In April we awarded one of our Planet Defender awards to Dianna Cohen, artist, advocate and co-founder of Plastic Pollution Solutions. Dianna’s interest in reducing the use of plastics was sparked by her artwork using plastic bags. As she began to teach herself about plastics and how much is truly recycled, she became a passionate advocate. “Most disposable plastic is made from petroleum products, which cannot be recycled,” says Cohen. “The chemicals used to produce them impact human and animal and are simultaneously hazardous to the ocean, air and environment.”  Cohen has given a TED talk on how she came to understand the problem and just how pervasive it is.


Cohen’s advocacy work has heightened the awareness of single-use products. In addition to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Cohen proposes a greater challenge to those concerned about their environmental impact and consumption habits: Refuse. By changing our mindsets about how we use plastics we can save ourselves by eliminating toxins in the ocean and spare the lives of immeasurable ocean and coastal marine life.