“The Story of Plastic” Panel Discussion

April 1, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

“The Story of Plastic” is a powerful documentary exposing how the plastic industry is harming ecosystems and communities. WashU alum Deia Schlosberg, who directed “The Story of Plastic,” will join us for a lively panel discussion about issues and solutions surrounding plastic production, consumption, and pollution.

Register for the panel discussion in advance to receive a link to stream the award-winning documentary “The Story of Plastic” before the event! If you are not able to make the panel discussion, you can still register to receive the streaming link.

This event is being co-sponsored by Dining Services.

We are looking forward to hosting a lively discussion among the following panelists:

Deia Schlosberg
Director of “The Story of Plastic”

Director and producer of the 2019 documentary The Story of Plastic, Deia Schlosberg is an educator, activist, and journalist who graduated from WashU in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Earth & Planetary Sciences and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications. Then, after a two-year off-road, 7800-mile trek in the Andes Mountains, she attended Montana State University, where she earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in Science & Natural History Filmmaking. 

Reporting on various environmental issues through her art, Deia Schlosberg is best known for producing How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change (2016), co-producing Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock (2017) and The Reluctant Radical (2018), and receiving two Student Emmys through her documentary Backyard.

In 2016, while filming a TransCanada oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, she was arrested with 45-years’ worth of felony charges, which led to an open letter addressed to the Obama administration advocating for her release, citing journalistic freedom. 

In 2019, Deia Schlosberg released the award-winning documentary The Story of Plastic, in collaboration with the The Story of Stuff project, documenting the life cycle of plastic from production to pollution, from refinery to recycling, dismantling the myths of Big Plastic and exposing the human and environmental devastation along the way. 

Jenny Wendt
Plastic Waste Reduction Campaign Manager

Jenny Wendt began her career in environmental stewardship by receiving a degree in Chemistry and working in environmental laboratories analyzing soil, water, and wastewater for contamination.

She then moved from the laboratory field to focus on widespread environmental stewardship, currently serving as a senior project manager for University City dedicated to improving sustainability pertaining to waste reduction, energy efficiency, and stormwater management.

She also serves as the co-chair for the regional OneSTL Materials and Recycling working group. Jenny Wendt joined Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) in 2018 as the Plastic Waste Reduction Campaign Manager for the Mississippi River watershed.

Andrew Watling
Associate Director of Dining Operations at WashU

Andrew Watling joined WashU in 2019 as the Associate Director of Dining Operations. He comes to WashU from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA where he served as Assistant Director of Dining Services. He previously was with Virginia Tech as its Assistant Director of Dining.
Since at WashU, Andrew Watling supported the development of a number of sustainability initiatives, including the re-launch of the reusable eco2go containers program.

Working closely with the Office of Sustainability, he worked to minimize single-use plastics usage, as the university dining operations transitioned to an exclusively to-go service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the summer and fall of 2020.

Cassie Hage
Associate Director of the Office of Sustainability

Cassie is responsible for supporting a broad range of efforts, including implementing key areas of the University’s strategic plan for sustainable operations.

Within her role at the Office of Sustainability, Cassie coaches student groups and individuals interested in reducing waste and improving reuse and recycling programs at WashU.

She works with partners across the university to improve reuse and recycling infrastructure and best practices, within dining, custodial services, event planning, facilities and more. She also leads outreach and education around waste and other sustainability topics through the Green Office, WashU Green Ambassador, and Recycling Genius programs.

Her favorite programs for reducing plastics at the university include the GreenWare program for reusable dishes at events, eco2go reusable togo boxes, WashU Reuse (a platform for sharing surplus materials and equipment), the bottled water ban, and Share Our Stuff (move-out donation collections).

Yash Singh
WashU Student Sustainability Board Member

Yash is a first-year from Cincinnati, Ohio majoring in Chemical Engineering with minors in Energy Engineering and Computer Science. He would like to work to improve renewable energy, particularly to advance chemical means of energy storage.

Yash became interested in sustainability throughout high school and began incorporating sustainable practices in his daily life. As a member of Student Sustainability Board, Yash is working to implement a soft plastic recycling program on WashU’s campus.