter Ries - TEDX Youth
One More Generation

In their TEDX Youth talk, brother and sister team Olivia and Carter advocate for wildlife preservation and the dangers of plastic to wildlife.  As passionate 7 and 8 year olds, they founded One More Generation (OMG) in 2009.  They have recently launched a straw campaign.







Jeanne Rizzo, Breast Cancer Fund

TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch Breast Cancer and Plastic Pollution

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.  








Jen Gale - My Make Do and Mend Year

There have been plenty of anti-consumerism campaigns, but none quite as sustained as Jen Gale's. Her year of 'Make Do and Mend' sees her buying nothing new, and leaping head first into recycling, repurposing, begging and borrowing. She is keeping a blog of the experience ( to inspire others to try the same thing.





Rachel Miller, Founder, Rozalia Project

Rozalia Project has discovered that marine debris washing, blowing and getting tossed into our ocean has created 3 new oceanographic features in our urban and coastal waters: beer can reefs, rivers of trash and local garbage patches. Learn all about these features and how we are cleaning them up and preventing them in the first place. 





Lauren Singer - TED X TEEN

Why I live a Zero Waste Life

Lauren Singer is author of the Zero Waste blog, Trash is for Tossers and founder of organic cleaning product company, The Simply Co. She is an Environmental Studies graduate from NYU and former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and the amount of trash that she has produced over the past three years can fit inside of a 16 oz. mason jar. 





Boyan Slat - TEDxDelft 
How the Oceans Can Clean Themselves 

18-year-old Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, entrepreneurism and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability in his TEDX Delft talk. After diving in Greece and coming across more plastic bags than fish, he wondered; "Why can't we clean this up?"  Differing college to pursue his ideas, today he’s moved to a prototype model.  While his approach has it’s detractors with regard to it being a viable solution but none deny his commitment to finding a solution.





Beth Terry - Living Plastic Free  


Author and plastic-free advocate Beth Terry speaks about her journey to live a plastic free life.




 Melati and Isabel Wijsen - TED Talk
Ban Plastic Bags in Bali

Melati and Isabel Wijsen are on a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. "Don't ever let anyone tell you that you're too young or you won't understand," Isabel says to other aspiring activists. "We're not telling you it's going to be easy. We're telling you it's going to be worth it."



Symposiums, Summits, Plenaries



Breaking_Down_Plastic_resized.jpgBreaking Down Plastic  - South Carolina Aquarium Plastic Pollution Summit Health Plenary, March 30, 2017 featuring Dr. Kaylie Wiles and Dr. Chealsea Rochman

BREAKING DOWN PLASTIC is an engaging, single-day event designed to bring together thought leaders, plastics experts, innovative entrepreneurs, scientific researchers, and public policy advisors to generate long-term solutions to plastic pollution – a pressing ecological issue that can affect the health of all living organisms on our planet.






Plastic_Gyre_Symposium_resized.jpg2015 Welch Symposium “Plastic GYRE: Artists, Scientists and Activists Respond”

In an effort to raise awareness and discourse on the global crisis of plastic pollution, the Welch Foundation at Georgia State University (GSU), David J. Sencer Museum of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) jointly host the 2015 Welch Symposium, The Plastic GYRE: Artists, Scientists and Activists Respond on March 26-27.

The two-day symposium is part of the Atlanta Science Festival and will feature a wide array of experts discussing
the most current research, creative response, activism mobilization and industry best practices in a quest to address
runaway global plastic pollution. In conjunction with the conference, several events are planned including
a partnership with a major international art exhibition, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean at The David J. Sencer CDC Museum,
film screenings, pop-up exhibition, press junket and a cocktail reception at the CDC Museum.