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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, featuring a diverse set of voices and viewpoints.
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Happy World Environment Day! We’ve got a treat for you. There’s a new podcast series which is really great – and we wanted to share it with you. It’s called Forever Chemicals, and it’s produced by Meg Carney and team at Black-Footed Ferret Productions. Listen to the teaser here on Plastisphere and then head over to https://www.theoutdoorminimalist.…
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Sirine Rached is the Global Plastics Policy Coordinator at GAIA, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. In her message, Sirine shares why she doesn’t believe in certain technologies that are currently promoted to solve the plastics crisis. Read more on GAIA’s positions in the PlasticsTreaty talks here: no-burn.org/unea-plastics-treatySen…
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The penultimate session to negotiate the global plastics treaty ended just a few days ago in Ottawa, Canada. One of the journalists attending was Stephen Leahy, a science and environmental journalist who’s reported on climate and other issues for the past 30 years. Steve has written for dozens of publications including National Geographic, the Guar…
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It's Monday, April 29, 2024, and the INC4, the fourth round of negotiations for the plastics treaty, is in the final hours. Negotiators of countries from around the world are sitting in conference rooms in Ottawa, Canada, debating how to end plastic pollution. Around them, the presence of the fossil and chemical industries has grown significantly. …
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In this episode we focus on one of the biggest countries in Asia - India. India just passed its Plastic Overshoot day on April 23. India is the world's third largest contributor to plastic waste after China and the United States – but it also has a huge population, 1.4 billion people. So per capita, Indians produce only small amounts of plastic was…
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In March 2024, negotiators and experts came together in Bellagio, Italy, for an exclusive meeting to discuss an essential topic: Plastic money. And we’re not talking about credit cards here, but the actual money we people around the world are paying for the production of plastics through our governments’ subsidies. Ronald Steenblik was the one who …
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What happened at the INC-3 in Kenya? Recap 3/3.“If a credible majority of states can come together and adopt global rules to prevent plastic pollution, they can also do the similar things on climate change, on biological diversity, and indeed also other issues of environmental and global concern,” Magnus Løvold says. He was present as an observer a…
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What happened at the INC-2 in France? Recap 2/3.The negotiations for the global plastics treaty are haunted by major issues that have long stalled progress on other problems as well, like climate change and biodiversity loss. To understand what’s happening, Anja teamed up with Magnus Løvold, an expert in diplomacy and international law. Magnus was …
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What happened at the INC-1 in Uruguay? Recap 1/3. This year, 2024, is the crucial year for the plastics treaty negotiations. If you haven’t heard about them, the United Nations are working on an international, legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution. It’s been called the most important environmental deal since the Paris climate accord. M…
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You’ve probably heard of bioplastics, these new kinds of plastics that are marketed as environmentally friendly. If you’ve been following this show, you might know the episode from 2019 in which Anja tried to better understand this group of materials and the confusion around it. If you haven't listened, here it is: https://soundcloud.com/plastisphe…
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- A heads-up for all international listeners: This the first-ever episode in German. If you don't speak the language, don't despair. The next episode in English is already in the works! -This episode features an in-depth panel in German language on solutions to plastic pollution with experts in ecotoxicology, the reuse economy and politics, includi…
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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 t…
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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 so…
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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 pollutio…
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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 i…
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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…
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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 …
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The global plastics treaty is currently being drafted by the global community - an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. One of the experts attending the meetings is Christina Dixon from the Environmental Investigation Agency. The EIA is an NGO which has campaigned against environmental …
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The global plastics treaty is in the making, and the discussions around solutions to plastic pollution are gaining traction. To give you more food for thought, Anja tries out a new format, the Plastisphere Conversations with interesting people in the field. And this is the first one, with Sarah Perreard and Julien Boucher from the Plastic Overshoot…
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On March 2, 2022, countries from around the world agreed to establish a global treaty to end plastic pollution. After the first meetings in Senegal and Uruguay, the discussions around the treaty are in full swing. Next, the country’s representatives are heading to Paris, France, in May 2023. They’ll meet for the second session of the INC, the Inter…
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Baldeep Kaur is a doctoral fellow at the University of Potsdam, studying the afterlives of discarded colonial technologies. Last November, they invited Plastisphere creator Anja Krieger to a live listening session at the Minor Cosmopolitan Assembly, an event organized by the research training group with the same name. Together with the audience, Ba…
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A new guest episode to inspire your ears, mind and heart, kindly shared by Upstream. Plastic pollution is not just a waste issue. It starts with production, continues during use, and in the end, a lot of it ends up dumped or in the environment. But the problems plastics cause from production to disposal are not distributed equally. They impact some…
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Remember our episode a few months ago on the history of the plastics treaty? To recap: In March, the United Nations Environmental Assembly decided to negotiate a global agreement to tackle plastic pollution. The ambitious plan is to develop a binding treaty covering the full lifecycle of plastics within the next two years, by 2024. This week, this …
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We can’t be the only ones responsible for plastic pollution. It’s time for producers and distributors of disposable plastic to take responsibility for where their packaging goes. Plastisphere presents an episode from Sustainable Asia’s “Mapping Asia’s Plastic Crisis” series on producer responsibility and packaging design, featuring experts from Ind…
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Eight years after first flagging plastics as an issue, the United Nations Environment Assembly met in March 2022 for a historic decision. Delegates from more than 170 nations agreed on a mandate to put together a legally binding global plastics treaty within the next two years. Despite some lobbying against it behind the scenes, the draft for a str…
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Plastisphere is back with Brooke and Anja! For the tenth anniversary of #PlasticFreeJuly, we dive into solutions to plastic pollution. Hear about Anja’s waste audit and DIY projects during the pandemic year, from home-made milk and laundry detergent to fresh pasta. Making stuff from scratch can be fun and empowering, but what’s the impact of these …
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Take a break from plastics to explore the soil - a hidden world beneath your feet. It's the world of earthworms, springtails, fungi, and bacteria. We hardly ever see these little creatures, but their impacts are huge. Soil stores more carbon than the atmosphere and all plants together, filters water, is pivotal for biodiversity and at the center of…
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When it comes to solving the issue of plastic pollution, who would you say is responsible? Is it individuals like you and me, is it the corporations that produce plastics or products made from it, or is it the government with its rules and regulations? That’s the question Brooke Bauman asks in her 4-part podcast series “Guilty Plastics”. Brooke is …
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Plastic pollution seems to be a pretty new issue, right? In the past few years, the topic has been all over the media. But if you explore the history of science, it turns out that the problem really isn’t all that new. Some scientists have been aware of plastic in the ocean for over half a century. So, how was plastic pollution first discovered? An…
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For this episode, Anja tried something new: She asked listeners, researchers and podcasters to send her audio comments on what is happening now during the coronavirus pandemic. In this episode, you’ll hear some of the messages that arrived in her inbox the past weeks. With input from Justine Ammendolia, Wade Roush, Brooke Bauman, Sedat Gündoğdu, Ja…
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What happens if bioplastics end up in the environment? In this episode, Anja takes a closer look at synthetic polymers marketed as more environmentally friendly. Can they contribute to a healthier planet, and in what way? Anja talks to Frederik Wurm, a chemist developing biodegradable plastics, Constance Ißbrücker of the industry association Europe…
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Plastic pollution also affects the soil, the thin layer of ground that feeds all of us. For a long time, this terrestrial plastic has been overlooked. Now scientists are starting to investigate the extent and impacts of plastic pollution in the soil and in the ground. What do we know about them? In this episode, Anja talks to artist Saša Spačal fro…
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Chris Jordan has taken some of the most iconic pictures to shape our image of plastic pollution. He traveled to Midway Island on his quest to photograph the evasive "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", which is really a soup of microplastics. There, he documented albatross chicks who had died with their guts full of plastic. His images went viral, but th…
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Plastic pollution might be the most visible environmental issue we face today. But there are other kinds of pollution, and they are far harder to see. One of the most dangerous is the huge amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere. In this episode, Anja explores the connections between plastic pollution and climate change. She tal…
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In this episode, Anja calls up Dr. Jenna Jambeck and Amy Brooks from the University of Georgia on a research trip in Vietnam to learn about their research on waste management and plastic pollution. In many Asian countries, a booming economy is coupled with more and more people using throw-away items. Informal recyclers and waste pickers who have tr…
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Anja goes on a lab tour with Alexandra ter Halle from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse. The chemist and her team were the first to detect nanoplastic in the open ocean - plastic so small that it is comparable in size to a virus. What do we know about these very tiny pieces, and how do researchers try to detect and understand them?The Plastisphe…
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In this introduction to the Plastisphere podcast, Anja takes the listener on a journey back in time, from a remote plastic beach on the Big Island of Hawaii to the factory of a big chemical producer making bioplastics. She shares what she has learned about the issue of plastic pollution in the past years.The Plastisphere is an interview and researc…
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