Want to become an expert on plastic pollution?

This online class is open to all high school and college students who may want to arrange to take it for academic credit. It is also open to people of all ages who love to learn and don’t need school credit.

I think you would learn a lot and I love having different perspectives and viewpoints in the class. Last semester, my students were asked if they would recommend this class to others and 99 out of 100 said, “Yes.”

Below are comments from two students who took my class last fall:

“One of the best parts was joining a community of like minded people and learning from them. I no longer feel alone fighting this shocking problem of plastic pollution.”

“I loved this class. I now feel equipped to be a better activist and I am truly informed with a comprehensive understanding of the issue of plastic, beyond just the pollution it causes. More importantly, I now know how and where to stay informed.”

There will be seven consecutive classes held via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 7-9 PM ET beginning on September 1st and ending October 13th.

If you do not need to receive academic credit, the fee to audit the class is just $100, if you do wish to receive official credit, the cost is $400.

You will receive a syllabus in advance. Even if you audit the class, there will be some homework assignments. All will be interesting and, dare I say, even fun at times.

If you’d like to join the class, you can register now here. I hope to see you there.


Judith Enck
President, Beyond Plastics & Visiting Professor, Bennington College

A Zero Waste Meal

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Recently, my family gave me a wonderful birthday gift of a zero waste meal. At least it was zero waste for us. There was certainly some waste from the processing of the food before it got to us. But, we deposited nothing into the trash from the meal, which was a great feeling.

There was a time when I thought the world would be saved because we could send plastic, metal, glass and paper off to be recycled. It felt good to take these items to a recycling center as opposed to the landfill. But it turns out that there is an enormous cost to recycling. Let’s consider plastic. So much of our products come packaged in plastic, which varies greatly in its chemical makeup. For that reason, recycling it is complicated. It must be sorted, packed into big cubes and shipped to a country that wants it. It then must be melted, a process that produces noxious fumes, and formed into pellets for resale to manufacturers. Oil companies, which produce the chemicals for making plastic, make it difficult to recycle plastic. They don’t make money if we recycle plastic, they make money selling us the raw material to make new plastic. So only a small proportion of the plastic produced can be recycled. And it can only be recycled once. Sadly, plastic production has skyrocketed and ends up in our oceans, rivers, streams and even our drinking water. It never breaks down entirely, it just gets smaller. But is it possible to live without plastic? The answer brings me back to the topic of this blog post. Continue reading