In the latest episode of our NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Dune Ives, executive director for Lonely Whale. Lonely Whale is an award-winning incubator for driving meaningful change on behalf of the ocean and raising awareness about ocean health.
We spoke with Ives about measuring market shift, the importance of corporations in impacting the environment, sustainable solutions and more!
Here’s a sneak peek into the discussion:
Waste360: Do you think there will ever be a time when recycled plastic makes more economic sense than virgin plastic?
Dune Ives: Virgin plastic is so inexpensive today that it just doesn’t pencil out for companies to buy recycled plastic. As part of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week, we saw an announcement from Australian entrepreneur Andrew Forest. He and his wife committed $300 million of their own money to addressing this pricing disconnect.
This initiative will do two things:
- Fix that price imbalance between virgin and recycled plastic so we see more end-of-life remediation.
- Create more technology innovation to be able to help companies figure out how to utilize this recycled material.
Until we solve that price imbalance, we are never going to get ahead of this.
Waste360: Can you tell us about your recent “Question How You Hydrate” campaign?
Dune Ives: When we wrapped up the “Straw-less in Seattle” campaign, we were asked, “Could you do for the plastic water bottle what you did for the straw?” And that began about a 15-month quest and research effort on our part. What we discovered is that, globally, we use 500 billion single-use plastic bottles annually; about 30 percent get recycled. And the growth needs of the plastic water bottle industry are significant. People use a lot of single-use plastic water bottles, but they also use reusables. So, we were curious about this disconnect between knowing what’s the right thing to do and what’s holding people back from making the right decisions. The “Question How You Hydrate” campaign is intended to get people to question how many single-use plastic bottles they are using—and to challenge themselves; for corporations to challenge themselves; to hydrate like they give a damn, like the ocean matters and like future generations depend on it.