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? Continue reading “Ep.6: Traces in the soil”

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. Continue reading “Ep.5: Message from Midway”

Ep.4: Plastic vs. the Climate?


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. One of the most dangerous is the huge amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere. In this episode, Anja explores the connections between plastic pollution and climate change. Continue reading “Ep.4: Plastic vs. the Climate?”

Ep.3: Waste picker economies


Anja calls up Dr. Jenna Jambeck and Amy Brooks from the University of Georgia on a research trip in Vietnam. In many Asian countries, a booming economy is coupled with more people using throw-away items. Informal recyclers and waste pickers who have traditionally sorted the waste cannot keep up. But, like millions of people around the world, they depend on waste as a resource for their livelihoods. How can the systems be reformed without leaving the people behind? To find out, Anja calls Dr. Sonia Maria Dias, a garbologist from Brazil. Continue reading “Ep.3: Waste picker economies”

Ep.2: Plastic, the size of a virus



In this episode of the Plastisphere, Anja goes on a lab tour with Alexandra ter Halle from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse. The chemist and her team were the first to detect nanoplastic in the open ocean – plastic so small that it is comparable in size to a virus. What do we know about these very tiny pieces, and how do researchers try to detect and understand them? Continue reading “Ep.2: Plastic, the size of a virus”