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5 of the Best TED Talks on Plastic-Free Living

5 of the Best TED Talks on Plastic-Free Living

Home of inspirational and insightful presentations, TED has been a voice to some fantastic talks on plastic free living. Here are five of our favourites:

Why I live a zero waste lifestyle – Lauren Singer

You might know Lauren from her incredibly popular blog trashisfortossers. Here Lauren tells how she began her zero waste journey and took small simple steps to cut out plastic from her life. With benefits like saving money and eating better, it makes you wonder why you wouldn’t want to begin taking steps towards reducing your plastic consumption. What’s great about this talk is that Lauren shows just how easy it is to begin – “pick the low-hanging fruit”. 

Why I live a zero waste lifestyle – Lauren Singer TED talk &Keep

Amphibian activism – Hugo Tagholm

Hugo Tagholm is the CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, a British based environmental charity that has far reaching influence. The lifelong surfer explains how the beaches are cleaned during the summertime where, “tourists could be forgiven for thinking that there is no problem at Perranporth.” He quickly moves on to explain that as you walk along the three kilometer beach it turns from the natural golden colours, to a multicoloured tapestry of plastics. Hugo highlights the problem that is sitting on our doorstep, and explains how awareness is only the first step, but taking action is what drives positive change. We are proud members of the SAS 250 Club.

Hugo Tagholm TED talk &Keep

Our campaign to ban plastic bags in Bali - Melati and Isabel Wijsen

After discovering that almost all plastic bags in Bali find their way into the island’s waterways, these sisters began campaigning to ban their use at the ages of 10 and 12. From distributing reusable shopping bags, to getting the government to commit to making Bali plastic-bag-free by later this year, this talk shows how children are “25% of the world’s population but 100% of the future.” They can and will be the change we need to see in the world. An excellent example of how grass roots activism can create real change.

Melati and Isabel Wijsen Plastic Bags in Bali TED Talk &Keep

Two adults, two kids, zero waste – Bea Johnson

One of the pioneers of the zero waste movement (and referenced by Lauren Singer above as an inspiration), Bea Johnson details how she lives zero waste as a family of four in Northern California. Through years of practice and hard work, Bea has managed to reduce her landfill waste to just one small jar each year. While this might seem an unreachable goal in your household’s current footprint, it's the kind of video that has inspired millions to start taking the easy steps to significantly reducing the amount of waste we put into landfill.

Be a Johnson TED Talk &Keep


What if you could turn plastic trash into cash? - David Katz

While not focusing on plastic free living per se, this talk from David Katz paints a picture of how we can deal with the problem of plastic pollution in developing countries through a concept he calls ‘Social plastics’. David’s Plastic Bank allows people to cash in collected plastics and borrow against its value. The recycled social plastics are then sold to companies as a bid to alleviating poverty and cleaning up the environment at the same time. Katz describes the social plastics model as a ‘Bitcoin for the earth,’ and the possibilities seem pretty huge.

Plastic Bank David Katz Ted Talk &Keep