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Save the ocean, refuse plastics: Dianna Cohen for World Oceans Day

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By the end of Mission Blue Voyage, most of the attendees and speakers were sporting cool glass necklaces, a gift from Dianna Cohen, second from left, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC). (From left, above, you can see filmmaker Mike deGruy, Dianna Cohen, speaker John Delaney, and the legendary Sylvia Earle, all wearing their glass necklaces.)

The Plastic Pollution Coalition fights to reduce one of the most pervasive threats to ocean wildlife — the plastic we throw in the oceans every day. Watch this TEDTalk from Capt. Charles Moore to learn more about the Pacific gyre, where discarded plastic goes to … well, not to die but live on in a hideous afterlife, poisoning and killing fish, turtles and seabirds. It never degrades and never goes away.

In this email interview, Dianna tells us more about these symbolic necklaces and the work she’s doing with the PPC:

Q: What do these necklaces mean to you?

A: These necklaces are a talisman (made from recycled melted glass from bottle necks) to remind us to choose wise and healthy alternatives. And to REFUSE single-use and disposable plastics daily. Here’s what the artist who makes them said:

“These necklaces are an example of re-use and a metaphor for how just a little bit of human interaction and creativity and vision can alter everything and / or anything … and can become a beautiful artistic expression … the glass was dug out of the dumpster and was reworked and redesigned to become a talisman.”
Liz Marx, glass artist

Q: What are some ways we can reduce / reuse / refuse plastics in our own lives?

A: Here are 10 ways we can reduce plastics use:

1) Bring your own grocery bags
2) Bring your own water bottle
3) Bring your own travel mug
4) Bring your own takeout/leftovers containers (stainless steel is great)
5) Bring your own utensils and straw (stainless steel or glass ones are great)
6) Shop the bulk bins and bring your own bags/containers
7) Buy “naked” produce instead of using plastic produce bags.
8) Switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap.
9) Buy large sizes of food (as much as you will consume before it goes bad) instead of single sizes. Less plastic that way.
10) Give up packaged convenience foods and frozen foods. They ALL come packaged in plastic.

Q: Is there a way to buy a necklace so that the cost supports the PPC?

A: You can get the necklaces, along with T-shirts and stainless steel bottles that support the work of the PPC, at our website: PlasticPollutionCoalition.org.

PLUS: Watch this awesome video Dianna made this spring with students in Barcelona:

Photo collage from images shot by James Duncan Davidson