Transcript of the show.
You are listening to be your change the podcast to create the world you want to live in. I’m your host. Juliet Roy big change is about the changes we can make every day at every level in our lives. And it was our time to participate in creating positive change. Each choice we make counts
Changing how we spend our money by consuming less and better the extra hour we take to foster open-mindedness. The groups we work with the decision to unplug the stories we listen to. Every action matters and small actions can have big social impacts in the world.
In our first episode of Be Your Change, we look at waste specifically plastic waste every year 8 million tons of plastic trash flow into our oceans.
That’s about five grocery bags filled with plastic for every food of coastline in the world. Countries are stepping in France. They banned disposable plastic cups and plates. In just capital city Delhi has introduced a ban on disposable plastic.But here in the U.S., two-thirds of our trash goes to landfill. Some cities are doing better than others like San Francisco so San Francisco generates between four and five thousand tons of total garbage per day.
Recology touches about half of that material.
Robert Reed is a spokesman for Recology an employee-owned company that recycles and compost the city’s waste.
They have about 45 sites across the west coast so 2000 American tons or 2500 American tons per day handled and managed by Recology of the portion that we touch.
We recycle or compost most of that material.
Roberts says they get 100 truckloads of garbage a day. He says 80 percent of San Francisco trash is being diverted from landfills. So that would suggest that of all the waste generated in San Francisco. 80 percent is either reuse reduce. Recycled or composted. And then we have got another 20 percent to go. Their goal is zero waste but things like plastics TROs and Styrofoam cups can be recycled Roberts says. We have to take part in reducing the amount of waste going into our landfills. That leads us to your main guest Stephanie Reynie. She’s a founder of Fillgood the Zero Waste refill service company for skincare and cleaning products in San Francisco. They pick up and deliver containers to your front door. I spoke to Stephanie about our company’s goals to eliminate single-use use plastic waste and raise awareness about plastic pollution Stefanie tells me she was inspired to start Fillgood while taking a class at Recology Center hi Stephanie welcome.
“Hi Juliet. Thank you for having me. Well thank you for taking the time to be on our program today.
: The idea came up to you while you were doing a recycling waste workshop.
: Yeah exactly. So Recology is worldwide known for. Their success in managing waste and having high recycling rates.
: And you know the idea came up I was just talking with somebody in the class and we were talking about how refilling containers was great because it can save so much packaging and reduce waste so much and having myself implemented these at home when I go grocery shopping I use my containers and I notice that there was not enough for skincare products and cleaning products you can find a lot of food in Belke. But when it comes to home products it’s rare. So yes so I said OK why not starting something about that. It’s complicated to think about bringing your containers to a store. It needs a lot of motivation. And talking with my friends you know people around me I noticed that there is something that’s something that they would never do. So that’s how the idea of home delivery came up.
: So can you explain to people what is the Fillgood then so people can order online the products.
: At first they buy a container and then they can refill it. And so they order online.
: And I deliver at home of course to avoid extra packaging. I’m a local business only which means I only deliver in the Bay Area. And so I really wanted to make it as easy as possible for people. And the only thing that they need to remember is to put the empty containers on the doorstep so I can take them back and wash them and then we fill them again.
: So it’s kind of the old model of milk delivery
: That’s yeah that’s exactly this model with more technology with a website. And yeah what technology.
: Stephanie’s company feel good. Two men objectives reducing plastic waste by eliminating disposable packaging and offering only safe products. She says the beauty industry doesn’t have a strong regulatory system. There are still a lot of toxic chemicals in products advertised as natural Stefanic called greenwashing.
: The issue of the plastic waste generated is not yet integrated in their sustainability philosophy.
: That’s where you come in.
: I check the composition. I check all the ingredients one by one. I also contacted the brands to make sure that they disclose ingredients contained in the products.
: So right now I have liquid soap and I have a few cleaning products so I’m starting with a small selection that I hope is going to grow very fast.
: Be Your You change the podcast to create the world you want to live in. I’m your host Juliette Roy. We bring you stories of change makers creating the world they want to live in. People like Stephanie Rennie the founder of FillGood, the refill service company for skincare and cleaning products in San Francisco.
: Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash and recycle accomplice only about one-third of that recycling is not the long term solution. People need to realize the goal should be not to use plastic Stephanie said. There is a rule Forbess the four owls. First, reduce all the things you don’t need. Don’t use plastic bags that the grocery store can use to reuse like her shoes or clothes. And our phones. The third is Rickover feeing that cannot be recycled. And the last one is to recycle thief and he says recycling should be a last resort.
: When I talk about plastic waste I’m talking about single-use plastic waste especially because they are really the ones that don’t make sense anymore. These are things that you use once usually for a short period of time and then you throw it away and then you replace it by a new one and you do that repeatedly. So for example in the U.S. alone people consume 40 billion plastic utensils four billion every year. And they are not recyclable so they go straight to landfills. If you talk about plastic straws it’s 500 million a day in the U.S. again. And the other one is the plastic water bottles so it’s 50 billion a year. In the U.S. in the U.S. And when we think about plastic water bottles I’m sure people think well it’s recyclable so that’s another problem. There is actually only 23 percent of these bottles are actually recycled. And the recycling industry is not a long term solution. It depends on many factors that we don’t manage we don’t control like like the price of oil when oil is cheap it’s less expensive to manufacture new plastic than to use recycled plastic. And I mean it’s a business. It’s a market so if it’s not cost-effective to recycle plastic then the companies that are in this business will not do it’s we can be change makers in our daily lives by taking small steps to reduce our plastic footprint for example.
: You can carry a knife and fork in your purse or bag and tell the restaurants you don’t need any plastic utensil Yeah.
: So there’s a few items like this that I totally banned from my life and honestly, it’s not difficult. So plastic bags just put some in your car. Put them everywhere we can get reusable bags. When you lose your confidence everybody gives you their brochures in reusable bags when your grocery store. So there are tons of opportunity to get them to keep them and put them everywhere in your car at home at work in your office and so you’re sure to always have one when you go outside and buy something or get really big handbags which are you ready to tax.
: Yeah you can do that too then it’s heavy Hurdzan and so yeah.
: And that’s why I was talking about going step by step because it’s a lot to change. But every time it’s simple steps so just take them one by one.
: Let’s say for two weeks focus on the plastic utensils and two weeks focus on plastic bags.
: This is how change happens. Altering one thing at a time in our own lives. Stephanie says her mission is to transform people’s habits.
: One product at a time but that’s very difficult you know we live in a world where people are very busy and they just continue to do things the way they’ve always done. And so yeah it’s really hard to change
: And nobody really tells them that they could do different and better. So yeah that’s definitely very difficult. The other thing again is to find brands manufacturers that are
: Ready to change the way they sell their products in large quantities and to accept this new model of wishing. So there are more and more stores around the world not only in the U.S. I often hear new examples in France in the UK in Europe in general. So. You know it’s coming. It’s small but it’s a movement and it’s growing.
: Yes I think it’s a movement. We can all make small changes that actually have a big impact on the world. So what prompted you to become a change maker. What was the thing that happened in your life where you thought oh now I want to really do like something and something which I think is good for the world? So
: It’s always been something that was very important for me and when I moved here almost three years ago everything has changed. New country new people and a new culture. And since I’m young I’m surrounded by people who started a company. It can be a small one a big one. And my husband is an entrepreneur. It’s been 10 years now. So at some point, it became almost natural and I said OK I want to do that too. And it’s just it took me sometimes to know exactly what to do.
: What would you recommend to the listeners out there who wants to create positive change in their own life.
: Everything can be changed. So the only rule is to do it slowly. Otherwise, it’s overwhelming and you feel that you can never do it. So you know step by step one step after another.
: Just try things and see if it works and then change you know it comes from a personal need. So when you really feel something is missing and that you have an idea for it and you feel you can do it. So it has to be personal and then yeah go out there and talk to people around you and see what they think about ideas and talk to people who also are in the same field and were in the Bay area there are so many people that work in the environment so it’s pretty easy.
: Yeah and if someone doesn’t understand your idea or move on to the next person.
: Yes sure. Right. We have plenty of opportunities to consume less and to consume better.
: And I think this is something that we really really need to think about and to integrate.
: Could not agree more with you. Thank you, Stephanie and we wish you the best for your business. Thank you. Thank you.
: Meeting Stephanie Regni from Fillgood and Robert Reed from Recology completely changed my perception of plastic waste. Scientists predict it will have more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. I don’t want to contribute to that. So I have to change my shopping behavior by paying even more attention to plastic packaging.I E-mail companies to let them know how they should not use plastic. I bought some bamboos straws and refrain myself from using plastic straws. I’m working at becoming a plastic-free home. We all need to take part in creating a plastic free world. You can start by having reusable bags reusable coffee cups and straws refused plastic packaging at the grocery stores and farmers market and supporting local initiatives like Stephanie
In our next episode we take a look at the fashion industry and the impact of disposable fashion on the environment. You are listening to be your change the podcast to create the world you want to live in. Or engineer today is Peju Makun, a writer and producer is Shuka Kalantari. I’m your host and executive producer Juliette Roy. We would love for you to join our movement. Like us on Facebook dot com slash be your change. Subscribe to our newsletter. Spread the word about the podcast to your friends. You can learn more about Filllgood on our website.
You can also get involved by sending us your ideas for the show or become a volunteer or become a member for forty dollars a year and get access to all interviews special discount to brands we love and support and visit invites to meet with our community.
This is Be Your change. Thank you for listening.