Podcast Summary

Podcast Summary-Planet Money: Trash The podcast talked about recycling business, the difference between recyclables and trash, and the connections of recycling business to the fluctuations in petroleum prices down to the currency exchange rates between Europe and United States. In the first part of the podcast, those two people who were talking in the podcast asked random people to bring any kind of trash – unused gadgets, plastic bottles, teddy bears, and banana peel. They have introduced that these things may offer profit in the form of recycling business. They pointed out Asian countries like China which recycled plastics and sell it back eventually to Americans and European countries which recycled shredded papers and turn it into recycled papers, toilet papers, tissue papers, etc. However, they pointed out that not all trash are recyclables. When a person is able to gain profit from trash, it is called recyclables. whereas if it’s not, it is called trash/garbage.
Curious as to where her used yogurt containers and Wall Street journal went through and to understand the flow or process of recycling business, the woman in the podcast followed Tom to a garage and found out that these items are recycled and produced approximately a 100-billion dollar earnings. This is where the people in the podcast linked recycling industry to microeconomics – in terms of economic prices. Microeconomics deals with the study of the economic behavior of an individual units of an economy (such as the recycling industry) and how does it affects the choices of an individual, makers, markets, and the law of demand and supply. For instance, the podcast revealed that recycling plastics is affected the price of petroleum in the market as plastics are considered as petroleum products. If the price of the petroleum gets lower, then the price of the fresh plastics are lower than the recycled plastics. In return, those who are engaged in recycling plastics industries have to lower their production of recyclable plastics as the demand for it would be low. The same goes through for recycled papers when European currency is higher than US’ currency. In microeconomics, we tackled about the effect of a single industry to the economic behavior of demand, supply, price, and production.