Van Jones: The Economic Injustice of Plastic

How plastic unfairly harms the poor—and what the rest of us can do about it.
Van Jones Plastic TED Talk, Video Still

Recycling that plastic water bottle isn't as guilt-free as some of us may think. Van Jones explains how plastic is an economic injustice that harms the poor at the points of production, use, and disposal. Pointing out that those of us who aren't poverty-stricken have economic choices, Van urges us to move away from our society's addiction to disposability and reclaim what has largely become a throw-away planet.

Van Jones is the founder of Green for All and author of the New York Times best seller, The Green Collar Economy. Van presented this lecture for the TED Talks.


  • Should you be worried about your tap water? Yes, but not for the reason you expected.

  • Video: One kilometer of beach. Thousands of pounds of plastic. One couple turning it all into art.

  • Read Van Jones' ideas and strategies on bringing the environmental and social justice movements together.