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The Problem With Plastics

Sea turtle ensnared in plastic netting.
Photograph by Jordi Chias / National Geographic

Plastics. They’ve changed medicine, transportation, and food and water safety. But they've also become a global headache. There's more than six billion tons of plastic trash in the world. What can be done about the problem of plastics?

RadioWest divider.


Where would we be without plastics? They helped the Allies win World War II. They’ve made vehicles more fuel-efficient. Plastics revolutionized medicine and how we supply clean drinking water. But they’re also a global headache. It started when we turned to them as a convenient, cheap and disposable tool in our everyday lives. Now there’s more than six billion tons of plastic trash, and a lot of it ends up in the oceans. Friday, we’re talking about the problem of plastics and what we can do about it.


  • Laura Parker is a senior reporter at National Geographic. She specializes in covering climate change and marine environments, and her work is part of the magazine's Planet or Plastic? campaign, a multi-year initiative aimed at raising awareness of the global plastic crisis and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that is polluting our world's oceans. Her reporting was featured prominently in the magazine's June 2018 issue.
  • Beth Terry is an accountant, activist, and public speaker. She blogs at My Plastic Free Life, and she's the author of the book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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