One Word: Plastics

Panel Discussion
Event detail

Since 1999 Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang have collected more than two tons of plastic trash from 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore. They have transformed this debris into engaging works of art that raise awareness of the sheer variety and ubiquity of plastic pollution and its impact on delicate marine ecosystems.*

This panel will discuss the ways that plastic affects our world – on land and sea – and how we can break the plastic habit.


Daniella Dimitrova Russo is the co-founder and Executive Director of Plastic Pollution Coalition  – an alliance of businesses and individuals working together to end plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on people, animals and the environment.  

Daniella Russo is committed to elevating the issues of plastic pollution to the forefront of social, political and environmental discourse.  In 2006, she launched the award winning Think Beyond Plastic Campaign. In 2009 she co-founded Plastic Pollution Coalition and since then has worked tirelessly towards a world without plastic pollution.


Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang. Since 1999 Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang have maintained Marin’s Kehoe Beach, each weekend combing for plastic debris and removing over two tons of plastic trash over the last 13 years.  This plastic is not left on the beach but washed to shore from the ocean.

Back in their studios they clean, sort and categorize the pieces according to color and kind. They use the plastic to make artworks including large sculptures, installations, photo tableaus and jewelry. 

Michael Stewart is the Co-founder of Sustainable Surf , a nonprofit organization that has created a unique "styrofoam" recycling program called Waste to Waves (W2W). The W2W program was developed to capture this (non-point source) potential plastic pollution from individuals, before it can enter the marine environment, and is designed to then turn that waste EPS / styrofoam packaging material into new, recycled surfboard cores. Michael leads the program efforts of the W2W program here in the Bay area, whose current collection partners include local surfshops Aqua Surf (Ocean Beach) & Proof Lab (Mill Valley), Patagonia store (Fisherman's Wharf), Sports Basement and the Tides Center (Presidio), as well as a new collaboration the CA Academy of Sciences (Golden Gate Park), to recycle their internally generated EPS / styrofoam. Michael is also a longtime member and current vice chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, as well as an adviser to the Save the Waves Coalition.

Susan Freinkel, the author of, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story,  Susan Freinkel is a science writer whose work has appeared in a variety of national publications.

Her book Plastic: a toxic love story shows we have reached a crisis point. Freinkel treks through history, science and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic in our lives,  a substance that has become the defining medium—and metaphor—of our age.

*The exhibit of their artwork is on view on the 1st, 4th and 5th Floors of the San Francisco Public Library – Main from July 21 – October 11, 2012.

 This is a Stegner Environmental Center Program.



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