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    Program ID - bo072005

    Paper or Plastic?

    The average American generates 300 pounds of packaging trash every year.

    With single-use containers like grocery bags, disposable coffee cups, plastic water bottles, and plastic produce "clamshells" accounting for more than 30 percent of all materials headed for the landfill, Is "paper vs. plastic" even the right question?

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network, as we explore these problems, and discover some unique solutions, including a city-wide plastic bag tax, and biodegradable corn-based food containers.

    This Week's Guests:

    Andrea Asch — Natural Resources Use Manager, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.

    Andrea has been responsible for guiding Ben & Jerry's environmental well-being since the company first created her position in 1992. Her first task was to help the company figure out what "environmental well-being" really meant; since then, she's fostered a wide range of environmental initiatives and projects, from interoffice recycling programs to major packaging innovation endeavors and global climate change campaigns.

    She is also responsible for regulatory compliance at Ben & Jerry’s manufacturing sites, as well as for internal and external communications regarding the company's environmental programs.

    Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation and environmental education from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in environmental science and hazardous waste management from Indiana University.

    Dan Imhoff — Author, “Paper or Plastic”

    Dan Imhoff is a writer, publisher and speaker on issues related to food, agiculture, forestry and design.  He’s the author of numerous articles, essays and books including: Farming with the Wild, Building with Vision and The Guide to Tree-Free, Recycled and Certified Papers.  Dan is co-founder of Watershed Media, a Northern California-based award winning nonprofit communications organization.

    Jared Blumenfeld — San Francisco Department of the Environment

    Jared has left his mark on some of the nation’s top conservation organizations.  Before heading the San Francisco Dept. of the Environment, Jared was Director of the Habitat Preservation program at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.  He has also previously been executive director of Earth Summit Watch, a project of the Natural Resources Defense Council that organized campaigns on improving air quality and drinking water, and certifying sustainably logged timber.  He holds a law degree from UC Berkeley with a specialization in environmental and human rights law. 

    More information:

  • Article, San Francisco Chronicle: “Bagging the Bags”
  • Dan Imhoff – Watershed Media
  • San Francisco Deptartment of the Environment
  • Grassroots Recycling Network
  • US Environmental Protection Agency – WasteWise

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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