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”

Plastisphere im Deutschlandfunk

Mit dem Deutschlandfunk Kultur produziere ich einige Folgen auf Deutsch nach. Hier kann man die Sendungen für kurze Zeit nachhören oder im Archiv lesen:

Was macht Kunststoffmüll mit den Böden?

Plastik gelangt nicht nur ins Wasser, sondern auch in Böden. Was das bedeutet, wird erst seit kurzem erforscht. Im Labor scheinen kleinste Kunststoffpartikel einigen Pflanzen nicht zu bekommen, während sie anderen Pflanzen nichts ausmachen. Und Geologen betrachten Plastik schon als das Fossil der Zukunft. Nachlesen

Deutschlandfunk Kultur | Zeitfragen | 29.08.2019 | 19:30 | 29 Minuten

Was hat Plastik mit Klimawandel zu tun?

Überall wird auf die Gefahren durch Plastik-Müll in den Ozeanen hingewiesen. Gerät der Klimawandel darüber aus dem Blick, auch weil dieser nicht so greif- und sichtbar ist? Oder hängen beide Umweltkrisen enger miteinander zusammen, als wir denken? Nachlesen

Deutschlandfunk Kultur | Zeitfragen | 07.02.2019 | 19:30 | 30 Minuten

Swaantje’s generation

‘I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and it was the time when pretty much everybody was convinced that when it comes to the protection of the environment, we were all messing it up. What people would tell us as children was, us adults, we have messed it up, so now it’s on you’, I’m told by Swaantje Güntzel, an artist who engages with plastic and waste in her performances and in the images she creates. As a child, she was barely able to deal with the burden of this topic. She experienced depression and tried to be an activist, but always felt small, alone and powerless.

She wasn’t the only one. Continue reading “Swaantje’s generation”