Plastic pollution subject of Thursday discussion at Lake Tahoe |

Plastic pollution subject of Thursday discussion at Lake Tahoe

Special to the Sun
Anna Cummins is executive director and co-founder of The 5 Gyres Institute.
Courtesy photo |

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Visit to learn more about The 5 Gyres Institute.

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Plastic. It is used virtually everywhere, and is polluting our planet and threatening our oceans at an alarming rate.

To bring attention to this growing situation and help open a dialogue about what can be done to combat the problem, The Squaw Valley Institute will present Anna Cummins and The 5 Gyres Institute on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley.

Most of the things we buy utilize single-use plastic. While some of it is recycled and remade into durable goods, only 5-10 percent is recovered, and roughly 50 percent ends up in the garbage where it eventually washes out to sea.

Once in the ocean, much of the plastic circulates into one of the earth’s five gyres. These massive, slow rotating whirlpools accumulate plastic and currents circulate it around the world where it washes up on beaches thousands of miles away.

Plastic that doesn’t wash up breaks down into tiny pieces that are consumed by ocean wildlife and often end up on our dinner table. This trickle-down effect will have dire consequences in the future if nothing is done.

Attendees are invited to join in the discussion, led by 5 Gyres co-founder Anna Cummins, as the event explains the growing plastic problem, examines the mystifying 5 gyres, offers tangible methods and solutions for how to reduce plastic pollution, all while raising awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its devastating effects.

In order to inspire uncommon conversations about this topic within our schools, SVI’s youth program VOY/CE has partnered with Sierra Watershed Educational Partnerships.

SWEP is a local nonprofit that promotes environmental stewardship. Similarly, SVI’s VOY/CE program is also directed at the school age members of our community and aims to introduce students to thought-provoking topics to create lasting transformations as students expand their view of the world through dedicated time interacting with SVI guest speakers.

The VOY/CE program and SWEP’s Green Teams, through the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and students from Tahoe Expedition Academy, will meet and interact with Anna Cummins in advance of this event.

During the presentation, guests can enjoy a cash bar and light snacks or arrive early/stay late and enjoy dinner at Sandy’s Pub or one of the other Resort restaurants.

The evening also features an informative and creative ŒTrashion Show led by the SWEP Envirolution Club, live and silent auctions, interactive art exhibits, and a raffle to benefit SWEP.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the event begins at 6. Ticket prices are $10 per adult and $5 for students and children. As part of their annual membership, SVI members are admitted at no charge.

Seating is limited; purchase tickets online at

This article was submitted on behalf of the he Squaw Valley Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting the community through inspirational programming celebrating the arts, wellness, education and adventure. Visit to learn more.

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