The Zero Waste Countdown Podcast
75. Green Philly

75. Green Philly

December 11, 2019


Do you ever visit a city you've never been to before, and wonder how sustainable they are? One of the first things I do when I go to a new city is Google the city name plus "zero waste" to see if there are any zero waste shops! 

Philadelphia didn't have one November 2019 when I was there, but I met Julie Hancher who cofounded Green Philly and hosts City Rising Podcast and got to hear all about Philadelphia's efforts to be a sustainable city with many different initiatives. 

74. Sustainable Remark Glass Studio

74. Sustainable Remark Glass Studio

December 2, 2019


Glass has been used to transport and store goods for thousands of years, and Egyptian glass is still around today that was used during the time of the pharaohs. Unfortunately we live in a time where companies prefer to produce and pay for new glass bottles instead of collecting, washing, and using the bottles they already bought. 


Rebecca Davies is one of the founders of Remark Glass operating out of the Bok Building in Philadelphia, and she sat down with Laura at the Sustainable Brands Metrics conference and took her on a tour of the Bok building. Rebecca and the team at Remark Glass are leading the way to sustainable glass by repurposing bottles otherwise bound for landfill, and they are a certified zero waste studio. 

Beer bottles in Canada are reused an average of 15 times in Ontario. 

73. Ray C. Anderson Foundation

73. Ray C. Anderson Foundation

November 25, 2019

Laura sat down with John Lanier, the Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, at the Sustainable Brands Metrics event in Philadelphia. 

john lanier.jpg

The foundation supports and funds projects that ensure future generations inherit a world where healthy and functioning natural systems support all life. John is the grandson of Ray C. Anderson, so he talks about his grandfather's business, the book they wrote, and some of the projects the foundation is currently involved in. 


72. Fats, Oils, & Grease Waste

72. Fats, Oils, & Grease Waste

November 18, 2019

Fats, oil, and grease (FOG) are a major problem for municipal systems around the world when they clog pipes and sewer systems and cost tax payers millions of dollars to clean up. 

Brian Levine joins the ZWC to talk about how his company Greasezilla is filtering out this waste before it enters problem areas and converting that waste to useful biofuel. 

We even talk about the future potential for tankers and cruise ships to use their own FOG waste for power! This would ultimately save FOG from being dumped in landfills and the ocean, while saving on dirty bunker fuel needed to operate massive ships, even if just while in port. 

71. Secondhand with Adam Minter

71. Secondhand with Adam Minter

November 12, 2019


Bloomberg writer Adam Minter takes readers through a series of stories from around the world, of people whose lives revolve around the thriving secondhand industry, in his new book Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade


Adam lives with his wife and son  in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Find on Amazon

70. The Strumbellas

70. The Strumbellas

November 4, 2019
The Strumbellas credit by Pooneh Ghana (1).jpg


Darryl James, the bassist for the award-winning Canadian band The Strumbellasjoins the ZWC to talk about the challenges of staying sustainable while on tour, playing shows all over the world, and having a busy schedule in the music industry.  
The Strumbellas won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2017, and the Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year in 2014. 

69. Managing Waste Services With Elytus

69. Managing Waste Services With Elytus

October 28, 2019

MatthewHollisHeadshot Elytus

When companies have a product or service to sell, they focus on that product or service and may not have the time or knowledge to manage their waste streams too, and that's where Elytus comes in. 

Matthew Hollis is the co-founder and president of Elytus, a sustainable waste technology company that has partnered with big brands to save them over $11 million dollars, and conserve over 20 million trees.

Elytus uses proprietary software to audit and improve all facets of a brand's waste streams (solid food, oil/grease, recyclables, and others), and is an innovative waste management company that helps clients save time & money on waste removal while becoming more sustainable in the process. Additionally, Matt has renovated his company headquarters to be a totally zero-waste facility.

68. Enzymes Breaking Down Plastic

68. Enzymes Breaking Down Plastic

October 21, 2019

©E.Houri_Carbios_Martin STEPHAN Deputy Manager

Martin Stephan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, CARBIOS, Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE

Martin Stephan is the Deputy CEO of Carbios, a French biotech startup developing a biological solution to be able to fully recycle plastics.

Preparation of a fermentation unit for the production of enzymes - Photo credit Carbios

Carbios’ technology leverages enzymes that fully break down PET plastic waste, and successfully produce consumer-grade, 100% recycled plastic as a result. The process enables an infinite recycling loop for waste, and accepts all forms of PET plastic, (e.g. soda bottles, colored plastics, polyester).

Fermentation ramp for the production of enzymes & PET biorecycling - CrÇdit photo Carbios

For context, these forms of plastic generally fall victim to landfills, or spill over into our oceans. Major corporations, such as L’Oreal, Nestle, and PepsiCo, each recognize the value of Carbios’ tech and have all entered into a four-year consortium with the company.

PET depolymerization reactor - CrÇdit photo Carbios


67. Microplastic In Our Atmosphere

67. Microplastic In Our Atmosphere

October 7, 2019

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Dr. Melanie Bergman, from the HGF-MPG Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology at 
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung joins the ZWC to talk about her recent study showing that microplastic is now in our atmosphere.


Studying snow samples near cities, up in the Arctic, and in the Alps, Dr. Bermann and her team have demonstrated that microplastic is migrating through our air. In 1998 microplastic was found in human lung tissue but we don't exactly know what it's doing to our lungs. Plastic production has significantly increased since then and plastic air pollution is only going to get worse. 

Teflon is all over the ocean floor too, and it's not healthy for us, so it's a good time to use cast iron or stainless steel cooking pans just in case it's getting into our oceans through our kitchen sinks, although this pathway hasn't been studied. 

For more on Dr. Bergmann, you can read about her study here:


Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

66. Zero Waste Buildings

66. Zero Waste Buildings

October 1, 2019


Denise Braun is the Principal and Founder of All About Waste. She currently lives in LA but is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she focuses on improving buildings to be more liveable, which includes zero waste operation and certification.  

Living in Brazil, Denise began organizing beach cleanups and began researching ocean currents to find out why so much plastic pollution from Asia was ending up on her Brazilian beaches. Her environmental activism work led her to jobs in the sustainability field where today she's providing WELL Certification, Fitwel Certification, Healthy Materials Consulting, Sustainability Workshops, and Corporate Program Development.

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"Trash is directly related to issues around greenhouse gas emissions and social equity", says Denise, and in San Francisco that's a big issue. She's helped certify the world's largest zero waste building there and recommends Americans visit the following websites to show support for waste issues in California: 

California SB54

Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License