On Wednesday, Sept. 26, National Geographic Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist Jonathan Baillie testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at a hearing titled Cleaning Up the Oceans: How to Reduce the Impact of Man-Made Trash on the Environment, Wildlife, and Human Health? Jonathan was joined by Cal Dooley, president and chief executive officer of the American Chemistry Council; Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola North America; and Dr. Kara Lavendar Law; research professor of oceanography at the Sea Education Association.
Jonathan’s testimony focused on the growing threat marine plastic pollution poses to our planet. During his remarks, he provided background on National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic? Initiative; shared compelling images from the June 2018 National Geographic magazine plastic issue; and proposed possible solutions to stem the tide of plastics flowing into our oceans. Jonathan also offered to convene a Planet or Plastic? Summit at Nat Geo HQ to bring together policymakers, industry leaders, and other essential stakeholders for a critical discussion about how the United States can lead in this space.