Best Anti-Plastic Activist

Beth Terry

She finds plastic in the unlikeliest of places: ice-cream cartons, chewing gun, synthetic wine corks. Then there are the more obvious, trickier-to-avoid sources: toothbrushes, paper-towel wrappers, cheese packaging. Through a miracle of ingenuity and patience, Oakland resident Beth Terry eschews just about all of them (in 2011, she discarded only 2.1 pounds of plastic). But her aim is not to set a superhuman standard; instead, it's to inspire others to think critically about waste, pollution, and health within the context of their own busy lives. Her long-running blog,, and new book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, out this spring, have helped establish her as an international leader in the plastic-free lifestyle field (and sure, there is such a thing). But she never gets preachy, insisting that anyone who is inspired by her message is free to carve his or her own path through the plastic minefield.

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