Episode 33 – Plastic Bottle Vanilla and CVS Receipts

Listen on Spotify / Apple / Anchor / scroll down for our podcast player!

File this episode under things you never thought about but that will now haunt you… sorry!

This week we’re talking about the darker side of two things you’ve probably encountered this week: vanilla flavoring and customer receipts.

Elise takes us through the unlikely ways that vanilla flavoring is being made, including petroleum-based artificial flavors that are already likely in your cupboard.

Then Olivia tells the story of the CVS receipt meme and how consumer demand and environmental activism have gotten major retailers to skip the slip. Plus, how not to act at your first post-lockdown comedy show.

Story #1: Vanilla Flavoring and Plastic Bottles (Elise)
Vanilla orchid being hand pollinated. Wild! Via Shuttershock/Mashed.

Scientists convert used plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring, The Guardian, June 2021
The Flavor Rundown: Natural vs. Artificial Flavors, Harvard Blog, Sept 2015
Molecule of the Week Archive : Vanillin, American Chemical Society, Sept 2016
The problem with vanilla, Chemical Engineering News, Sept 2016
A Brief History of Making and Faking Flavor, Eater
The Absurd History of Artificial Flavors, First We Feast, June 2015
The Untold Truth About Vanilla Flavor, Mashed, Feb 2021
In Search of the Best Vanilla, Cook’s Illustrated, Dec 2018
Vanillin, Wikipedia

Vanillin chart via Chemical Engineering News
via Smithsonian Magazine
Story #2: BPA and CVS Receipts (Olivia)

Assembly Committee Passes Kennedy, Vainieri Huttle & Karabinchak Measure Removing Potentially Harmful BPA from Receipt Paper, June 16 2021, Insider NJ
Lidl introduces a new environmentally friendly receipt, made from an innovative thermal paper, March 3 2021, Business Review
Retailers taking action on toxics: Target & CVS make progress, Walmart slides backward, October 6 2020, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
CVS CEO has a fix for those mile-long receipts — here’s how it works, December 5 2018, CNBC (the video in this with the CEO made me uncomfy)
The long, long history of long, long CVS receipts, October 10 2018, Vox
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Recycle Your Giant CVS Receipts, April 2 2021, Mental Floss
CVS Moves to Digital, Non-Toxic Sales Receipts, October 21 2020, Packaging Strategies
World’s oldest writing not poetry but a shopping receipt, April 13 2011, The National News UAE
Endocrine Disruptors, National Institute of Environmental Health
The Surprising Impact of Paper Receipts, November 1 2020, Treehugger
BPA Is Everywhere. Is It Safe?, December 15 2015, Lifehacker
Success!: CVS Responds to Consumers and Takes Significant Steps to “Skip the Slip,” Move to Digital, Non-toxic Receipts, October 20 2020, Green America
Skip the Slip Report: Environmental Costs & Human Health Risks of Paper Receipts, Green America

Skip the Slip receipt scorecard by Green America
The Dump

Mae Martin’s Netflix show Feel Good and their Comedians Around the World’s half hour

Trace Material, exploring the social history of plastic

The World Is Burning bookshop is live! Help us come up with book list titles and bulk up our reading list.

Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.

You can keep up with us on Twitter and Instagram.

If you enjoyed this episode, considering reviewing us on Apple Podcasts and downloading/subscribing/following wherever you like to do those things. It helps us immensely.

Thanks for listening!

Ep. 37 – Bird Lady and Lady Bird World Is Burning

At the peak of 19th-century hat culture, an ounce of feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold. This extravagant trend, however, was putting once-flourishing bird populations in peril. Enter the bird lady: Harriet Hemenway, a controversial Boston socialite who co-founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society and used posh tea parties to protest the overhunting of birds. Elise recalls Harriet's story and the bird species that didn't make it. Then Olivia tells the story of Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. First Lady during the Johnson administration, who pushed a forward-thinking environmental agenda through seemingly superficial beautification projects. And she also might have sent the CIA after a beloved outspoken singer… Other topics include organizing among friends, easy access to climate change basics, and anti-car sneakers? Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 37 – Bird Lady and Lady Bird
  2. Ep. 36 – How to Survive Extreme Heat
  3. Ep. 35 – Coca-Cola and the Single-Use Mindset
  4. Ep. 34 – Haunted by the K-Cup
  5. Ep. 33 – Plastic Bottle Vanilla and CVS Receipts