NMRC Hosted the Premier of the short-form documentary,
"New Mexicans Taking Action on Plastic Waste"
View the recorded webinar HERE
The New Mexico Recycling Coalition hosted the virtual premiere and panel discussion of, "New Mexicans Taking Action on Plastic Waste." Following the online premiere of the 17-minute documentary, panelists discussed the plastic waste crisis and how New Mexicans can get involved to find real solutions. Panelists included filmmaker, Greg Polk along with Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez, New Mexico's 3rd congressional district congresswoman and one of the original sponsors of the 2021 Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, (H.R. 2238, S.984) alongside experts working to resolve the plastic waste crisis, including Shane Trimmer, Legislative Director at the office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal; Eleanor Bravo, Environmental Consultant; Alexis Goldsmith, National Organizing Director at Beyond Plastics; Virgil Trujillo, Mayordomo of Abiquiu Pueblo's Acequia, and Sarah Pierpont from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition.
Download an event flyer HERE
Join the list of New Mexicans Ready to Take Action on Plastic Waste and watch the 2021 documentary HERE.
Our esteemed group of panelists includes:
Greg Polk, Director and Producer
Mr. Polk began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1970s. He later obtained a masters degree in city planning from MIT, served as assistant director for commercial development with the City of Boston in the 1980s, and as housing development director for the City of Albuquerque from 1990 to 1996. From 1997 to 2016, he worked overseas as an advisor to public-private partnership projects in countries including India, Poland, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Mali, Egypt, and a dozen more. It was during this period that he witnessed the rapid increase in plastic use and began looking into the environmental damage of plastics and the challenges of recycling and plastic waste management. In 2016 he and his wife returned to New Mexico where he now pursues independent documentary filmmaking.
Eleanor Bravo, Environmental Consultant
Eleanor Bravo served as the Southwest Director of Food & Water Watch for 10 years and is now a consultant in the fields of environmental preservation and environmental justice. She is active in protecting public and indigenous lands from the devastating impacts from the oil & gas industry including the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a UNESCO world heritage site precious to the native people of the Southwest.
She led a national campaign to oppose pipelines and fracking infrastructure and serves on the board of the environmental non-profit Amigos Bravos, is chair of the board of the New Energy Economy, and is president of the Board of Mercury Media.
Alexis Goldsmith, National Organizing Director at Beyond Plastics
Alexis is an energetic grassroots organizer who grew up in Indiana. Upon graduating from Indiana University Bloomington, she managed a farm, then served The Food Pantries for the Capital District. She went on to The Sanctuary for Independent Media, coordinating a permaculture campus and independent news program, the Hudson Mohawk Magazine. She has produced hundreds of interviews, largely on petrochemicals and environmental activism. She co-founded the Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network, a grassroots consortium fighting for environmental justice and Indigenous rights along the Hudson River. She keeps chickens and plays the fiddle.
Alexis is part of the Beyond Plastics team, a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build a vibrant and effective anti-plastics movement. Their mission is to end plastic pollution by being a catalyst for change at every level of our society. They use their deep policy and advocacy expertise to build a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet, and ourselves, from the plastic pollution crisis.
Virgil Trujillo, Acequia Mayordomo of Abiquiu Pueblo
Virgil Trujillo is a lifelong farmer and rancher in Abiquiu, New Mexico. He served as Superintendent of Ranchlands for the Ghost Ranch Conference Center for over 20 years and is a practitioner of Holistic Resource Management. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Valle Caldera.
Virgil also manages part of Abiquiú’s centuries- old “acequias,” or communal irrigation system. It combines Spanish and Indigenous practices to direct water into fields. “Our identity is tied to the land,” he says. “Ranching and farming are the source of our life and freedom. Everything is tied to the land; everything starts as a natural resource.”
Virgil has been married for 38 years and currently, he runs his own Forest permit cattle.
Sarah Pierpont, New Mexico Recycling Coalition, Moderator
NMRC's executive director, Sarah Pierpont, knows the recycling and solid waste industry intimately, with over 15 years’ experience working to bring access to recycling to communities throughout New Mexico, keeping discards out of landfills, leading recycling trainings and conferences, and coordinating rural recycling outreach efforts. NMRC is a strong supporter of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Registration for the virtual premiere and panel discussion is required. Click HERE.
Albuquerque-based filmmaker, Greg Polk, directed and produced a new documentary entitled, "New Mexicans Taking Action on Plastic Waste." This 17-minute film explores the financial and environmental costs of plastic waste and the bi-products of plastic materials and production in New Mexico. The film highlights the actions of ordinary New Mexicans who are taking on this crisis and draws on commentary from interviews with 22 individuals. The film investigates the impact and true cost of plastic pollution in our waterways and natural environment as well as examines the complexities of plastic recycling and the financial and environmental costs of disposal. The film is intended to both raise awareness of the issue and spark debate as a vehicle to spur further discussion.
George Richardson (Co-Producer & Director of Photography)
George is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A graduate of the University of New Mexico’s photography program, George’s practice is grounded in photographic-based media and two-dimensional image-making often incorporating elements of writing, painting & drawing, sculpture, and (increasingly) video. Additionally, George has worked on many commercial film productions and is a familiar face in art departments in the New Mexico film industry utilizing his graphic design skills and eye for detail.
Miranda Rivera & Gäel Whettnall (Shooting Crew)
Miranda and Gäel are a power-house couple in the New Mexico film industry. Both are avid and highly experienced climbers, which has taken them to countless remote areas of the state. Gäel has utilized his climbing skills for many years as a grip and rigging expert on large studio productions in the NM film industry and works as a crane technician. Miranda is a card-carrying member of the 600 camera union and works regularly as a member of camera department teams for some of the most accomplished cinematographers working today.
Attendees that are certified operators with the New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Bureau will receive one continuing education unit (CEU) credit towards their recertification.