The podcast on plastic, people, and the planet by @anjakrieger.
Plastics have become the basis for our modern lives, but they also pollute the planet. Will we be able to develop a healthy relationship with these materials we’ve created?
Follow Anja on a journey into the world of synthetic polymers, their impacts on nature and ourselves, and the global quest to tackle plastic pollution. Each episode explores the issue from a different angle, and features a diverse set of voices and viewpoints.
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: The Fossil-Fuel Lobby at INC-3 with Julien Gupta
Welcome again to Plastisphere, the podcast on plastics, people, the planet – and politics! Today, the INC-3, the third round of negotiations towards a global plastic treaty, will wrap up in Nairobi – and Anja received a timely message from one of the attending journalists: Julien Gupta is a freelance journalist from Germany working on climate and the environment. He says some of what he observed at INC-3 in Nairobi very much surprised him. Listen to his message from yesterday, Saturday, November 18th, 2023.
You can find the CIEl report referenced by Julien here: https://www.ciel.org/news/fossil-fuel-and-chemical-industries-at-inc-3/
If you’d like to learn more about the role of science in the negotiations, listen to our episode from earlier this year, “Science over Profit”: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/05/12/ep13-plastictreaty/
Find out more about the Scientists 'Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty here: https://ikhapp.org/scientistscoalition/
If you are currently at the negotiations in Nairobi and have comments to share, we’d be super grateful to hear about them! Send Anja a voice message by following the instructions on the Plastisphere website: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/send-a-voice-message/
For German listeners, you can follow Juliens reporting here: https://steadyhq.com/de/treibhauspost/newsletter/sign_up
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: Waste Colonialism with Nirere Sadrach and Sharifa Ismail
For a long time, we treated disposable plastic and waste as if there was an “away” – a place, where we could safely dispose of our trash. But as we all know, nothing disappears just magically. Each year, the world produces over two billion tons of waste, and hundreds of millions tons of that are plastic. There is no away, and all this stuff goes somewhere – to landfills, dumps, incinerators, recycling facilities, or into the environment. But our plastic products don’t always end up close to where they are used. Waste is traded globally, and especially the hard-to-recycle plastics are shipped to places abroad. Often, there’s not enough infrastructure to deal with this waste plastic in a safe way. So it is openly dumped, recycled without protecting the workers’ health, or lost to the environment – with impacts for the local people and ecosystems. Listen to messages by Nirere Sadrach from Uganda, and Sharifa Ismail from Malaysia.
You can read the transcript of this episode here: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/11/16/plasticstreaty-shorts-waste-colonialism-with-nirere-sadrach-and-sharifa-ismail-transcript/
Learn more about your country in the "Plastic Overshoot Day" episode (second half): https://soundcloud.com/plastisphere-podcast/plastic-overshoot-day
WWF study on costs for low vs. high income countries: https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?10004441/lifetime-cost-plastic
These messages are part of the #PlasticsTreaty Shorts series. If you’d like to share a thought on solutions for plastic pollution, send Anja a voice message. Her mailbox is open for contributions until the end of the treaty negotiations. Some of the messages will be published. Please follow the recording instructions here:
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: Production Caps and Moratoriums with Andrés Del Castillo
Today, you’ll hear a message from Andrés Del Castillo in the #PlasticsTreaty Shorts series. Andrés is a Senior Attorney from Columbia working with CIEL, the Center for International Environmental Law in Switzerland (https://www.ciel.org/). CIEL is a non-governmental organization that has long pointed out the broader implications of plastic pollution. They have published reports on the connection between plastics and climate change, human health, and and the petrochemical industry and fracking. Andrés says that we need to regulate the precursors or building blocks, just like the plastics and chemicals they are turned into. But we don’t need to wait for the global community to agree on production caps. There’s another way to halt the growth in production. Hear more from Andrés - and don't miss Rebecca Altman's excellent essay "On Vinyl" in Orion Magazine:
Find the transcript of this episode here: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/11/13/plasticstreaty-shorts-production-caps-and-moratoriums-with-andres-del-castillo-transcript/
Dear listener, if you have a thought to share, you can send me a voice message. Please follow my recording instructions:
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: The Planetary Boundary with Bethanie Carney Almroth
We have exceeded six of the nine planetary boundaries. In her message to Plastisphere, Bethany Carney Almroth from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden tells us about one of them - the planetary boundary of novel entities which include plastics and chemicals. The only planetary boundary we have been able to move away from is the ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. And why? Because when a ‘hole’ – or a thinning - in the ozone layer was discovered in the 1980s, countries from around the world acted quickly and signed a treaty to phase out the CFCs, the chemicals which were destroying the ozone layer. Let's hope that the plastics treaty follows in the footsteps of this success story!
Read the transcript of this episode here: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/11/10/plasticstreaty-shorts-the-planetary-boundary-with-bethanie-carney-almroth/
If you’d like to share a thought or demand for the plastics treaty, you can contribute too. My mailbox is open for your voice messages until the end of the negotiations. I will pick some of these messages for a short podcast episode like this one. You can find recording instructions here:
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: Unknown chemicals with Walter Waldman
Similar to how food products contain a list of ingredients, we need to know which chemicals plastic products contain. This is not an easy task, but it would be a huge step if producers lifted the secret around the chemicals they use. Right now we are blindly dealing with a cocktail of chemicals we don’t really understand. Scientists have to reverse engineer to find out what’s in these products, and this is expensive and tedious. Knowing about the chemical ingredients of plastics would give us the chance to decide which risks we are willing to take or not – as a society, and as individuals. Hear more from chemist Walter Waldman from Brazil in his message to Plastisphere.
Read the transcript of this episode here: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/11/09/plasticstreaty-shorts-unknown-chemicals-with-walter-waldman-transcript/
This episode is part of the #PlasticsTreaty Shorts series. If you’d like to share a thought on solutions for plastic pollution, send Anja a voice message. You can contribute until the end of the treaty negotiations. Selected messages will be published. Find the recording instructions here:
#PlasticsTreaty Shorts: Consumption Reduction with Kristian Syberg
Recycling is often seen as a golden standard for minimizing plastic pollution. And while recycling definitely does play a role in the future, it should not be the first priority. Kristian Syberg, an associate professor at Roskilde University in Denmark working on the circular economy, and the environmental impact of plastics, tells us why.
Read the transcript of this episode here: https://anjakrieger.com/plastisphere/2023/11/07/plasticstreaty-shorts-consumption-reduction-with-kristian-syberg/
This message is part of the #PlasticsTreaty Shorts series. If you’d like to share a thought on solutions for plastic pollution, send Anja a voice message. Her mailbox is open for contributions until the end of the treaty negotiations. Some of the messages will be published. Find the recording instructions here:
Informative, fun, and great storytelling
I never thought I’d be interested in plastics. But this podcast showed me that the topic is brimming with stories that impact our personal lives and global realities. Anja’s episodes are surprising, interesting, and they connect the big picture environmental crisis we’re facing with policy, science, and the daily actions we take as consumers. I appreciate the in-depth research and variety of voices featured in each episode, as well as the great skill and care with which Anja produces each episode. This podcast makes for an enjoyable listening experience, and you’ll walk away realising how much plastics influence our daily lives, and the imprint plastic has on our environment, health, and future.
Plastic package design
I find your podcast very good in brainstorming various solutions. I have one idea if all manufacturers of beverages,tamato sauces,oils etc could be convinced to pack their products in square interlocking- Lego like- plastic bottles, the ordinary people can use the empty bottles to build internal wall for homes by simply filling the bottles with normal soil closing the lids and interlocking them. Even children can do this work requiring no skill. This will create a situation that empty bottles will be sought after and hence not thrown away. I am retired construction engineer and have used the round bottles to build walls but due to their shape need cement and wire to stabilize- also required skill workers.
Love this podcast!! Please do more.