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Peter Wang Hjemdahl is one of those individuals that gives you hope in the human race. He is solutions-focused, intelligent and compassionate; necessary attributes for the kind of leader we need to help build a sustainable and fairer world.
A recent graduate from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Peter is a Chinese-Norwegian social entrepreneur, and international development strategist. He is cofounder of rePurpose Global, a global community of conscious consumers and businesses going plastic neutral by measuring, reducing, and offsetting their unique environmental footprint.
By putting a price on low-value plastic such as takeaway food containers, candy wrappers, and plastic bags, and paying informal workers to intercept these plastics before it reaches the oceans or landfills (adding a crucial income stream for these workers) rePurpose is making a genuine difference to reduce plastic pollution and improve the lives of the marginalised.
“We believe that these millions of workers have a crucial role to play in a future circular economy because a circular economy is not going create itself and needs people to actually maintain given its collaborative nature. Going forward, these grassroots networks can form the basis of more sustainable systems that truly close the loop.” – Peter Wang Hjemdahl
Solving the plastic crisis that plagues our planet will require passion, focus and out-of-the-box thinking and Peter brings this and a whole lot more to the table. There’s so much to learn and take away from our conversation and I hope it inspires you to offset your plastic footprint by going #PlasticNeutra and motivates you to share the word about rePurpose so that they can achieve their environmental and social mission.
Peace, love & all that jazz,
If you loved this episode, make sure to tune in to our introductory episode where founding editor Jennifer Nini shares why she launched the podcast, provides a background and context to why she started EWP and what she hopes to achieve with the podcast. You can access that podcast show here.
Connect with Peter Wang Hjemdahl
Discussion points and what you will learn in this episode
What you will learn:
- What inspired Peter Wang Hjemdahl to tackle the plastic waste crisis
- How rePurpose works with businesses to offset plastic
- How offsetting plastic usage helps to improve the lives of marginalised workers in developing countries
- The difference between low-value and high-value plastics such as PET, HDPE
- The actions people can take to reduce plastic consumption
- What rePurpose hopes to achieve long-term
…and so much more!
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Thanks to Ben McGuire for audio and technical help. Theme music by Otis McDonald.