LATINX AND LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES ARE PAYING THE COSTS OF PLASTIC POLLUTION
Yvette Arellano, Founder and Director, Fenceline Watch and Board Member, Green Latinos, Houston, TX
The Gulf Coast is not only the home of the many oil and gas companies, but also of plastic companies using petroleum feedstocks. Yvette (they/them) is the founder and director of Fenceline Watch, a Houston-based environmental justice organization dedicated to eradicating toxic multigenerational harm from oil, gas, and petrochemical facilities. Yvette formally served as a policy research and grassroots advocate with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy. They are a board member for the Center for International Environmental Law, Backbone Campaign, Green Latinos and Peak Plastic Foundation.
In 2015, Fenceline Watch led the campaign against H.R. 702, which opened the floodgates to U.S. crude oil exports. They were instrumental in the publications “Double Jeopardy in Houston, Air Toxics and Health in the Houston Community of Manchester”, and “Plastic and Health: The Hidden Cost of a Plastic Planet”. This report highlights the disproportionate toxic impact of the petrochemical industry on communities living on the fenceline. Throughout their work, Yvette emphasizes that access to clean water, air, land, and food is a fundamental human right best pursued through vigorous intersectional thinking and organizing. They understand the importance of a multipronged approach that embraces various advocacy methods, including policy development, litigation, research, direct actions, coalition building, and crisis response. Having experienced pollution health impacts and seeing their implications on the fenceline, is why they understand the importance of uplifting reproductive justice.
TRANSITING FROM BUSINESS AS USUAL TO A NEW PARADIGM
Nina Bellucci Butler, CEO of Stina Inc., Chapel Hill, NC
Stina Inc., a mission-based research and information technology firm, strives to harmonize human behavior with the natural world. Nina’s team has developed a suite of tools (www.CircularityInAction.com) to support more sustainable choices in resource management. Stina’s information management system, relationships and understanding of the plastics recycling industry landscape have made it the trusted organization to deliver the annual plastic recycling study for the US and Canada for more than 10 years.
Nina believes in delivering unbiased guidance in navigating the role plastics play in the movement towards circular supply chains, valuing carbon, and reducing GHG emissions, which is why she was invited to testify before the U.S. Congressional Hearing on Challenges Facing Recycling, recognized by WWF for International Women’s Day: Women Leading the Plastic Revolution, served as a subject matter expert for XPrize, participated in a panel at the Nat Geo Circular Economy Forum, and presented to the OPEC Secretariat during the 3rd Workshop on Energy & Information Technology Energy, and the World Circular Economy Forum. Her team also leads multi-stakeholder initiatives; the latest resulted in a “Roadmap to Plastic Recyclability”. Nina has volunteered on several expeditions including the Ocean Plastic Leadership Summit in the North Atlantic Gyre as well as the Ocean Plastic Recovery Project: Katmai Clean Up.
UNTRASHING THE PLANET ONE COMMUNITY AT A TIME
“Achieving Zero Waste is not going to be easy, but like sustainability it is a moral imperative unless we wish to see the complete demise of any semblance of a lifestyle over and beyond the barbaric.”
Dr. Paul Connett, Author of “The Zero Waste Solution”, International Zero Waste Advocate and former chemistry Professor, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.
A thought-provoking and entertaining speaker, Paul will brief us on his recent work and on what is happening around the world. For the past 36 years, Paul has given over 3,000 pro-bono public presentations on incineration and waste management in 49 US states, 7 Canadian provinces and 69 other countries. A board member of Zero Waste International Alliance and an Advisor to Zero Waste USA, Paul has co-authored 6 peer reviewed and published papers on dioxin; co-edited the newsletter Waste Not; provided expert testimony in court cases; critiqued numerous health risk assessments and co-produced over 50 videos on waste issues, including a 10-part series on dioxin.
DRIVING POSITIVE IMPACT THROUGH THE INTERSECTION OF TECHNOLOGY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Mary Curtiss, Global Head of Sustainability, Renewable Energy and EHS Programs, HP, Inc., Palo Alto, CA
As the Global Head of Energy and Sustainability for HP’s corporate real estate, Mary is responsible for developing and driving HP’s strategy for all matters related to sustainability in the global portfolio. HP has established a goal of 100% renewable electricity as well as a 60% reduction on carbon emissions by 2025. As an experienced industry leader, Mary represents HP at many events to speak on behalf of HP’s sustainability programs. Sustainability is core to our values at HP and is demonstrated in how we do business.