Best of 2018

In 2018, media attention on plastic pollution skyrocketed. The United Nations dedicated their Environment Day to #BeatPlasticPollution, and National Geographic magazine put the issue on the cover and launched the #PlanetOrPlastic campaign. Here are my picks from the huge amount of reporting this year – fresh and insightful articles, podcasts and fact-checks that truly stood out.


“How Plastic Is a Function of Colonialism”
By Max Liboiron in Teen Vogue
December 21, 2018

The plastic backlash: what’s behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference?
By Stephen Buranyi in the Guardian
November 13, 2018

Why the world’s recycling system stopped working
By Leslie Hook, John Reed, David Blood (data), Ryn Jirenuwat in Financial Times
October 25, 2018
Recommended by Johanna Romberg

Plasticphobia: Could the war on plastic have unintended consequences for the environment?
By Sarah Swadling (Producer) and Tom Heap (Host) on BBC4
October 24, 2018

American Beauties – How plastic bags came to rule our lives, and why we can’t quit them
By Rebecca Altman in Topic
August 2018

Disposable America and The First Straw
By Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic and 99% invisible with Roman Mars
June 21, 2018 / September 4, 2018
Recommended by Rebecca Altman

“Stop Talking Trash about Marine Litter – Debunking the Myths about Plastic Debris in our Ocean”
By the team at Grid Arendal
June 2018

Eight Million – A podcast series on China’s role in tackling the ocean plastics challenge
By Marcy Trent Long and team at Sustainable Asia
March-May, 2018


Plastikmüll: Für immer Dein [Plastic waste: Forever yours]
By Dirk Asendorpf, Fritz Habekuß, Paul Middelhoff, Robert Pausch, Mathias Peer und Petra Pinzler
April 18, 2018