Episode 12: Unwrapping Food’s Plastic Problem

Single-use food packaging is one of our thorniest problems. We need a safe and convenient way to get food home from the store, and we need easy ways to eat and drink on the go. How can we do that in a way that does not create so much waste? How can we do it in a way that does not put our bodies at risk from the harmful chemicals and additives used in so much of that packaging?

In this episode we look at food packaging, with a focus on plastic, since there’s so much of it, and it’s the one with the most problems. We dig deep into plastic production and its connection to climate change. We talk to experts about how food packaging is problematic not just for the environment, but also for our health. Is there a solution? Is there a future that could exist that was not dominated — and polluted — by plastic?

Available wherever you listen to podcasts.


“We have to recognize that packaging is a part of the food system. And if it's a part of the food system, we really should hold it to similar safety and sustainability goals or thresholds.”

Marty Mulvihill

Co-Founder, Safer Made

Episode Guests:

Jim Walsh

Jim is the Policy Director for Food & Water Watch, working to develop and implement campaigns to mobilize the public and educate decision makers on strategies that support the development of a better food system, a safe and livable climate and support safe and clean public water for all.

Marty Mulvihill

Marty is the co-founder and a partner in Safer Made, a mission-driven venture capital fund investing in companies and technologies that reduce human exposure to harmful chemicals. He is also a researcher and advisor at the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry.

Michael O’Heaney

Michael is the Executive Director of The Story of Stuff Project, which inspires and encourages civic engagement around where our stuff goes when we throw it away.

Alex Gordon

Alex is a student organizer for NJPIRG, mostly working on youth voter turnout and on policies phasing out nonessential single-use plastic at the local and federal levels.

Matt Prindiville

Matt is the CEO and Chief Solutioneer at UPSTREAM, a national non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution and our current throw-away culture.

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