Microplastic Madness Local Panel Discussion

The Environmental Center and Bendfilm teamed up to bring you a panel discussion related to the film Microplastic Madness in honor of Earth Day 2021. The film Microplastic Madness is an optimistic take on the local and global plastic pollution crisis as told through a refreshing urban youth point of view with an inspiring take action message. The live panel discussion helps to connect the global plastic pollution in the oceans to our local Central Oregon actions. Panelists include:

  • microplastics scientists Dr. Janice Brahney and Dr. Elise Granek who will help us to see and understand local OREGON plastic pollution
  • the film’s producer Debby Lee Cohen, who will connect the inspiring kiddos from the film to our actions here across the nation,
  • and local legislator Phil Chang who speaks directly about our local legislative action

If you missed the panel, don’t fear you can watch it now or any time! The topics are all unique and digestible enough you don’t need to have seen the film to watch it. See for yourself:

If you missed the film screening for Microplastic Madness, stay tuned in with the nonprofit behind the film, Cafeteria Culture, to find out when they might have another free screening for the public. If you want to screen the film for your classroom, get in touch with them here!

Links from the Environmental Center and Rethink Waste Project

Learn more about Native Lands:

From the Panelists

Debby Lee Cohen, is the Co-Director and Producer of MICROPLASTIC MADNESS. She is a multimedia artist/activist and Executive Director & Founder of CafeteriaCulture.org who has designed scenery, puppets, and animation for theater, parades, film and television. She led the Styrofoam Out of Schools campaign, which resulted in the elimination of half a billion plastic styrofoam trays per year from landfills, incinerators and students’ meals in NYC and 9 other cities!

From Debby Lee: 

  • Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPPA) 2021 Youth Teach-In
    • Info: Youth and educators can use this interactive Teach-In tool to build support for the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPPA)! If passed, this groundbreaking legislation will be the first national law to tackle the root causes of the pollution crisis. You could use the presentation to teach others about the act (and then they could write to their council members asking them to endorse the act!). 
  • DIY Data+Action Litter Clean Up
    • Info: Students, families, and adults can use this toolkit to collect Litter and Litter Data on a given section of their neighborhoods and use that data to advocate for more plastic-free communities!
  • Cafeteria Culture’s Recipe for #plasticfree Change
    • Info: An at-home waste audit that can be used to rethink plastic usage on a personal and policy level!
  • If any of your audience members are interested in hosting their own screening for their school or organization, they can sign up to do so here!: Host a Screening! Page

Dr. Elise Granek, Professor at Portland State University. Dr. Granek leads the applied coastal ecology lab in which she and her students collaborate with agencies and other stakeholders to examine the presence, sources, and effects of microplastics and other emerging contaminants on marine animals.

From Dr. Granek: 

  • OPB piece on microplastic pollution in Oregon Rivers, featuring Dr. Granek
  • Dr. Granek’s website

Dr. Janice Brahney, Research Scientist and Professor at Utah State University who studies distribution of microplastics through the air (among other topics).

From Dr. Brahney:

Phil Chang, Deschutes County Commissioner, our local legislative representative for the panel to talk about legislative action. Phil has a background in Natural Resource management and has volunteered for river stewardship projects so is qualified to speak at least partially to human impacts on our environment as well as legislative action.

From Phil: