Waste

Reducing Plastic Pollution with Bioplastics, with Raegan Kelly

Petroleum-based plastics have a profound impact on human health and the environment. The production of greenhouse gasses from the creation of plastics and the sheer quantity of plastic waste yielded from human activities significantly contribute to climate change, disrupting marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Bioplastics are a promising solution, upholding the strength of petroleum-based plastics but compostable and biodegradable. We spoke with Raegan Kelly of Better for All about shifting the paradigm of human consumption of plastic by using biodegradable cups.

Bringing Local Textile Recycling to the US with Material Return’s Bobby Carswell


The textile industry produces up to 10% of global emissions and 20% of global wastewater, according to EU estimates. Mechanical recycling can reduce that impact by keeping textiles out of landfills — and in the circular economy — for longer. In this episode, Climate Break spoke to Bobby Carswell about Material Return about how locally based mechanical recycling can help make the US textile industry more circular and less polluting.

Using Solar Energy to Power Large Scale Compost with Chris Seney

In an attempt to reduce methane emissions, California’s SB 1383 has mandated municipalities dramatically increase the amount of organic waste they compost. But responsibly composting at such a large scale takes energy. We spoke to Chris Seney of Republic Services about how their first of its kind solar powered compost facility in Chula Vista, California, could provide a carbon emissions free way to power composting’s expansion.

Recycling with Deborah Raphael

Many “recyclable” materials are not recycled or even recyclable. While papers and metals are recycled at relatively high rates, recycling rates for plastic are below 10 percent. Most plastics display numerical codes, purporting to denote a standardized and elaborate recycling system. But the system is convoluted, sometimes confusing even recycling facilities and identifying recycling processes that are not used.