NMP#41: Reduce Plastic Waste with Anna Cummins

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If you need a cause to feel impassioned about in today’s environment, then you’ve come to the right place. Today I’m back on the podcast talking with Anna Cummins about how our oceans are experiencing plastic smog and it is having an environmental impact. Learn how you can reduce plastic waste on today’s episode of the Namely Marly Podcast. You can take your passionate life to another level by Learning About Becoming a Writer with Cathy Yardley. Find out more about Plant-Based Activism with Jasmin Singer.

Today on the Namely Marly Podcast, I'm talking with Anna Cummins of the 5 Gyres Institute about how to Reduce Plastic Waste. Save our oceans and make a better quality of life for everyone by becoming an environmental steward.

It’s easy to feel discouraged about the current state of affairs. This air of negativity can be toxic. How can you be the vital, positive force for change in your life when you’re so worried from day-to-day what will be happening next?

Well, the good news is there are lots of ways to take action — from attending town hall forums, to calling your congress members, to taking action in your own life to make a difference. That’s why I interested Anna Cummins of the 5 Gyres Institute (see link below) to talk about the ways we can make a difference in our own personal lives.

I’m a person of action so knowing that doing what I can makes a difference? Well, that makes me feel energized and ready to take on more!

Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

The best ways to reduce plastic waste is to do the following:

  1. Take your own grocery bags and use them instead of disposable plastic bags. According to 5 Gyres, the average plastic bag is used for only 12 minutes and yet it stays in our environment for years. What a waste. You can make the transition from plastic bags to cloth. It takes commitment. Plastic bags are now banned in California. Let’s make them banned everywhere! But it can start with you. And me. This is a habit that took me some time before it set in, but now I know, if you commit to it, you can make it happen. Get in the habit of keep cloth bags in your car and then grabbing those before you head into the store. It makes a big difference. Take the 5Gyres Plastic Free pledge.
  2. Carry a “to go” packet with you everywhere you go. In this packet carry a fork, spoon, and straw. Then when you go out you won’t be tempted to use disposable plastic forks and straws.
  3. Take your own “take-out” containers to restaurants. I’ve done this before and they never mind when I bring in my own take-out containers, rather than using their throw away plastic or styrofoam containers.
  4. Do  not purchase products made with Microbeads. In fact, you can take the 5Gyres pledge to go BeadFree.
  5. Order your “For Here” cups at the coffee shop. If you’re meeting someone for coffee, get your coffee in a real porcelain mug. It tastes better anyway! And you won’t be contributing to the landfill or exposing yourself to harsh plastic chemicals either.
  6. Refuse to purchase products that use styrofoam. Take the 5Gyres Commitment to go Foam Free
  7. Be mindful of plastic packaging and try to buy fewer products made with or packaged in plastic.
  8. Recycle. When you do have plastic containers, be sure to recycle.
  9. Use it All. When you buy products in plastic containers, such as sunscreen or toothpaste, be sure to use it all! When we get to the bottom of plastic containers, we remove the lids or, if it’s something like sunscreen, we’ll cut it in half. You’d be surprised by how much product is still at the bottom of the tube. Make a commitment to use it all!

These are some great steps you can take to make a difference in our world and reduce plastic waste. As you can see, there are many things each of us can do. You can also check out the 5 Gyres Plastic Free Shopping Guide (see link below) and sign their commitment to reduce plastic waste.

Our goal at Namely Marly is to provide you with inspiring resources to take on a vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and inspired, energetic life. We hope today’s interview about the High-Performing Vegan Athlete has been helpful and informative.

Go be your best you!

Featured Content – Reduce Plastic Waste

Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Anna:

  • HowAnna became vegetarian at the age of 14
  • Why Anna was inspired to start the 5 Gyres Institute
  • What a gyre is
  • Anna describes the plastic fog that is in our oceans
  • We discuss why plastic is such a problem, both for the environment and for our health
  • What are the things you can do in your life to reduce plastic waste
  • Habits are things you do every day and they can be changed
  • Anna’s a passionate composter so she talks about that
  • We discuss the difference between government led programs that help foster wide-spread change and personal programs. It takes a mixture of both to make real progress.

This Reduce Plastic Waste episode includes references to some resources you might find interesting. Here they are:


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That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!

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