Plastic Pollution Coalition

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The Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) is an advocacy group and social movement organization which seeks to reduce plastic pollution.[1][2][3] PPC operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the umbrella organization Earth Island Institute.


PPC asserts that plastic recycling is unhelpful. Instead, they endorse taxes on plastic bags, propose the elimination of single-use plastics, and emphasize producer responsibility for the end-life of their products.[4] PPC has advocated for the discontinuation of single-use plastic drinking straws, describing this as a "gateway issue to help people start thinking about the global plastic pollution problem".[5] PPC prioritizes changing legal structures and producer responsibility against a perceived over-emphasis on individual responsibility for recycling.[6][7]


PPC was founded by Manuel Maqueda, Daniella Russo, Lisa Boyle, Dianna Cohen and Julia Cohen in October 2009.[4] The organization is primarily involved in internet activism.[8][9][10] In 2010, PPC was the host of TEDx event "Great Pacific Garbage Patch: The Global Plastic Pollution Crisis" discussing the Pacific trash vortex.[11] From April 2011 until June 2014, PPC operated a news website called The Plastic Free Times.[12][13]

In 2017, an advocacy video for the Plastic Pollution Coalition was made featuring the top 11 finalists from the 10th season of American Idol. PPC alleges that American Idol producer 19 Entertainment contributed to the video and then demanded that it be removed from the internet under pressure from corporate sponsors.[14][15]

A couple of the organization’s markets have become home to Sustain L.A. Refill Station, a business aimed at supplying customers with some of the products that are hardest to obtain without also buying new plastic bottles — shampoo, hair conditioner, liquid soap, laundry detergent and household cleaners.[16]

Legal cases[edit]

In 2015, PPC and the environmental law firm Greenfire sued 3,000 plastic manufacturers in California for allegedly violating stormwater permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act.[17]

In April 2020, PPC and the Earth Island Institute filed a law suit against Clorox, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter and Gamble in California superior courts alleging that these companies of polluting waterways, coasts, and oceans with millions of tons of plastic packaging. The suit claims they violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, public nuisance, breach of express warranty, defective product liability, negligence, and failure to warn of the harms caused by their plastic packaging. The American Beverage Association responded to the suit with a statement by saying some of their members' are actively addressing the problem of plastic pollution. The suit claims that the defendant companies collectively produce about 15% of all single-use plastic packaging.[18][19]


PPC has used celebrity endorsements to attract support. One video produced by PPC featuring actor Jeff Bridges was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.[20] Celebrity supporters include Jeff Franklin,[21] Jeff Bridges,[22] Alexandra Paul,[23] Amy Smart,[24][25][26] and Ben Harper[27][28]


PPC has campaigned to pressure companies to discontinue plastic packaging. Albe Zakes, spokesman for TerraCycle, while expressing support for PPC's goals, has questioned whether switching to glass bottles instead of plastic is better for the environment.[29] In 2021, a Netflix documentary Seaspiracy criticised PPC for not speaking up about the plastic pollution from the commercial fishing industry. It implied that PPC was dependent on revenues from fishing, being the subsidiary of Earth Island Institute.[30]

Similar organizations[edit]

Other similar organizations working to reduce plastic pollution include 5 Gyres, Break Free From Plastic, Changing Tides Foundation, Friends of Ocean Action, Greenpeace, Lonely Whale, Marine Litter Solutions, OceanCare, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, Parley for the Oceans, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Surfrider Foundation, The Last Straw, the Plastic Soup Foundation and Plastic soup surfer Merijn Tinga.[31][32][33][34][3]: 17, 21 [35]


  1. ^ McDermott, Kristin L. (2016). Plastic Pollution and the Global Throwaway Culture: Environmental Injustices of Single-use Plastic (Thesis). Newport, RI: Salve Regina University.
  2. ^ Avery-Gomm, Stephanie; Borrelle, Stephanie B.; Provencher, Jennifer F. (2018). "Linking plastic ingestion research with marine wildlife conservation" (PDF). Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier BV. 637–638: 1492–1495. Bibcode:2018ScTEn.637.1492A. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.409. ISSN 0048-9697. PMID 29801242.
  3. ^ a b Geary, Savannah (2019). The Plastic Crisis Goes Public: Representations of Plastic Pollution in Environmental Media (Thesis). University of Miami.
  4. ^ a b Hawkins, David (17 November 2017). "Beyond plastic bags: stopping plastic pollution at source". The Ecologist. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ Sparrow, Norbert (2 August 2018). "Throwback Thursday: A brief history of the drinking straw". Plastics Today. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ Chang, Sylvia W. (2011). Institutional discourses on Plastic Pollution in the North Pacific Gyre (PDF) (Thesis). UC Berkeley. p. 10.
  7. ^ Kugiya, Hugo (13 May 2020). "Hoovering the ocean". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  8. ^ Barberá Tomás, David; Castelló, Itziar (2011). Re-framing and re-organization efforts through web-based coalitions in the US environmental movement. Social Media for Social Purposes Conference. hdl:10261/108445.
  9. ^ Castelló, Itziar; Barberá Tomás, David (2012). Harder better faster stronger: Institutional effort in a web based US environmental movement. New Institutionalism: 8th Workshop Barcelona 2012. hdl:10261/107704.
  10. ^ Hai-Jew, Shalin (15 April 2020). "Transnational Meta-Narratives and Personal Stories of Plastics Usage and Management via Social Media". Social World Sensing via Social Image Analysis from Social Media. New Prairie Press. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  11. ^ "TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch - TED". Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  12. ^ EliAdmin (2011). "Plastic Pollution Coalition". Earth Island Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  13. ^ Doucette, Kitt (25 July 2011). "The Plastic Bag Wars". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  14. ^ Gerken, James (15 November 2011). "'American Idol' Producer Reportedly Backpedaled On PSA". HuffPost. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  15. ^ Westervelt, Amy (8 November 2011). "Under Pressure from Sponsor, American Idol Pulls Plug on Plastic PSA". Forbes. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Living plastic-free: One activist fights a rising tide of pollution". February 16, 2019.
  17. ^ Westervelt, Amy (27 March 2015). "It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  18. ^ Rainey, James (26 February 2020). "Group sues to hold Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others liable for plastics fouling California waters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  19. ^ Chiorando, Maria (2 March 2020). "Campaigners File Lawsuit Against Coca-Cola, Nestlé And More For Plastic Pollution". Vegan News, Plant Based Living, Food, Health & more. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  20. ^ Clean Water Action (12 December 2016). "How California Became America's First State to Ban Plastic Bags". EcoWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  21. ^ ""Fuller House" Creator Jeff Franklin Supports This Cause". HuffPost. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  22. ^ Glazner, Elizabeth (30 March 2016). "Jeff Bridges: Plastic Is a Substance the Earth Cannot Digest". EcoWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Declaration to Support OCEAN CLEAN WASH: Charter to Stop Plastic Microfiber Release from Laundry in Washing Machines" (PDF).
  24. ^ "10 Celebrities Who Are Ocean Warriors". Funk's House of Geekery. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  25. ^ "– Los Angeles Largest U.S. City to Ban Plastic Bags". ENS. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Sign the Petition to US FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. · Ban Toxic Plastic Chemical BPA from Food & Drink Containers". Causes. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  27. ^ Borba, Ryan (21 April 2020). "Ben Harper: The Earth Day Advocate's Plastic-Free Future". Pollstar. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Activism". Ben Harper. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  29. ^ Johnson, Jim (30 April 2014). "Consortium-targets-Capri-Sun-in-new-push-to-emphasize-recycling". Plastics News. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Seaspiracy (2021) - Transcript". Scraps from the loft. 2021-03-30. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  31. ^ Lovison, Silvia (2018). Taking Action against the Rising Tide of Marine Plastic Pollution. A Case Study of the Surfrider Foundation (Thesis). UC Santa Barbara.
  32. ^ Simon, Nils; Schulte, Maro Luisa (2017). Stopping global plastic pollution: the case for an international convention (PDF). Ecology Publication Series. Vol. 43. Heinrich Böll Foundation. ISBN 978-3-86928-159-9. OCLC 1037884986.
  33. ^ Mills, Michelle (17 April 2019). "The last straw? The mother and daughter making these reusable Simply Straws hope so". Orange County Register. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  34. ^ Eriksen, Marcus (20 November 2017). "Ditch Plastic Lunches: Stand Up for Zero-Waste Schools". EcoWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  35. ^ Sandu, Cristina; Takacs, Emoke; Suaria, Giuseppe; Borgogno, Franco; Laforsch, Christian; Löder, Martin M. G. J.; Tweehuysen, Gijsbert; Florea, Letitia (2020). "Society Role in the Reduction of Plastic Pollution". The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/698_2020_483. ISSN 1867-979X.

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