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PlastiskulSo ScienceConserve IndiaPrecious PlasticFablabsPlastic pollution is killing wildlife, strangling our waterways and ruining our beaches and is now seeping up through the food chain and, voila, being served with our food. This is the Pristine Ocean Podcast. My name is Peter Hall. Each episode, we hear from change makers fighting the scourge of plastic pollution.Let's talk about the circular economy. I think most people understand that if we are going to continue to benefit from the usefulness of plastic, that burning, burying or dumping is simply not sustainable. We need to feed plastic waste back into the plastic production chain, ideally to the point where we need little or no new plastic material to be created.An interesting player in the circular economy space is Plastiskul. Plastiskul provides the tools and knowhow for entrepreneurs to create business models around upcycling plastic waste into useful products like furniture and tiles. The fascinating thing about Plastiskul, is that it is run by young professionals with experience in the waste industry and who live in the countries heavily impacted by plastic pollution.We spoke to Kanika Ahuja about Plastiskul.Transcript of interview with Kanika Ahuja, Co-founder of Plastiskul
Environmental Investigation AgencyUnited Nations Treaty to End Plastic PollutionGet in contactpeter.hall@pristineocean.globalYou are probably aware of some of the challenges in finding a solution to the plastic crisis the world is facing. 3 challenges in no particular order come to mind:Challenge 1: Data. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” which certainly applies to  plastic waste management. But we can’t measure it because we don’t have the data about how much plastic is being produced, how much waste is exported, how much imported and after that it becomes a guessing game about how much actually lands in the ocean. Challenge 2: Laws. Packaging companies need a level playing field so that if they improve the environmental friendliness of their products, that this does not put them at a commercial disadvantage. Challenge 3: Finance. Waste management infrastructure will have to be expanded in the countries that can least afford it.All these challenges would be complicated enough for one country. But to be effective, all countries need to be aboard. These challenges have to be addressed globally.Did you know, that the United Nations is working on a treaty to solve these issues? In March 2022, the UN Member States endorsed the UN Environment Programme 5 which is a resolution to End Plastic Pollution with the intention to have a full resolution in 2024.Today we are talking to someone who is deeply involved in the negotiations to formulate that resolution. She is Christina Dixon from the Environmental Investigation Agency or EIA. She is fighting for the planet.We talked about the urgency of the treaty and the similarities to efforts to manage the climate crisis and whether the treaty can be thought of a type of Paris for Plastics.Full Interview
Plastics For ChangeHasiru DalaOne day, a waste worker  collecting plastic in his neighborhood in Bangalore in Southern India, was bitten by a dog. He fell ill and was not able to work for the following two weeks. His only income was what the local scrap shop paid for what he collected. Without any savings, he was unable to put food on the table placing his family in a precarious position. On the other side of the world, brands such as The Body Shop, are willing to pay for recovered plastic to include in their products. But they want plastic to be collected under fair conditions. Today we were talking to. Almac from the organization, Plastics for Change.He is making a change by applying fair trade principles to the collection of plastic waste in Bangalore.Full transcript
Net Your ProblemNicole BakerDutch Harbor is located in the Aleutian islands, which reach out in an arc into the Bering sea in the north Pacific west of Alaska. It is the home of a fishing industry, which harvests over a billion dollars worth of fish each year. Nicole Baker was walking the docks in Dutch Harbor, when she got into a conversation with a fishermenHer job as government fish scientist was to monitor fish stocks to ensure that the industry could have a sustainable future.The conversation she had with the fishermen was about the problem he was having disposing of the fishing nets that had reached the end of their useful life. Now, if we're going to live with plastic, we need to get better at collecting it and getting it to the recycler. The recycling rate worldwide is about 8% This is something that we're not very good at. but it's not entirely our fault. Recycling is either not available or getting it to the recycler is complicated. Think, for example, that time when you tried to get that Tetra Pak back to the recycling. When it comes to fishing gear made of synthetic materials, well, the options are very limited After the conversation with the fisherman, Nicole decided to be in the business of collecting fishing nets and bringing them to the recycler. I sat down with Nicole and talked with her about her business "Net Your Problem".Full transcript.
Nurdle Free Lanka CampaignX-Press PearlOn the 20th of May 2021, a ship called the MV X-Press Pearl, carrying a range of toxic goods, including nitric acid and over 1000 tonnes of plastic pellets, caught fire off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The world watched in horror. As the crisis unfolded, I remember the feeling of powerlessness as the reportscame in of a bad situation getting worse and worse. Ultimately, the ship sank while spewing thousands of tonnes of plastic pellets that willlurk in the environment for years. With each monsoon,  pellets will pollute the beaches like a bad dream, recurring overand over again. To better understand the disaster I had the fortune of meeting Muditha from the Sri Lankan Pearl Protectors. The Pearl Protectors is an advocacy for the ocean. I spoke to Muditha to guide me through the details of what happened and what thesituation is on the coast today. Full transcription
RiverRecycleWhat happens when an entrepreneur with a backgroundin shipbuilding watches, a documentary about rivers transporting trash into theocean and then goes to bed?  Well, nothing, actually. Certainly notsleep. Opportunities, problems, solutions swirl around in the entrepreneur'sbrain until finally sleep comes. In the morning, the world is different. In thecase of NC Mikkeller from the company, he rivers recycled that entrepreneur,woke up with a mission to rid the world of plastic pollution.   The price tag, a mere $2.5 billion.That seems a lot, but compared to the planned investment in new plasticinfrastructure, a drop in the bucket. I talked to Ansii about when he started, where they are now and what plans he has for the future.   Full transcript
Take 3 ForTheSeaThis is the Pristine Ocean Podcast. I am your host, Peter Hall.  In the podcast, I talk to people about the fight against marine plastic litter.How do you talk about the environment without feeling totally powerless in the face of the enormous pressures on the ocean, on the climate on the environment generally?Today we are talking to Sarah Beard. She is the chief storyteller at the  environmental  organization - take3 for the sea.She is an environmental advocate, an educationalist and a filmmaker. She believes, actions, even small actions remind people that they possess the power to make real change.She talks about the importance of hope and emotion in any story about the environment. Here is the conversation I had with Sarah. 
 Beach TokenThe relationship between the economy and the environment is not an easy one. Most modern economies are based around the profit principle. But this doesn't work well for environmental projects.You can put a price on environmental degradation. But without the intensive international deal-making and haggling over environmental pricing, it is difficult to place a dollar value on a clean beach or an intact coral reef.  What is the value of a kilo of rubbish removed from a beach compared to a kilo removed from the river that empties near that beach?  What is the value of that kilo of waste plastic that put in a land fill compared to the kilo burnt in a cement kiln? What is the difference whether that kilo is in India or is in Africa? These values are difficult to agree on just for a particular location. And they can be completely different from one location to the next. Maybe the problem is not the economic value but the currency itself.   Maybe we need a currency more suited to the demands of environmental projects which are typically international and highly local. Sounds like a crypto-currency right? This week we're talking to Rob from the crypto token Beach which is designed to fill the needs of groups of people such as digital nomads moving through different locations exchanging services. These services may be delivered over the internet or locally.  Currently the organization behind the Beach token has funding available for ocean preservation projects and I applaud that.Script of conversation with Rob Cobbold. 
River CleanupLast week I was talking to Arno Doggen from a Belgian company called River Cleanup.  He introduced me to a really interesting term : Trash BlindnessThis is the condition of being desensitized to the waste we are standing in. One quick method of opening your eyes to trash is to take the 10 minute trash challenge: This means collect trash around your home for just 10mins. You can guess what happens. What you have seen, you cannot be unsee.River Cleanup is founded on the idea that people want to cleanup their environment and provides the organization and the tools so that groups can get together, have some fun while cleaning up and celebrating together afterwards. They are active 57 countries and are well on the way to be collecting a million tons annually by 2030. Here is the interview with Arno.
Plastic FischerThis is the Pristine Ocean podcast. I'm your host, Peter Hall. We talk to people about projects around the world, tackling the scourge of marine plastic litter.Imagine you're looking over a river covered with plastic refuse.Plastic bottles, sachets, flip flops.You might think that is unsightly. You might also think about the loss of quality of life for the people living near the river.You might ask yourself, where is all this going and why doesn't somebody do something about it?This is where the story of plastic Fisher begins from a hotel looking out over the Mekong River. Karsten Hirsch decided to throw in his career as a lawyer and do something. River clean-ups have become a central tool in the fight against ocean plastic. It is now thought that about 1000 rivers are responsible for 80% of the plastic flowing into the ocean. This is both a challenge but also an opportunity.To catch the pollution before it did disperses into the wider environment.Carsten told me that his personal connection to rivers comes from his passion for a range of water sports, including sailing and rowing. He and his partner founded Plastic Fischer to clean Up rivers.Along the way, they developed a trash barrier that floats on the surface to concentrate the plastic waste.Working directly on site, they developed the three L principle of local, low cost and low tech.Karsten told me the story about how Plastic Fischer began.
Nomad PlasticEcotoursimYou have probably heard the term.You might be attracted to the idea that your personal travels could not just expand your own personal universe but could also have a positive impact on the environment of the place you are visiting.You might wish that the people who live there would benefit by maybe expanding their view of the environment. This could happen by an exchange of information and ideas to address environmental challenges.Imagine travelling with a group of 10 people onboard a  traditionally built wooden boat, through far-flung islands in Indonesia. The boat is run on zero waste principles and at each stop, you explore the environment through the eyes of the local people.I think that would be attractive to a lot of people. I personally would love a journey like that. Today we are talking to a JB from the company Nomad PlasticFrom spring 2022 Nomad Plastic will be running tours, like these.JB graduate engineer who has just completed a masters degree into waste management at the Hong Kong university of science and technology.I sat down with JeanBaptistte and talked about his studies and where he is going with the ecotourism project.His vision is to become an entrepreneur in the waste management space. During his studies, he analysed over 70 existing waste management projects and established the three factors that determine whether a project succeeds or fails.JB did a post-doctorate degree and studied over 70 different waste mitigation projects.The main takeaways were - lack of technological know-how- lack of a business model- lack of assessment of social impact
CleanhubToday we are talking to a german waste processing professional. He is also    a surfer and ocean evangilistHe is an entrepreneur who believes in the power of technology to create solutions to envionmental challenges Joel Tasche from CleanHub wants to disrupt an industry where the margins are already razor thin.In locations of high plastic pollution, his company finances local contractors to collect the non-recyclable materials that would otherwise land in the environmentTo pay for these operations, he works with consumer brands who want to offset their plastic footprint.The story starts in Lake Constance in the south west of Germany where Joel grew up. The fishermen there complain of too few fish. The water is so clean, the fish have little to feed on. You get the picture. Very, very clean. Growing up in an environment like this, leaves a mark on person. When Joel moved away to study, he ended up spending a lot of time in the water surfing.He worked for a while at a startup but then he hit a crisis of meaning for this life.Read the transcript here
EmpowerWelcome to the Pristine Ocean podcast. I'm your host Peter Hall. In the podcast, we talked to people and projects around the world, tackling the scourge of marine plastic litter.  You may have heard the term circular economy. It means feeding waste materials back into valuable products.  But the demands of circularity create problems for the waste collectors. The waste collectors will need to document and track their work.  They will want to make the claim “I collected this material at this place and at this time”. But as in any business transaction, it comes down to trust and the only way to gain trust is transparency. You need some kind of book or ledger where you can enter your claim.  Other stakeholders should be able to look into this ledger and importantly, nobody should be able to make changes like adding or removing a few zeros.  In this episode we are talking to the founder of Empower. Empower is a Norwegian company which has created the digital infrastructure to account for collected plastics and currency transactions anywhere in the world.  It's all based on blockchain technology. You've probably heard about the blockchain, but if you still don't get it, you are not alone.  Think of it as an Excel spreadsheet somewhere in the Internet. You can add a row to this spreadsheet, but you can't change the data in the existing rows. This makes it great for recording transactions.  With different materials and currencies with different players.  All around the world.  Empower has projects in over 30 countries of the world and has gained unique insights into how to solve the plastic crisis.  Here's the interview with Wilhelm, the founder of Empower. 
Sustain CreditsWe are talking today with the founder of sustained credits Mahasen Gunawardena or simply Lanks. He wants to create a currency to heal the world. The healing will be done by Earth Doctors who will not only be collecting plastic from the environment but also planting tree or doing some action to reduce the pressure we're putting on the planet. The funding comes from the marketing or environmental budgets of large and small corporations. There's a lot to do, but Lanks has a background in business and has the know-how and determination to overcome the challenges. Have it listen to the interview. See what you think. 
PangeaRivers. They are nature's conveyor belts powered by the pull of the moon. They run tirelessly day and night pumping not only water but also trash into the ocean. They are thought to be the source of 80% of marine plastic pollution. Even up to 2018, it was thought that just ten rivers in the world were responsible for that. These were large rivers connecting cities to the oceans. More recently, it has been found that this model seriously underestimates the influence of smaller rivers. Nowadays the science is reporting about 1000 rivers, bringing 80% of plastic to the ocean. This leakage needs to be plugged to stop ocean plastic litter, but how? One tool that is showing promise is something called river barriers. The one’s that I've seen are made by hanging a grid on a series of floaters and stringing them across a flowing waterway. They are passive devices that use the power of the water to concentrate the waste 24/7. Volunteers or contractors come and clean them out regularly. But how will these structures be financed? What financial models will pay for scaling up and catching all this trash? Pangea is a startup which not only plans to scale up river barriers, but they also have the know how to generate the necessary funding. I had the pleasure of talking to the founder of Pangia, Marcos Bulacio. His story is both inspiring and heartwarming. I hope you enjoy it. I certainly did. Full transcript of interview
OpenLitterMapPristine OceanFull transcriptI was always fascinated by maps. As a child, I loved opening an Atlas, finding a remote town or city, and imagining what life was like in that place. What did these streets and buildings look like? Exploring the world with my fingers was always a thrill. When Google Maps arrived on the scene in 2005, I was hooked. Google Maps is OK, I guess if you have an Internet connexion, you know what Google Maps is.Having all those free maps in an easy to use interface. Technologically, it was a world wonder, a moon shot. It was like having your own personal pyramid in your pocket. But Google did not create maps for the fame, they were in it for the fortune. Data is the new oil. Google uses maps to collect data which they then own to earn money for their advertising business. We, the users provide the data, but Google owns it. A lot of people were imagining a universe where the data remained in the public domain. The open data movement crossed the technology of Google Maps with the principles of Wikipedia. The result, something called OpenStreetMaps. Today we’re talking to a geographer who’s taken the idea of OpenStreetMaps a step further he has created a tool called OpenLitterMaps. He wants people like you and me going around into the world and collecting images of litter using an app on a smartphone. When you do this, you are engaging in citizen science, also known as crowdsourcing. OpenLitterMaps is still a work in progress. There are still some essential aspects to be done, mainly making the data entry more fun and more rewarding. But for municipalities, for scientists, for anybody working for a clean environment, the opportunities are enormous. I was really looking forward to the interview with Sean and he displayed a level of passion and knowledge that really just knocked me over. 
Effekt FootwearFashion might be a statement about who you are, but mostly it's about feeling good with yourself, feeling good, not just in your skin, but in the clothes you're wearing.  For a lot of people, feeling good means that the materials also have to be sustainable. Will consumers buy clothes and shoes that make the statement:“I care about the environment”. The simple answer is: we don't know.  But a startup in Austria wants to find out.They are creating a sneaker which they claimed to be the *trashiest* sneaker on the planet. It's made almost entirely from materials recovered from the waste stream, including ocean plastics. It's great idea, but will customers go for it? If they had an enormous budget, they could have designed and produced the shoes and checked outthe market reaction, but a big budget was just something they didn't have.  Instead, they created a crowdfunding campaign on a site called Kickstarter. If the project got funded, they figured then there might be enough interest there to build a business around creating this sustainable shoe.  Setting up the Kickstarter project was the easy bit, then began the nail biting. Would the project reach its funding target or would it just fizzle out and be forgotten?  Ben grew up in Australia, but he is now settled in Austria with his Austrian partner and their new baby. During the day he studies packaging technology. After hours, he follows his dream of creating footwear that won't trash the planet.  July, the fifth was a big day for Ben. It was his birthday and he just turned 34 but maybe more even more importantly, his Kickstarter project had reached its funding goal. He and his team at Effekt Footwear want to change the way that people think about what is fashionable. He thinks that wearing footwear made from virgin fossil fuels is not cool. Ben's dream is to create a sneaker that people would love to wear because it's made of recycled materials. But marketing a good idea successfully requires a lot of drive and determination. Is Ben made out of there right stuff to get this over the finishing line?  
Clean OceanPristine OceanYou might have heard about some amazing stories about crypto currencies in the last few months. Stories about a currency shooting up to the moon and then falling back to Earth.Criminals using cryptocurrencies for their payments and maybe most disturbing of all, the environmental footprint associated with cryptocurrency mining, and then came their tweet from Elon Musk causing the market to drop dramatically.I can imagine that you're thinking that the whole market is bad, but there are some good people looking for applications that will have a positive impact.That's why when I heard about a cryptocurrency that are being created to fund ocean preservation projects, I wanted to know more.The term they use is charity token. It's a cryptocurrency, but it's got charity baked into it. The idea with charity tokens is that part of the transaction fees associated with trading are donated to ocean preservation projects like Sea Shepherd or Ocean cleanup. These are famous ocean preservation projects that constantly need donations to keep their operations running.I decided to contact the founder of the company that had launched this charity token.But transparency is not something associated with the crypto world. I was wondering which part of the darknet I would have to access to get in contact with this crypto king.As it turns out, it was pretty easy. There's a picture of him and his contact details on the website cleanocean.ioJan, the founder of Clean Ocean was interested in talking, but he was busy.He and his team were out in the field cleaning up after the recent German floods.I thought this is not your typical cryptocurrency operation.When he got back to the office, I sat down with him and asked him about whether or not clean ocean is an environmental organisation with a crypto side, or it's a crypto operation with an environmental side. Have a listen to the interview and decide for yourself.... continue here
Offset your plastic usageBreaking the Plastic WavePristine OceanThis is the Pristine Ocean Podcast. The podcast that showcases people, projects and ideas that address the problem of marine plastic litter. Plastic has a Jekill and Hyde character. Before the moment of consumption is a model citizen providing hygiene, longer food life and lower transport costs. A moment after consumption, it becomes a worthless. Owned and loved by no one. It might land in the environment where it stays as pollution, poisoning waters, affecting tourism and stealing people’s quality of life. In just one generation we have created this monster. Can we, in our own generation, kill the beast?continued here ...
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