Ep.7 Transcript: Confused about bioplastics?

Ambi street

Woman from India
Even in India, I think there are a bunch of companies that have started offering especially garbage bags or products made, you know, out of bioplastic – I think it’s a great initiative. I’m not so sure what goes behind it, as in, you know, how, I mean, how less polluting is it to the environment, do you still need to take it to the landfill, or…so I’m still very unclear on the bioplastics to be very honest. I do use it, but I’m not sure about the technologies behind it. Continue reading “Ep.7 Transcript: Confused about bioplastics?”

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.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.4 Transcript: Plastic vs. the Climate?


Lilly Platt
Well, we need to do something about it. We’re not going to do something about it tomorrow, we’re not going to do something about it yesterday, because we’re going to do it today! Because there’s no planet B. We only have this planet. And this is our Earth. We only have one chance.

Music – Plink by Dorian Roy

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

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. Like the huge amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere. These gases cause huge changes in our climate, with impacts that could last for millenia, and affect many generations to come. So in this episode, I’ll explore the connections between plastic pollution and climate change. Are these two issues buddies or enemies? Does plastic help or hurt our efforts to tackle climate change? Well, as with many relationships: It’s complicated.
Continue reading “Ep.4 Transcript: Plastic vs. the Climate?”

Ep.3 Transcript: Millions of waste pickers

Waste picking around the world

Music – Aourouou / Blue Dot Sessions

Christophe
This is what we do for a living, this is recycling. This stuff get from the dumpside. In the evening we bring it here, we recycle, we have to separate, green bottles, they must be separated. So, that when you go to sell it, they can recycle it according to the colors. So, this is how we live in fact, we are only depending on such things. There’s nowhere we can find a job. It’s better to help government recycling like this. Because there’s noone who can do this.

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

Plastic has been leaking into the environment for many decades but it’s only now that we realize to what extent and what the consequences may be. Where does it all come from? What does it do to us and our environment? And how can we stop it? That’s what I want to explore in this podcast. Continue reading “Ep.3 Transcript: Millions of waste pickers”

Ep.2 Transcript: Plastic, the size of a virus

Plastic, the size of a virus

Music by Dorian Roy

Anja narrates
Welcome to the Plastisphere. The podcast on plastic, people and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger. In this podcast, I invite you to accompany me while I explore our complex entanglement with plastics, and how we can untangle it. I will bring you the insights of scientists, activists and innovators from the global community working to understand and solve issues of plastic pollution.

One worry for many people is microplastic. Scientists have found it in the stomachs of all kinds of animals, even the ones we eat, like mussels. Salt can also contain plastic, when it’s harvested near the sea. Some of these tiny pieces come from bigger chunks of trash that float in the oceans, which break up over time. Others enter the environment from our bathrooms, when people flush shower gels, peelings or make-up containing plastics down the drain. And washing machines can leak thousands of microfibers from synthetic pants and shirts into the water. Even cars leave microplastic behind, when they race down the streets, and their tires produce a fine dust.

But when plastic breaks up, it doesn’t just stop with microplastic. There are even smaller bits called nanoplastics. In this episode, you’ll get to meet a researcher who’s been studying plastic at this extremely fine level. Continue reading “Ep.2 Transcript: Plastic, the size of a virus”

Ep.1 Transcript: Welcome to the Plastisphere

Kamilo is famous for large amounts of plastic that wash up here.

Welcome to the Plastisphere

Sound of a wave

Terry Shibuya: Saving the environment is so important, because the ocean is like a refrigerator, because the ocean has the fishes, the ocean has the Opihe, the ocean has the crabs, the lobsters. So, in our time when we went fishing we would just take what we need. We wouldn’t be greedy and just, you know, would catch the first fish and throw it back. And that would be like a thank you. And then we’d take so much fishes, take it home clean it, eat it, you know, we would just take what we need.

Music by Dorian Roy

Anja Krieger: Welcome to the Plastisphere, the podcast, on plastic people and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger. I’m a freelance radio journalist and ten years ag o I sat in front of my computer in my hometown Berlin, and I read this article. It described a gigantic swirling area of floating trash all the way out in the Pacific. I couldn’t imagine. And I couldn’t let go of this idea that the remnants of our civilization end up all the way in the middle of nowhere. And so I set out on a quest to understand plastic pollution and what we can do about it. Continue reading “Ep.1 Transcript: Welcome to the Plastisphere”