The Co Lab’s teen-led Climate and Plastics Hubs hosted on May 20th a Greenwashing Webinar with an expert from Plastic Pollution Coalition, Erica Cirino, author of Thicker than Water:  The Quest For Solutions to the Plastics Crisis. 

One of the main focuses of the webinar was to share the impact that the use of plastics has had on our environment. Plastics are largely made using fossil fuels and were never actually intended to be recyclable, so the usage of plastics on such a large scale in our modern world has led to several problems: the extraction and manufacture of plastics costs a large amount of energy (most of this energy, in the modern world, comes from fossil fuels) and releases large amounts of greenhouse gasses; the transport of these fossil fuels is mainly done through pipes which are vulnerable to leaks; and after their use, plastics almost always end up in massive landfills – very often near underprivileged communities – as only 9% of all plastics are actually recycled. This ties into the other focus of the webinar, which was greenwashing – this is when industry claims that an item is sustainable when it is not. This is used as an advertising tactic and has harmful implications as a form of misinformation. The best example of this is when companies brand their products as being either recyclable or made out of recycled material, as these promises are rarely kept. 

For the webinar, the Climate Hub along with the Plastics Hub worked hard to make sure the webinar was a success. The Hubs prepared a set of questions and planned goals for the webinar in order to prepare.  During the process we had to overcome many hurdles like the date to schedule the meeting in coordination with the speaker’s availability. We also had to think strategically in order to ensure that the webinar went smoothly. We sent out a series of flyers and posters in the Slack channel, Gmail, Instagram, and other social media to keep the viewers and the speaker informed. The webinar was a lot of fun, and Hub members enjoyed learning more and participating in an engaging discussion with audience members.

If you missed our webinar. make sure to check it out here!   Super informative!  Please encourage teens to join our teen-led Hubs to be part of future webinars like this!