Environmental Justice Briefing for Reporters on Plastic Pollution

Event Date: 
August 24, 2022 to August 26, 2022

Environmental Justice Briefing — Learn about plastic’s impact on frontline communities

The production and disposal of plastic pose a threat to environmental justice.

This injustice is particularly rampant in Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Appalachia where the majority of facilities are clustered, including the 85-mile stretch along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that’s sadly referred to as “Cancer Alley” and is home to 150+ petrochemical plants and refineries.

Join us on August 24-26, 2022 at Bennington College in Vermont for a two-day, in-person briefing for journalists on plastic pollution issues hosted by Beyond Plastics, a nonprofit that is based at Bennington College.

We are honored to have Goldman Prize winner Sharon Lavigne of Rise St. James from St. James Parish in Louisiana and John Beard, a retired petroleum refining process specialist and co-founder of the Port Arthur Texas Community Action Network, joining us. They will speak about their experience living in the frontline communities where major petrochemical plants are concentrated.

We will also be joined by Daru Setyorini, Ph.D., Manager of Research and Program Development at Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (ECOTON) and Brantas River Waterkeeper in Java, Indonesia. Daru will provide a first-hand account of what it is like dealing with the waste plastics that are exported to her country.

Register now to save your spot.

In addition to Sharon Lavigne, John Beard and Daru Setyorini, we have assembled an impressive group of national experts who will address issues related to the production, usage, and disposal of plastics.

Some of the other topics we will cover include:

  • Plastics and climate change
  • The failure of plastics recycling
  • Chemical recycling
  • The proposed International Treaty on Plastics
  • The Plastics International Waste Trade
  • Extended Producer Responsibility policies
  • The California ballot initiative on plastics
  • Plastics and human health
  • Ocean impacts of plastics

You can view our working agenda here.

There will also be a business roundtable featuring companies that have reduced or eliminated their use of plastics.

All sessions will be on the record and will include lots of time for questions. Experts will also be available to you for interviews between sessions.

There is no cost to attend. We will serve delicious farm-to-table food and provide or direct you to nearby lodging. The only cost to you is your transportation, and you must make your own travel arrangements.

Bennington College is a one-hour drive from both the Albany, NY airport and the Albany Amtrak station. If you are coming from New York City, the train ride is three hours. Vans from the college can pick you up from the airport and the train station.

We held a similar event three summers ago and every single journalist who attended said it was worth their time and they would recommend it to others.

COVID Precautions:
Please note that you will need to provide proof of vaccination, wear a mask while indoors, and test for COVID-19 the day you travel, prior to your arrival on campus.

Feel free to contact Judith Enck at (518) 605-1770 or JudithEnck@Bennington.edu with any questions about the agenda and our speakers. For logistical questions, please contact our stellar student intern, Isabel Harper at IsabelHarper@bennington.edu or (423) 505-3605.

This is not a conference but a briefing, with plenty of time to speak with the experts. We hope you can join us. Register now to save your spot.

Event Details