Last weekend the Plastic Pollution Coalition hosted a TEDx event in Santa Monica on the Not So Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The gathering was well attended by celebrities (Jackson Browne, Ben Lear, Daphne Zuniga and Ed Begley Jr.), explorers (Dr. Sylvia Earle, Charlie Moore, Fabien Cousteau and David De Rothschild) and numerous other environmental leaders fighting against the scourge of plastic pollution. The well-produced evening beamed via webcast globally and included a blend of dramatic footage from plastic contaminated gyres (including a short film from the 5 Gyres expeditions from Marcus Ericsen and Anna Cummins), performances from Lear, Browne and others, and solutions-oriented talks from such Heal the Bay friends as Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, Lisa Boyle and Leslie Tamminen.
Attendees also saw the unveiling of an ad campaign from Leo Burnett that asks people to become citizens of the Crapola Islands (also known as the Pacific Garbage Patch) – the only nation we want to disappear. Two speakers presented potential solutions that won’t have a positive impact on the global marine debris crisis. Patrick Kenney of Green Harvest Technologies spoke about a green future with bioplastics. Although there are many eco-advantages to bioplastics, especially in areas with effective composting programs, solving the plastic pollution problems in our oceans is not one of them.