Episode 40 – The Bottle Episode – Milkmen and Plastic

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


This episode (recorded during IPCC report week, when our brains were mush) is all about bottles — family heirloom glass milk bottles and the modern-staple-turned-environmental-cliché of the plastic bottle.

We cover a little bit of everything: A visionary cartoonist who couldn’t imagine a future without the milkman. The rapid decline of milk delivery thanks to supermarkets, suburbs, and “modern” packaging. Dramatic commercials for the same product in returnable glass and convenient plastic.

Side trails include Phil of the Future, environmental justice narratives in television, and how maybe fossil fuels are the milkmen of right now?

Related episodes include: Episode 32 Got Milk? and Episode 35 Coca Cola and the Single-Use Mindset.


Story #1: Milk Bottles and the Milk Man (Elise)
Arthur Radebaugh’s vision of milkmen of the future from his series Closer Than We Think

Sources:
Second Time Around: A Look at Bottle Reuse by Jane Busch, Western Reserve Historical Society
April 8, 1879: The Milkman Cometh … With Glass Bottles, Wired, April 2010
The Milkman’s Robot Helper, Smithsonian Magazine, March 2012
“Factory” Farms of the Future (1961), Paleofuture, May 2009
A History of The American Milkman, Food52
It’s All Arthur Radebaugh’s Fault, Know Ideas Media, April 2019
Closer Than We Think, Clindar, December 2017
Before the Jetsons, Arthur Radebaugh Illustrated the Future, Smithsonian Magazine, April 2012
The Day the Milkman Went Away: A History of Home Milk Delivery, Drink Milk In Glass Bottles

Arthur Radebaugh’s “Factory” Farms
Story #2: Plastic Bottles (Olivia)

Sources:
How the plastic bottle went from miracle container to hated garbage, National Geographic
From birth to ban, glass to plastic: A global history of bottled water, Mitte (which is a purified water company sort of like a mix between Soda Stream and a Brita filter)
Plastic Pollution and FAQ on Plastics, Our World In Data
1978 Pepsi 2-Litter glass bottle ad — returnable and refillable “the most economical way to buy Pepsi”
1978 Pepsi 2-Liter plastic bottle ad — tough and light
From Status Symbol to Despised Garbage – The Evolution of Bottled Water, Everything About on Youtube
Coca Cola packaging distribution, Statista
Coca Cola’s World Without Waste 2020 Report

Pepsi glass bottle commercial, 1978
Pepsi plastic bottle ad from the same year, 1978

The UK subsection of the Dasani Wikipedia is a drama-filled read, if you’re so inclined…

And check out Trace Material: Stories from the Plastics Age for a more in-depth look at the social history of plastic.

The Dump

We’re watching a lot of Apple TV shows! Ted Lasso featured a climate justice storyline in a recent episode and Dickinson is serving up top notch cameos.

Meet Elise’s puppy Poe!

PERFECT ANGEL

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. 43 – Carbon Footprints and Treehuggers – Climate Language World Is Burning

Did the fossil fuel industry really invent the carbon footprint? Did you know that the first "treehugger" came waaaay before the 1960s hippie, and took a much greater risk? This week we're talking about the language of climate change, specifically the carbon footprint and the term "treehugger." Olivia digs into the real story behind the corporate world's favorite unit of measurement, and whether it has any value in conversations today. Then Elise tells the story of the Bishnoi people and how the "treehugger" legacy echoes the stories of climate justice activists today. 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. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 43 – Carbon Footprints and Treehuggers – Climate Language
  2. Ep. 42 – What’s the Deal With COP26? A Brief History and What To Expect
  3. Ep. 41 – Imagining New Futures – Walkable Cities and Land Back
  4. Ep. 40 – The Bottle Episode – Milkmen and Plastic
  5. Down The Rabbit Hole Minisode 4: Golf