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Ep. 6 Transcript: Traces in the soil


Sound installation Plastic_ity – by Saša Spačal

Anja
Can you hear the earthworms?
They are moving around, in the soil.

Earthworm in soil with microplastics. Picture by Saša Spačal
Earthworm in soil with microplastics. Picture by Saša Spačal

Music – Arlan Vale by Blue Dot Sessions

Saša Spačal
Everything that exists comes from it and it, like, grows from it. And everything that dies is decomposed in it. So, it’s a factor that has to be there and has to be alive with all the bacteria, all the little critters that can transform it into, really, living matter.

Anja
Welcome to the Plastisphere, the podcast on plastic, people, and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger.

Music – Valantis by Blue Dot Sessions

When we talk about plastic pollution, we often think of oceans and beaches. But plastic is literally everywhere. And that includes not only rivers, and lakes, but also the soil under our feet. The thin layer of ground that feeds all of us.

It’s not only the trash littering the parks and sideways. There are many ways plastic ends up in the soil. It can leak from factories and landfills, streets, rivers and washing mashines, and may come from packaging, paint, sneakers, tyres, t-shirts, even fertilizer.

For a long time, this terrestrial plastic has been overlooked. But now, it’s entering the spotlight. Scientists are starting to investigate the extent and impacts of plastic in the soil and in the ground. What do we know about them? That’s what I’m going to dig into in this episode. Continue reading “Ep. 6 Transcript: Traces in the soil”

Ep.6: Traces in the soil


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 from Slovenia, soil biologist Matthias Rillig from Germany, Brazilian environmental scientist Abel Machado and geologist Reinhold Leinfelder. She learns more about the potential impacts and traces plastic leaves behind in the ground.

Music: Dorian Roy and Blue Dot Sessions
Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen
Thanks to: Julie Comfort, Brooke Watkins, Sedat Gündoğdu, Sam Athey, and Joachim Budde for editing the German post on RiffReporter

>>>Transcript with links and media

Ep.5 Transcript: Message from Midway

Music
Taoudella by Blue Dot Sessions

Chris Jordan
Midway. That to me is like a whole philosophy of life in one word. Midway between all of the mistakes that have ever been made and the still unwritten story of our future.

Anja
Welcome to the Plastisphere, the podcast on plastic, people and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger. In this episode, I’ll bring you a story from an island in the Pacific, thousands of miles away from land. It’s called Midway Island, and it has shaped our image of ocean plastics.

Almost a decade ago, photographer Chris Jordan travelled to Midway to document the effects of plastic pollution. His images of dead sea birds with plastic in their guts went viral around the world. They were quite hard to look at.

It’s the little chicks of albatross, the birds that nest on the island. Their bones are laid bare and their feathers are withering away. But the things they ingested are still very much intact: You can make out a red cigarette lighter, a blue bottlecap, and even an entire yellow toothbrush. In fact, these birds were full of plastic.

Chris Jordan was so haunted by this sight that he decided to go back. The photographer visited the island again and again. And he discovered a new, and beautiful side of the story. That’s what his documentary film Albatross is all about. It’s a message from Midway, and what it can teach us.
Continue reading “Ep.5 Transcript: Message from Midway”

Ep.5: Message from Midway


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 they also haunted him so much that he decided to return to the island. In this episode of the podcast, Chris tells Anja how working on his film “Albatross” transformed him and his view on tackling plastic pollution.

Music: Dorian Roy and Blue Dot Sessions
Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen
Thanks to: Markus Knigge, Kim Gruetzmacher of the Berlin Ocean Dinner, Ines, Susie, Volkart, Sara, Craig, Wicki and James at the Sonic Soirée Berlin, and Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti for editing the German post on RiffReporter

>>>Transcript with links, images and tweets