Episode 47

Plastic Recycling Trap: Only 9% Of Plastics Ever Produced Have Been Recycled

Episode Summary: In this episode, Olabanji and Leekei discuss the trap of plastic recycling and look for ways to take action  

Only 9% of plastics ever produced has actually been recycled knowing that the world has been producing plastic for over 70 years… The entire lifecycle of plastic is bad for the environment, from production to its disposal. We’ve been lured to that recycling plastic is a sustainable option so we can keep producing and using more and more plastics. It is not true. It is a trap.

Want to join in the conversation?

Visit thecarbonalmanac.org/podcasts and send us a voice message on this episode or any other climate-related ideas and perspectives.

Don’t Take Our Word For It, Look It Up!

You can find out more on pages 78 and 79 of the Carbon Almanac and on the website you can tap the footnotes link and type in 027 and 346


Featuring Carbon Almanac Contributors Leekei Tang and Olabanji Stephen

Leekei is a fashion business founder, a business coach, an international development expert and podcaster from Paris, France.  

Olabanji is from Lagos Nigeria, he’s a Creative Director and visual designer that helps brands gain clarity, deliver meaningful experiences and build tribes through Design & Strategy. He founded Jorney - a community designed to help people stay productive, accountable, and do their best work.


The CarbonSessions Podcast is produced and edited by Leekei Tang, Steve Heatherington and Rob Slater.

About the Podcast

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Carbon Conversations for every day, with everyone, from everywhere in the world.

About your host

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Carbon Almanac

When it comes to the climate, we don’t need more marketing or anxiety. We need established facts and a plan for collective action.

The climate is the fundamental issue of our time, and now we face a critical decision. Whether to be optimistic or fatalistic, whether to profess skepticism or to take action. Yet it seems we can barely agree on what is really going on, let alone what needs to be done. We urgently need facts, not opinions. Insights, not statistics. And a shift from thinking about climate change as a “me” problem to a “we” problem.

The Carbon Almanac is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between hundreds of writers, researchers, thinkers, and illustrators that focuses on what we know, what has come before, and what might happen next. Drawing on over 1,000 data points, the book uses cartoons, quotes, illustrations, tables, histories, and articles to lay out carbon’s impact on our food system, ocean acidity, agriculture, energy, biodiversity, extreme weather events, the economy, human health, and best and worst-case scenarios. Visually engaging and built to share, The Carbon Almanac is the definitive source for facts and the basis for a global movement to fight climate change.

This isn’t what the oil companies, marketers, activists, or politicians want you to believe. This is what’s really happening, right now. Our planet is in trouble, and no one concerned group, corporation, country, or hemisphere can address this on its own. Self-interest only increases the problem. We are in this together. And it’s not too late to for concerted, collective action for change.