Episode 59: How to Eliminate Plastic Waste for a Cleaner Planet with Dave Beck

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The Produce Moms Podcast

Episode 59: How to Eliminate Plastic Waste for a Cleaner Planet with Dave Beck

“Plastic is not the problem. It’s plastic waste that is problematic.” – Dave Beck (12:27 – 12:31)

Dave Beck is the National Sales Director at rPlanet Earth, a company dedicated to the mission of zero plastic waste on planet Earth. rPlanet Earth is a well-capitalized, innovative manufacturer reusing post-consumer plastics as a feedstock to produce the highest quality packaging with the lowest carbon footprint.

The problem with eliminating plastic.

Today, the consensus seems to be that plastic is the enemy. Plastic isn’t biodegradable. It is unlike paper, and it can hang around in the environment for a long time. A lot of plastic waste ends up in the oceans. And it harms our ecosystem.

But eliminating plastic isn’t the answer. It could have many unintended consequences. In the United States, we can easily access clean water, and we take it for granted. However, in many parts of the world, people rely on plastic bottles to keep their drinking water clean. 

Here in America, plastic plays a vital role in keeping our produce fresh as it is transported from the growers to the consumer. It prevents a significant amount of food waste. Eliminating plastic will cause produce prices to skyrocket, which might contribute to lower vegetable consumption and more diseases like obesity.

“Globally, human beings buy a million plastic bottles per minute. There are many parts of the world where people depend on plastic bottles for the basic life necessity of clean drinking water.” – Lori Taylor (10:38 – 10:57)

Plastic isn’t necessarily the problem. What’s problematic is how we reuse plastic, and how much of it is wasted. When you recycle plastic, it typically gets downcycled into things like carpet fiber. While that’s definitely better than the plastic ending up in the ocean, in an ideal world there would be a way to recycle a plastic bottle back into a bottle or container.

And that’s precisely what the company rPlanet Earth aims to do. Their founding vision is to eliminate all plastic waste from the planet. They’ve integrated recycling and manufacturing under one roof.

Their founders recognized that too much of the plastic packaging that could be reused to make new plastic was ending up in landfills. Driven by their concern and care for the planet, the rPlanet Earth founders have created a manufacturing process that reuses post-consumer plastics as the raw material to produce the highest quality packaging with the lowest carbon footprint.

How rPlanet Earth is combatting plastic waste for sustainability.

rPlanet Earth collects the plastic bottles and food containers the consumers throw away. They extract the PET, the type of plastic most widely used in consumer packaging products, from the waste and run it through an intensive wash cycle. Through this process, rPlanet Earth can re-produce plastic that is FDA-approved for use in creating food packaging.

Through their unique plastic processing techniques, rPlanet Earth can recycle plastic back into consumer products over and over again. So, they’re reducing waste and the need to produce new plastic bottles and containers. rPlanet Earth has partnered with Plastic Recycling Corporation of California (PRCC), a non-profit organization, to source plastic waste from all over the state of California. 

“The biggest technological breakthrough in PET plastic recycling, in recent years, has been the ability to boost all the physical properties of post-consumer plastic back up to a virgin state for an infinite number of times.” – Dave Beck (6:38 – 6:50)

For the sake of our planet, we need more organizations like rPalnet Earth to make elimination of plastic waste a priority. And it’s not just businesses and governmental agencies, as consumers we need to do our part as well – here in America and all throughout the world. What are some steps that you can take to reduce plastic waste in your household?

To learn more about rPlanet Earth’s story visit their website.

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Episode 59: Clean Planet

[bctt tweet=”On this week’s episode of #TheProduceMoms #Podcast we talk to Dave Beck of @EarthRplanet to learn how they are revolutionizing the recycling ♻️ process for a more sustainable planet ???? ” username=”theproducemom”]

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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