Discussing single-use plastics, recycling and the drive for a circular economy: Bernard Merkx and Leslie Maliepaard chat to Lisa Burke about the issues and solutions.

Bernard and Leslie are two independent social impact entrepreneurs who lead by example.

Bernard has spent his whole life in plastics businesses, building a variety of foundations along the way, including Waste Free Oceans, Plastix Global and Green Wave Plastics.

Leslie founded The Planet Calls whilst still living in Ireland and observing the growing plastic pollution issue whilst walking along the coastline with her daughter. "Reduce Reuse Recycle" is Leslie's mantra.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Both Bernard and Leslie are passionate about developing a circular economy, with a keen eye on the business side too as a great investment, for governments and long-term investors.

Bernard explains how it's partly a mindset change:

"Your mobile phone, your fridge - you wouldn't tip them in the bin, so why would you tip your PET bottle on the street? It's worth something. It has a value."

Bernard also underlines the distinction between recycling and waste management:

"The recycling centre is a waste management centre. Recycling is turning waste into raw material - there's a very clear definition at the European centre."

To help collect the data you can download Litterati - take a picture of the litter so they can track where it occurs most frequently and instigate some change. They can also see the most littered items (it happens to be Redbull in the Netherlands).

Podcast

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Get in touch with Lisa at  lisa_burke@rtltoday.lu