Monterey Bay Aquarium’s new podcast series explores plastic pollution

Oct 17, 2016

Aquarium News
Conservation & Science
Ocean Policy
The Aquarium endorses a 'yes' vote on California's Proposition 67, upholding the ban on single-use plastic bags. ©Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has launched a new podcast series that covers the impacts of pollution from single-use plastic bags and plastic in general—from threats to humans and wildlife to how the issue has energized students and policymakers. 

The six-part series, “Breaking Down:  The Problem with Plastic Pollution,” features several of the aquarium’s own experts, as well as state legislators, scientists, artists, and celebrity and community activists.

Each 15-minute episode also includes practical tips on how to reduce or eliminate plastic from your life—and the ocean. The fourth episode, about plastic pollution’s impact on Latino and other communities of color, is available in English and en espanõl.

The series is live on the aquarium’s website, as well as on iTunes and SoundCloud.

The podcasts series is one of several efforts the Monterey Bay Aquarium is taking to inform people about the deadly threats posed by plastic pollution—especially on the ocean and marine wildlife.

Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard is one of the authors of the Yes on 67 argument in the official Voter Information Guide. “Plastic bags harm wildlife every day,” she writes. “Sea turtles, sea otters, seals, fish and birds are tangled by plastic bags; some mistake bags for food, fill their stomachs with plastics and die of starvation. YES on 67 is a common-sense solution to reduce plastic in our ocean, lakes and streams, and protect wildlife.”

The aquarium joins other environmental organizations that support a YES vote on Prop 67 to uphold California’s statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in California, and a NO vote on Prop 65, which is misleading and intended to confuse votes and delay implementation of Prop 67. Read more about “Bags on the Ballot” in the aquarium’s Future of the Ocean blog.

Here’s a guide to the topics and guests featured in “Breaking Down: The Problem with Plastic Pollution”:

  • Plastics, Part 1:  Why plastic is a problem, and plastics bags in particular. Guest are the aquarium’s California Ocean Policy Manager Letise LaFeir, and Conservation Interpreter Sarah-Mae Nelson.
  • Plastics, Part 2:  Plastic pollution’s lasting impact on the ocean and wildlife. Guests are the aquarium’s Director of Science Kyle Van Houtan, Curator of Aviculture Aimee Greenebaum, and actor and Lonely Whale Foundation founder Adrian Grenier and executive director Dune Ives.
  • Plastics, Part 3:  We know plastic is abundant in the ocean—but is it in our seafood? Guests are Chelsea Rochman, assistant professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto, and the aquarium’s Director of Ocean Policy Strategies Aimee David.
  • Plastics, Part 4:  How plastic pollution affects Latino communities. Guests are Marce Gutierrez-Graudinš, founder and director of Azul, and Claudio Garzon, artist, ocean advocate and educator.
  • Plastics, Part 4 en español:  Escucha como la contaminación por plásticos está afectando las comunidades Latinas. Los invitados son Marce Gutierrez-Graudinš, fundadora y directora del grupo Azul, y Claudio Garzon, artista, ambientalista y educador.
  • Plastics, Part 5:  How young people are taking on plastic pollution—and winning. Guests are the aquarium’s Teacher Programs Manager Mary Whaley, Senior Education Specialist Claudia Pineda-Tibbs, and Melati and Isabel Wijsen of Bye Plastic Bags, whose efforts lead to implementation of a bag ban on the island of Bali.
  • Plastics, Part 6:  How California can lead the nation on the issue of plastic bags. Guests are California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, authors of the bill that enacted the statewide ban on plastic bags.

Download this release as a PDF

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.