THE STORY OF PLASTIC takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.
The Story of Plastic, Film Screening and Discussion
Individual Film Screening:
via individual email link, watched anytime prior to discussion
Monday, November 9th, 7:00pm to 8:00pm Pacific Time
- Speakers: Story of Plastic filmmaker Stiv Wilson and Jackie Núñez, Founder of the Last Plastic Straw and Program Manager for the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
- Moderator: Dr. Charles Lester, faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Director, Ocean & Coastal Policy Center, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara (as well as former Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission).
Video from Discussion
About the Event
Registered attendees will receive a link via email to stream the film and can watch it anytime prior to the discussion on Monday, November 9th at 7:00pm Pacific Time, at which time all the film-streaming links will expire. The film runs 96 minutes. We anticipate the link to be sent to all registered attendees 48-72 hours prior to the discussion. We have a limited number of registrations available, so please only watch the film one time, or attendee spots will be used up. Likewise, please do not share the link with anyone who did not register. We will meet at 7:00pm Pacific Time on Monday, November 9th on Zoom (details below) for a discussion and Q&A with Story of Plastic filmmaker Stiv Wilson and Jackie Núñez, Founder of the Last Plastic Straw and Program Manager for the Plastic Pollution Coalition. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Charles Lester, faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Director, Ocean & Coastal Policy Center, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara (as well as former Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission).
Thanks for participating and caring about issue of plastics!
About the Film
THE STORY OF PLASTIC takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing. With engaging original animation, archival industry footage beginning in the 1930s, and first-person accounts of the unfolding emergency, the film distills a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet’s and its residents’ well-being.
About the Speakers and Moderator
- Stiv Wilson, CoDirector, Peak Plastic Foundation, Creator and Executive Producer, The Story of Plastic: Stiv Wilson is an award winning activist, filmmaker, and educator working at the nexus of marine conservation, plastic pollution, petrochemical production and human rights. After completing 35,000 nautical miles sailing the world to study marine plastic pollution, Stiv co-authored the first ever global estimate of the abundance of plastics in all of the major five oceans in the peer reviewed journal, PLOS ONE. After co-authoring and publishing several other scientific papers on the abundance of microplastics in the marine and fresh water systems, Stiv went on to pass state level policy as well as the first plastics focused national policy, The Plastic Free Waters Act, that was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. A frequent speaker on the issue of plastic pollution, his work has been met with critical acclaim, winning a United Nations Ocean Hero award. He is a co-founder of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement that now comprises over 1,800 NGOs across the globe working in solidarity to end plastic pollution at all intervention points across the plastics supply chain. Wilson writes on plastic issues for various publications and has been profiled in dozens of media outlets including The New York Times. He has recently produced his first feature length documentary,The Story of Plastic, which has earned several awards on the film festival circuit and is working with federal lawmakers to use the film to support the first comprehensive plastics legislation in federal congress, The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. Wilson serves as an advisor to Senator Udall and Representative Lowenthal to develop the policy with the ultimate goal of passing this historic act, as well as consulting on national level campaign and policy initiatives in Southeast Asia. He resides in San Francisco with his partner, and mutt Lucy.
- Jackie Núñez, Founder of the Last Plastic Straw and Program Manager for the Plastic Pollution Coalition: Jackie has spent most of her life living in different locations and surrounded by water. Ultimately landing in California where she became a river guide, studied horticulture and permaculture design, worked as a landscape designer/gardener, and kayak guide, and has a BS in Health and a AS in Horticulture. Her passion for travel, ocean sports, the environment, and community service inspired her to create The Last Plastic Straw. When not traveling the globe she makes her home in Santa Cruz, California, where she teaches people of all ages how to speak truth to plastic and be an agent for change in their communities. Jackie created the No Plastic Straws movement when she founded The Last Plastic Straw in 2011 as a volunteer project for Save Our Shores, and now a program of Plastic Pollution Coalition since 2016. Her goal is to help educate the public about the absurdity of single-use plastic, it’s effects on our health, environment and oceans. By using the plastic straw as a gateway issue towards eliminating our single-use plastic habit. Jackie has been relentless in encouraging eateries to stop automatically giving out straws and she has been a force to help change policy away from single-use plastic pollution. She has been featured on NBC, The Washington Post, China Global and ”interviewed” on FOX “news”. A self-described “Slacktivist turned Activist”, she is living proof of how one person can make a difference. Jackie is a frequent speaker at international conferences, in the press, and was featured in the award-winning documentary Straws Film. She was chosen, out of a field of over 10,000 women, to be a crew member on the eXXpedition Round the World an all-female sailing voyage and research mission. The eXXpedition Round the World is made up of over 300 multidisciplinary women that have set sail across 30 voyages over a three-year period, from October 2019- September 2022. Jackie will be part of a crew that will explore plastics and toxics in our ocean across the Timor Sea towards the Indian Ocean. Along the coastline of Western Australia. Sailing 2,000 nautical miles in total, participating in the onboard science program while world’s largest fringing reef – World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef. for Leg 15, Darwin to Perth voyage on August 2021.
- Dr. Charles Lester is Adjunct Faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and the Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Center in the Marine Science Institute at U.C. Santa Barbara, where he researches, writes, and advises about sea level rise, coastal resilience, and other aspects of California coastal law and policy. Charles previously worked for the California Coastal Commission for twenty years, including serving as the agency’s fourth executive director from 2011 to 2016. In 2015, he led the agency’s completion of California’s first comprehensive land use guidance for addressing sea level rise and coastal protection on the outer coast. Previously, Charles was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he taught environmental law and policy, with a focus on public lands governance and coastal zone management. He received his Ph.D. and J.D. from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Geochemistry from Columbia University.
The plastic pollution crisis is vast, complex, and intersects with various issues. But there’s a lot of work being done and a lot more we can do to turn the tide. Below are additional materials you can check out if you’d like to learn more.
- From one of our attendees: Plastics and Sustainability Forum introduction: https://go.nature.com/PlasticsForum and Application for participation: https://events.streamgo.co.uk/Plastics-and-Sustainability/register
- From CBE/co-host: Recent PBS/NPR article on how the plastics industry green-washed recycling with the little numbers on the bottom of plastic packaging: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled
Zoom Link for Discussion
Link to Join: from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: Sustainability Speaker Series, Fall 2020
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Please note: We will be filming the Zoom meeting with the permission of each speaker; if filming, attendees who participate in the Q&A portion with audio or video consent to be filmed; We reserve the right to exclude disruptive participants
The Center for the Blue Economy is a research organization at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Our mission is to promote a sustainable ocean and coastal economy (the “Blue Economy”) through leadership in research, analysis, and education. For questions contact: Rachel C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit centerfortheblueeconomy.org or call 831-647-4183 (must leave message and receive call back).