Photo of the Earth as seen from space and the words: Earth Island Institute; You are here.Earth Island Institute

photo of a sunrise in the Himalaya

HomeProgramsProjects By Focus

Pollution and Toxics


glyphThe last few generations have seen a dramatic increase in the levels of pollution and toxics in the environment. Through research and advocacy, civilian science has played a key role in mitigating these threats. Inspired by Rachel Carson’s seminal 1962 book Silent Spring, the modern environmental movement has helped enact a ban on the harmful pesticide DDT, the creation of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other crucial acts. Unfortunately, early victories did not end the struggle. New toxins have been created, new pollutants released into the environment. Financial incentives often seek to overpower goodwill and stewardship. Fortunately, several Earth Island Institute projects are devoted to stopping this dangerous and greedy paradigm. Public education, the advancement of alternative products, and people-power are collectively leverage to push back against corporate greed and environmental degradation. Through social media, scientific research, or local legislative measures, our leaders are doing all they can to halt the negative impacts of pollution and toxins.

photo of plastic garbage mixed with wrack on a beach

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) has been a tireless warrior in the fight against plastics, uniting leaders, organizations, and businesses in order to protect the people and the environment from this toxin. PPC has inspired thousands of people to question the necessity of plastic in their lives and to pursue healthier alternatives at home, at festivals, and on college campuses. Their multi-pronged efforts empower individuals while also promoting ‘big picture’ initiatives such as California’s plastic bag and microbead bans. Social media has been an important messaging channel, with videos “Like Open your Eyes”, TEDx Talks, and numerous articles bringing their conservation message to the masses.

ALERT – A Locally Empowered Response Team
ALERT connects oil and public health, making healthy people and healthy communities part of our energy future. We give people the skills and training to deal with health effects from extreme oil activities and empower people to have a voice in what…
Learn more
The Armenian Environmental Network
Armenian Environmental Network (AEN) was founded in 2007 as a response to the lack of information about environmental issues in Armenia. AEN has a dual mission – to share environmental news among the Armenian Diaspora, Armenians living in Armenia, and the global…
Learn more
CoalSwarm has created a collaborative informative clearinghouse on coal containing over 4,000 articles. This resource receives over 50,000 page views per week and is used by activists, journalists, researchers, and the general public.
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, businesses and organizations working together to end plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on people, animals, the ocean, and the environment.
Safe Food and Fertilizer
Safe Food and Fertilizer works to stop the use of hazardous and other industrial wastes in fertilizer, soil amendments and animal feeds because of their impact on human health and the environment.
Project Focus
glyphAgriculture & Food Systems glyphClean Energy & Climate Change glyphConservation, Preservation & Restoration glyphEnvironmental Education
glyphInternational & Indigenous Communities glyphLeadership Development glyphOcean & Water glyphPollution & Toxics
glyphSustainability & Community Resilience glyphWildlife Protection glyphWomen’s Environmental Leadership glyphYouth Empowerment