Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Is there a clean solution to plastic waste?

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Jan 7, 2019 4:23 AM

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(2009/AP Photo/ Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mario Aguilera, File)

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, January 7, 2019:

The images are shocking. An ocean scene of floating garbage and plastics, destroying an otherwise bucolic seascape. Images that force us to face the reality that our planet is awash in trash.

Plastics are a particularly large component of the garbage glut. Central Pennsylvania agricultural operations are big producers of plastic waste. Many area producers, and also homeowners, relied on recycling as a solution, until the market collapsed with Chinese recyclables demand and contamination at the curbside bin.

Until a solution is found, the plastic waste continues to pile up. What can be done to solve this problem?

Penn State researchers believe they have found a possible solution that, on the surface, appears to address several environmental problems.  

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss a possible solution to the plastics problem are Dr. Bill Lamont, Prof. Emeritus of Vegetable Crops, Penn State, Jim Garthe, retired Penn State agricultural engineer, and Ron Davis (aka Ron the Bagman) area recycling advocate.


Jim Garthe, Ron Davis and Bill Lamont

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Agricultural waste (Photo credit Ron "the bagman" Davis

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Tires and agricultural waste (Photo credit Ron "the bagman" Davis)

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Plastofuel burner (photo Bill Lamont)

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