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In German: SCHIRN mini-series from plastic art to politics

We dove into the PLASTIC WORLD – a world full of incredible possibilities, but also problematic side effects. Meet plastics experts from various disciplines in this three-part series in German language on the SCHIRN podcast, including art exhibition curator Martina Weinhart, soil ecologist Matthias Rillig, deep-sea ecologist Melanie Bergmann, eco toxicologist Martin Wagner and political scientist Per-Olof Busch. They present important insights into the current discourse on plastics in science, the art world, and politics.

The third episode will be published soon. Transcripts are available if you’d like to run this through a translation tool.

Realized by SCHIRN MAG and Ahnen&Enkel – where I work now. With illustrations by Moritz Wienert.

Ep. 13 – Demands for the Plastic Treaty: Science over Profit

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 Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which is the forum where the treaty is debated. After that, three more of these INC meetings are scheduled. If all goes well, the diplomats could agree on the plastics treaty at the final conference in the summer of 2025.

So that’s the rough timeline – pretty ambitious, compared to how slow politics often move. But speed isn’t everything. How will the delegates make sure to actually get a treaty that tackles plastic pollution effectively, and in a fair way? Who gets a seat at the negotiating table, and who doesn’t? And what does the treaty need to contain and cover? In the past months, Anja asked scientists and experts to send her their thoughts and demands. In this episode, you’ll get to hear messages from Richard Thompson, Bethany Carney Almroth, Sonia Dias, Tridibesh Dey, Martin Wagner, Trisia Farrelly, Rebecca Altman and Lesley Henderson. Continue reading “Ep. 13 – Demands for the Plastic Treaty: Science over Profit”

Listening Session

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, Baldeep and Anja listened to and discussed short excerpts from the podcast’s episodes, each highlighting a different dimension of human relationships with plastics at various stages of their life-cycles. Hear more about the production process and behind-the-scenes research stories from both sides, that of the podcast producer and that of the listener.

Continue reading “Listening Session”

The Indisposable Podcast – Reuse and Justice

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 communities more than others, especially those already at a disadvantage and with little political power. One of the people fighting this environmental injustice is Tiza Mafira. She’s a lawyer and environmental activist from Jakarta, Indonesia, and one of the heroes of the documentary “The Story of Plastic”. She recently met up with Matt Prindiville on The Indisposable Podcast, a show produced by Upstream, a US-based non-profit. Hope you enjoy their conversation as much as I did!
Continue reading “The Indisposable Podcast – Reuse and Justice”

What on Earth: Plastics Treaty Negotiations Start in Uruguay

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 process is moving forward at an international meeting in Uruguay. From November 28 to December 2nd 2022, the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee – INC1 for short – will take place in the city of Punta del Elste. Anja will be sharing updates on Mastodon, where you find her as

Here on the audio feed, we present an introduction of what’s to expect in Uruguay – a guest episode by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a Nongovernmental Organization involved in the plastic treaty negotiations. Their podcast ahead of INC1 in Uruguay is really insightful, and they kindly shared it with us.

Link to the podcast website: EIA What on Earth

Thanks to EIA Ocean Campaign Leader Christina Dixon, EIA Ocean Campaigner Jacob Kean-Hammerson and EIA Senior Press and Communication Officer and podcast host Paul Newman for sharing this episode.

Sustainable Asia: Producer Responsibility and Packaging Design

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 Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, hosted and produced by Marcy Trent Long and Bonnie Au.


Guests: Helen Panangung, Von Hernandez, Miko Alino, Ashwin Subramaniam
Music: Sustainable Asia theme: Alexander Mauboussin, Blue Dot Sessions, Plastisphere Theme: Dorian Roy
Thanks to: Lili Fuhr, Clemens Kunze, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin/Hong Kong
Video credit: Break Free From Plastic Philippines Project
Updates on Twitter: @SustainableAsia

Listen to more podcasts from Sustainable Asia here:
– in English:
– in Chinese:

Transcript: Sustainable Asia

Theme – Plink by Dorian Roy

Welcome to Plastisphere, the podcast on plastics, people, and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger, and this time, I’m going to share with you an episode from one of my favorite podcasts, Sustainable Asia. It’s run by Marcy Trent Long together with a team of excellent producers based in Hong Kong and mainland China. They’ve looked into many of the most challenging environmental issues: Deep-sea mining, the fishing industry, ocean noise, wildlife trafficking – and they’ve just launched their fifth mini-series on the topic of plastics, this time looking at the global plastics treaty and how it could turn the tide of pollution in Asia. But first, I want to play for you my favorite episode so far, from a series they did in 2021 called Mapping Asia’s Plastic Crisis. It was produced together with the German Heinrich Böll Foundation and the activists at Break Free from Plastic, and features voices and insights from Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. Get ready to learn more about extended producer responsibility, and why rethinking the problem doesn’t always mean replacing the product. Continue reading “Transcript: Sustainable Asia”

Ep. 12: Paving the Way for a Global Plastics Treaty

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 strong resolution prevailed with just a few cuts. The treaty can now cover plastic pollution across the full lifecycle of the material, from production to consumption and disposal. Learn more about the path that led up to this landmark decision from Brooke Bauman, who hosts this episode of Plastisphere. She explores the concept of waste colonialism and compares the impacts of recycling and incineration in conversation with Alexis McGivern and Claire Arkin of GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives).

Transcript with links and photos from Kenya by James Wakibia >>

Guest voices: Alexis McGivern, Claire Arkin
Thanks to: Kevin Fisher, Nils Simon, Karen Raubenheimer, Baldeep Kaur Grewal, Eva Vander Giessen, Tridibesh Dey, Luisa Beck, Inés Blaesius and all the Plastic Tweeps
Music: Dorian Roy and Blue Dot Sessions
Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen

Transcript Ep. 12

Hi friends of the Plastisphere, this is Anja Krieger, the creator and host of this podcast. I’ve got some personal news to share with you before we begin this episode. Last summer, I left freelance journalism to take on a new role as a science editor in climate communications. It’s a wonderful and rewarding position, but it’s also full-time, which means there’s not that much time for this podcast anymore. But since this show has always been a passion project, I will try to keep it running, and bring you more stories on plastics, people and the planet whenever I can.

Today, I’ve got an especially hopeful one to share. Just a few days ago, the United Nations Environmental Assembly decided to start negotiations on a global treaty to tackle plastic pollution. It’s a story my co-producer Brooke Bauman and I have been following for a while. In this episode, we are drawing from Brooke’s own podcast series and tying in updates on this historic decision and its context in the ways we currently handle waste. So without further ado, I hand over to Brooke, who’ll tell you the story. Continue reading “Transcript Ep. 12”

Ep. 11: From Zero Waste to Collective Action

Plastisphere is back with Brooke and Anja! 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 lifestyle changes? Anja’s packaging bin is a bit lighter now, but still full of plastic – far away from the ideals of Zero Waste. How much influence do individual consumers really have on a systemic issue like plastic pollution? And what are possible scenarios for tackling plastic pollution in the coming years on a global scale? Learn more from Stephanie Borrelle.

>Transcript with links, videos and bonus track

With: Steph Borrelle, Plastic Free Mermaid, Dorian and Luisa
Music: Dorian Roy and Blue Dot Sessions
Thanks to: Wastelandrebel Shia Su, Lisa Bryan for the oat milk recipe
Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen

Ep. 11 Transcript

Music – Heliotrope by Blue Dot Sessions

Yeah, so wanna know how to make oat milk, right?

Yeah, cause I drink a lot of it! And I’m using so many tetrapacks, and I also don’t wanna go shopping so much because of Covid.

Kate Nelson
I make all my own products, I make all my own crackers, bread, you know, milk, facial, beauty products, bath products, I make all of that!

If you as an individual really accept the shame and blame, haven’t you bought into the plastic industry’s favorite narrative?

Stephanie Borrelle
I think it’s really critical to emphasize that we have to stop making disposable plastic products.

Welcome to Plastisphere, the podcast on plastics, people, and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger… Continue reading “Ep. 11 Transcript”

Ep. 9: The Discovery of Plastic Pollution

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? And why didn’t we hear about it earlier? Continue reading “Ep. 9: The Discovery of Plastic Pollution”