Zoetica: Solutions to the Global Recycling & Trash Crisis (Ep.82)

Trash is a growing global crisis, and currently, the majority of “recycled” products are still ending up in landfills or being burned. So we discuss the crisis, the myths, and the solutions to these problems with Karen Hoskin and Elizabeth Smith, the founders of Zoetica, who are working to help us rethink these issues and take concrete actions to address them.

Zoetica Founders Karen Hoskin & Elizabeth Smith
Zoetica Founders Elizabeth Smith & Karen Hoskin. (photo by Nathan Bilow)


  • The global crisis of “convenience trash” (2:44)
  • The myths of recycling and biodegradable plastics (12:50)
  • Resources for learning more (26:24)
  • Why we can’t wait for tech advances to save us (33:05)
  • Zoetica’s mission and approach (42:03)
  • Why the concept of “zero-waste” is problematic (50:53)
  • Reconciling our environmental impacts (1:03:04)

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1 comment on “Zoetica: Solutions to the Global Recycling & Trash Crisis (Ep.82)”

  1. Interesting about stainless steel. I was not aware of that, and great info about whether it be coated or raw.

    My daughter is in elementary school. They seem to be doing a lot of talking about plastics, pollution and climate change. I think I’d like her actions to reflect what she is supposed to be learning about these, but her garbage can in her room tells me differently.

    Plus, living with me she is constantly being made aware of human folly by her old man (me, in case that was not clear). She should know that you cannot get a hot chocolate at Sarsbucks without your reusable cup. Range Rovers are f#$%ing ghey and here’s why. Never buy any single use plastic or dispose of any plastic into landfill unless any other alternative is exhausted.

    But then I pick her up from any birthday party and look at what’s in her goody bag and clearly we’re fukt. Sure it’s the parents (99% who are, let’s be honest, hopeless), but the kids at this age should be saying to their parents, “yeah that stupid plastic bunny and the gum in the little plastic keyring garbage can, that’s all landfill, can we just put something cool like a really good cookie in the goody bag?”.

    Nice work ladies. It all must start somewhere although I think we are well past a recovery point based on the fact that almost 8 billion strong of us filthy creatures are producing more waste today than yesterday and that is not going to reverse any time soon. I’m not throwing in the towel; not at all. I do not get a coffee if I don’t have my mug. I ride everywhere and only drive when mandatory. My car is 17 years old and rotten everywhere but mechanically great and since cars are such a waste I cannot bring myself to ever replace it. I try to set an example for peers and my children through my actions, but it does surprise me how in it just being easier to not do as I do is enough incentive to, well, do what’s easier.

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