6 episodes

Are you ready to come on a journey with the most powerful BIPOC voices fighting towards an anti-racist and plastic-free future? Join our host Shilpi Chhotray as we delve into real conversations when it comes to justice and sustainability and who gets a seat at the table. This is People Over Plastic.

People Over Plastic People Over Plastic

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Are you ready to come on a journey with the most powerful BIPOC voices fighting towards an anti-racist and plastic-free future? Join our host Shilpi Chhotray as we delve into real conversations when it comes to justice and sustainability and who gets a seat at the table. This is People Over Plastic.

    Reprogramming the Root (in conversation with Indigenous Leader Frankie Orona and Bangalore-based artist and TEDx speaker Shilo Shiv Suleman)

    Reprogramming the Root (in conversation with Indigenous Leader Frankie Orona and Bangalore-based artist and TEDx speaker Shilo Shiv Suleman)

    People and the planet are not two different operating systems and no one understands this better than indigenous communities. In this episode, we will dig deeper into the role of Indigenous culture and traditions and how pivotal it is to acknowledge their leadership in the fight for justice and against climate change.

    Meet Frankie Orona, Indigenous leader and Executive Director of Society of Native Nations, an organization founded by a small group of Native people in Texas. In our conversation with Frankie, he emphasizes the need to end bank financing of extreme fossil fuels as a way to call out the systems that keep communities of color in cycles of harm.

    Similarly, you’ll  hear from Shilo Shiv Suleman, a Bangalore-based Indian animator, illustrator, and visual artist. Shilo’s craft which focuses on the intersection of magical realism, art for social change and technology led her to founding the Fearless Collective - a movement of participative storytelling. During the recently held Unilever-sponsored COP 26 in Glasgow, Shilo’s mural “At the Root” gave deep homage to indigenous elders who continue to be sidelined to the point of erasure. Frankie and Shilo’s stories signal the call to reprogram our roots as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to People Over Plastic available on Apple and Spotify!

    Follow People Over Plastic on social media at @peopleXplastic on Instagram & Twitter.

    Resources:

    Ending bank financing of extreme fossil fuels: Press Release quoting Frankie

    Shilo’s 2018 TED Talk: A woman’s journey to fearlessness 

    At the Root at COP 26: in the Glasgow Times

    Shilo's wearable brass temple: Sotheyby's

    Society of Native Nations: website

    Fearless Collective: website

    • 30 min
    Bag Bans and Border Wall (in conversation with river protector Tricia Cortez and Malawian environmental activist Gloria Majiga-Komoto)

    Bag Bans and Border Wall (in conversation with river protector Tricia Cortez and Malawian environmental activist Gloria Majiga-Komoto)

    To truly understand environmental justice, we need to better understand its relationship to social justice and racial justice. As we learned in episode two of our show, decisions are being made about people of color and indigenous communities, with very little understanding about their lived experiences. Challenges with racism, socio-economic struggles and geopolitical realities are at the crux of environmental justice. On “Bag Bans and Border Wall”, we're going to dissect the concept with two incredible women in very different parts of the world who are fighting the plastics industry head on.

    First we’ll meet fierce river protector Tricia Cortez, Executive Director of the Rio Grande International Study Center. In addition to leading a decade-long fight against plastic bags in Laredo, Texas, Tricia fought and won a groundbreaking battle against the Trump administration on plans to build a 30-ft steel wall through her hometown. You’ll also hear from the 2021 Goldman Prize Awardee, Gloria Majiga-Komoto. Speaking to us from her home in Malawi, Gloria shares her story of a 4-year battle against the plastic industry in support of a national ban on thin plastics. Her passion and dedication to her community is evident, as she shares her struggle against political corruption, sexism, and industry intimidation.

    Tricia and Gloria's courage, organizing power and relentless will to protect their community demonstrates how important it is to define leadership by those who stand the most to lose.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to People Over Plastic available on Apple and Spotify!

    Follow People Over Plastic on social media at @peopleXplastic on Instagram & Twitter.

    Resources:

    It’s Over! The Border Wall in Laredo is Officially Dead: EarthJustice Press Release 

    Fund Our Future campaign

    2021 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Africa: Gloria Majiga-Kamoto

    Gloria in NPR 

    • 33 min
    Community Lunchbox (in conversation with food delivery entrepreneurs Zuleyka Strasner and Ritesh Andre)

    Community Lunchbox (in conversation with food delivery entrepreneurs Zuleyka Strasner and Ritesh Andre)

    When considering solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, you’ve probably seen the famous zero-wasters on social media proudly flexing their latest plastic-free purchases. With cult-like followings, they often share tips and tricks with fancy products for greener living. The fact is, zero-waste is not a new concept and has deep roots in ancestral practices in communities of color. It did not start on Instagram by the millennial elite.

    In this episode, hear from two innovative entrepreneurs who are decolonizing mainstream thinking about zero-waste. As their stories demonstrate, zero-waste actually started thousands of years ago in communities with origins in taking care of the earth and understanding that reciprocity.

    Meet Zuleyka Strasner, founder and CEO of Zero Grocery - a platform that offers next-day delivery on 2,000+ plastic-free goods for everyday people. You’ll also meet Ritesh Andre whose great grandfather founded Mumbai’s famous Dabbawalas network. This robust 130-year old system delivers plastic-free meals on bicycles without any technology. Hear how Zuleyka and Ritesh are scaling their innovative models while adjusting to current socio-economic realities and social norms.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to People Over Plastic available on Apple and Spotify!

    Follow People Over Plastic on social media at @peopleXplastic on Instagram & Twitter.

    Resources:


    Zero Grocery https://zerogrocery.com/
    Zuleyka’s feature in INC magazine
    Delivering Lunch in Mumbai in the New York Times
    Harvard Business Review’s take on Mumbai’s Dabbawalas

    • 24 min
    If you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu (in conversation with environmental attorney Patrice Simms and zero-waste activist Froilan Grate)

    If you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu (in conversation with environmental attorney Patrice Simms and zero-waste activist Froilan Grate)

    When we think about solving the plastic pollution crisis, we often think about beach cleanups and recycling - and for those of us that come from more privileged backgrounds, we strive to fit all our plastic waste for the year into a mason jar. The overarching thread here is problematic for two major reasons: we are marketed to believe plastic pollution is OUR fault as consumers, and that everyday people must clean up the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. The culture of convenience may be at the root cause of the plastic pollution crisis, but who is behind creating and marketing a society hooked on plastic?

    In the second episode of People Over Plastic, we zoomed into some core elements of environmental justice - like what it is and why it matters. Hear from Patrice Simms, an environmental attorney at EarthJustice who explains why it's critical to change the way decisions are made about individuals who are most impacted by them, especially Black communities who fall prey to industrial polluters. You’ll also hear from Filipino activist Froilan Grate of GAIA Asia Pacific who has a lot of experience exposing the failures behind the global recycling system and corporations’ double standards. Like Patrice, Froi raises the crucial perspective that people of color can create the space and seize the power that allows their voices to be heard.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to People Over Plastic available on Spotify, iTunes, Anchor!  

    Follow People Over Plastic on social media at @peopleXplastic on Instagram & Twitter.

    Resources: 

    From EarthJustice: How Big Oil is Using Toxic Chemicals as a Lifeline – and How We Can Stop It

    Break Free From Plastic's Brand Audit 2021 Report

    GAIA's report on Discarded: Communities on the Frontlines of the Global Plastic Crisis 

    • 32 min
    99% (in conversation with Artivist extraordinaire Von Wong and Community Organizer Miss Sharon Lavigne)

    99% (in conversation with Artivist extraordinaire Von Wong and Community Organizer Miss Sharon Lavigne)

    It’s 2021: We’ve seen the videos, the nightly news clips, and the headlines that plastic pollution is a major threat to our planet. We unequivocally understand that we are drowning in a man-made material that pollutes our air, water, soil, and wildlife. But did you know that making plastic - cups, straws, bags, cutlery, styrofoam, pouches, polyester sweaters and yoga pants... is directly linked to the climate crisis and locks in cycles of harm to communities of color around the globe? 99% of plastic comes from fossil fuels and plastic production is a major driver of keeping the fossil fuel industry afloat. In order to tackle both the plastic pollution and the climate crisis, we must hold the fossil fuel industry to account.

    In our inaugural episode, you’ll hear how fantasy-like art is transforming the cultural landscape of how we quite literally view plastic pollution. Artivist Von Wong’s latest project is a 30-foot levitating tap to remind governments and corporations that the plastic crisis needs to be front and center in decision-making. You'll also hear from Sharon Lavigne, a retired special ed teacher who recently halted Formosa Plastics from coming into her hometown. If built, the industrial complex would triple the levels of carcinogens in her community. Sharon lives in the heart of Louisiana's Cancer Alley, a region of the US which is already blighted by racism and exorbitant cancer rates from industry polluters.

    Follow People Over Plastic on social media at @peopleXplastic on Instagram & Twitter.

    Resources:


    Von Wong's Turn Off The Plastic Tap 
    Sharon Lavigne, a 2021 recipient of the Goldman Prize 
    Take action against Formosa Plastic
    A deep dive on Fossil Fuels + Plastics

    • 22 min
    People Over Plastic: Coming Soon

    People Over Plastic: Coming Soon

    Are you ready to come on a journey with the most powerful BIPOC voices fighting towards an anti-racist and plastic-free future? Join our host, Shilpi Chhotray, as we delve into real conversations when it comes to justice and sustainability and who gets a seat at the table. This is People Over Plastic.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

worster ,

The most vital conversation of our time

The plastic problem is so much more than pollution. It’s politics, it’s racism, it’s greed, and it is the intersection of every evil that is destroying our global culture and resources every second. People Over Plastic is the first and only media source that is talking about this issue from the human perspective. It is by recognizing the gravity of the status quo that we can begin to enact change. Aside from sustainability and geopolitical expertise, Shilpi Chhotray brings the storytelling and humanity necessary to give the true victims of plastic a long-awaited voice.

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