Kyra Sedgwick: Solving the world’s plastic pollution problem

Kyra Sedgwick joins Metro as Guest Editor.

When I became pregnant with my son, I found myself worrying about the state of the world I was bringing my child into. The more I learned about the threats facing our planet, the more committed I became to advancing solutions wherever I could. At home, I bought green cleaning products and used cloth diapers instead of disposable plastic diapers. At work, I made ‘The Closer’ a model for the modern sustainable studio set, minimizing plastic use, and using recyclable water containers, compostable utensils, and bio-fuels whenever possible.
 
One of the things we all must rethink on a personal, local and global level is the disposable plastic water bottle. Plastic pollution kills and injures wildlife, and studies are now being done to learn whether it is poisoning fish, which is globally the most important source of protein for humans.
 
From floating plastic trash in the middle of the ocean, to tiny pieces of degraded plastic washing up on beaches, pollution is pervading our waters. This is not just an aesthetic problem – it’s an environmental and economic one.  Fish, turtles, sea birds and marine mammals are hurt or killed when they get tangled in plastic waste or mistake it for food. Coastal economies are forced to pay to clean up trash clogging storm drains and posing health risks.
 
Fortunately, we know how to make things better. The best way to address our global plastic problem is to stop it at the source. This means reducing the amount of disposable plastic we create, and making sure what plastic we do create is properly recycled.  We can encourage the global public to embrace reusable bags, bottles and containers. We can support better public water supplies so people aren’t forced to buy bottled water for something healthy to drink.  We can require that manufactures make less plastic, and recycle. But this alone won’t do.
 
I recently joined leaders and activists at the United Nations to prepare for upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil. I joined the Natural Resources Defense Council in hosting an event to launch of the Global Call to End Plastic Pollution, featuring U.N. officials and leading international experts in the field.  We have a tremendous opportunity to mobilize world governments to commit to tackling their countries’ contribution to the problem. If the world’s leaders have the will, we know we can end plastic pollution within our lifetime, and pass on a better future for our children.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…