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Plastic PollutionCircular Economy ReboundNo Such Thing as a Green ProductSun-to-Wheels



Guardian Comic

Accounting for humanity’s legacy

June 24, 2019

Until recently we didn’t know how much plastic was piling up around us. When we found out, the picture wasn’t pretty. Susie Cagle illustrates Roland in his story of where our plastic goes. Click the image to access the full cartoon.

Rai 3 Report

Ci siamo imballati

June 16, 2019

Italy’s Rai 3 covered the issue of plastic pollution in its latest segment of Report and came to Santa Barbara to sit down with Roland and discuss the scale of the issue.

Dovevamo ridurre, riutilizzare e riciclare!

Cleaning up the Plastic in the Ocean

January 3, 2019

Roland was on 60 minutes talking about plastics pollution, recycling and the future of recycling trade.

Plastic lasts more than a lifetime, and that’s the problem

September 25, 2018

What happens to all of the plastic we are making? PBS News Hour sits down with Roland to discuss the answer from his research.

CBS Sunday Morning

Piling up: Drowning in a Sea of Plastic

August 5, 2018

Roland talks to CBS Sunday Morning about plastic use and how long plastic takes to break down.

Research finds 8.3B metric tons of plastic has been produced since 1950

August 7, 2017

CGTN focuses on Roland’s work quantifying plastic production volumes and flows of plastic to the ocean. Stating that plastic is piling up at an accelerating rate



Circular economy isn't a magical fix for our environmental woes

Solving our ecological crises means diluting the power of global corporations – not propping them up


With his former PhD student, Trevor Zink, Roland Geyer coauthored a paper that was awarded 2017 Journal of Industrial Ecology Best Paper

The work, Circular economy rebound published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, was praised for its original content, engaging writing and excellent figures. The authors use conceptual ideas, literature review and two simple, but elegant, equations to demonstrate an important rebound effect affecting the efficacy of the circular economy.


Trevor Zink and Roland Geyer coauthor an impactful article challenging
the notion that sustainability means selling and buying “green” products


“Roland Geyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Trevor Zink of Loyola Marymount University argue that comparing products to some arbitrary “benchmark” in order to determine whether or not they’re eco-friendly is causing us to not only lose sight of what eco-friendly really means, but also — in some cases — to support products that actually have an overall negative impact on the environment.”
Grist, March 3, 2016


Is There Really Such a Thing as a Green Product? A new article by University of California-Santa Barbara professor Roland Geyer and Loyola Marymount University professor Trevor Zink explores this issue in depth. Geyer is a professor of industrial ecology and green supply chain management, while Zink is a professor of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.”
-, March 22, 2016


Is solar power a more efficient automotive fuel than biofuels? Geyer et al. 2013 conducted a spatially explicit LCA to find the best way of harvesting sunlight


“Spatially explicit life cycle assessment of 5 sun-to-wheels pathways finds photovoltaic electricity and BEVs offer land-efficient and low-carbon transportation”
Green Car Congress, January 4, 2013


"What it says to me is that by continuing to throw money at biofuels, we're barking up the wrong tree," Geyer explains. "That's because of a fundamental constraint, which is the relative inefficiency of photosynthesis. And we can't say that right now, biofuels aren't so great but they'll be better in five years. That fundamental problem for biofuels will not go away, while solar EVs will just continue to get more efficient and cheaper. If they're already looking better than biofuels, in five years the gap will be even greater. A search for a silver bullet is under way through "synthetic photosynthesis," but using genetic engineering to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis is a pipe dream. If there is a silver bullet in energy, I think it's solar power."
- Dr. Geyer in Science Daily, January 17, 2013