Eight million tons. That’s a lot of plastic to swallow, and a lot of straws to bear even if you’re the world’s oceans (yes, who knew we use 300 million plastic straws a day?). Or rather, especially if you’re the ocean, according to the startling data that Lia Colabello delivers in this talk on the global marine crisis of plastic pollution. But Colabello doesn’t just sound alarms (though those come through loud and clear), but she offers hopeful solutions based on innovative development of single-use plastics/resins that are marine degradable.
A native of Hawaii and lifetime surfer, Lia Colabello grew up loving the water, a love that continued at the University of Southern California, where she earned degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Anthropology, and played for the Women’s Varsity Water Polo Team. After college, she worked around the world in the sports industry, managing projects with the PGA TOUR, NFL and the World Surf League. She earned an MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, specializing in the international non-profit sector. She’s worked for the Surfrider Foundation and for SecondWave Recycling and now advocates for reducing plastic pollution with 5Gyre from her home in Charleston, SC.