Plastic pollution

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Bebelina, Nov 23, 2018.

?

Do you sort your garbage? (plastic in particular)

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  3. Sometimes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. When there are available sorting containers

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    Hi guys!

    As you may know plastic pollution is a big problem all over world and carcinogenic microplastic molecules are contaminating 85% of the drinking water and the air as well.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...r-around-world-study-reveals?CMP=share_btn_tw

    It's in our food, it's killing animals who eat plastic waste disposed in nature, but still the plastic production and consumption continues.

    I would like your opinions on this and a discussion on possible solutions to mitigate the plastic pollution problematics. In the added poll you can answer if you sort your garbage and make sure the plastic you use goes to recycling or not. Please motivate your answers.

    What motivates you to sort garbage? How much do you believe the news reports about plastic pollution and what do you feel about this? What do you think could motivate a change in consumer behavior that would leed to less plastic consumption?

    What have you heard about this topic before? How do you makes sense of it?

    I hope as many of you as possible want to participate in this discussion during the weekend and I will be online and participate as well.

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    Thank you in advance
    Angelina
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
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  3. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    Hey! I haven't looked at your YouTube channel recently. Any new videos?

    The worst I've seen is what is floating around in our oceans.

    Is there an alternative to plastic?

    We recycle pretty much everything. It's kind of a requirement where I live.

    I have faith in what's being reported, but I don't see a simple solution to the problem.

    An alternative product that is biodegradable.

    I've seen beaches that are covered with plastic waste. Pretty gross, really.

    I'm working but will have a look the next time I visit the site.

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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    phthalates
     
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  7. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you Bowser. Nope, haven't been very active on YouTube lately, not much time for that right now.

    There are alternatives to plastic:
    https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/5-plastic-substitutes10.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegradable_plastic

    The most commonly used forms of plastic are not biodegradable and that is a big problem as well. That even if the plastic products break down, the molecules remain intact for hundreds of years (400 years was the last report I read on this).

    When you go shopping do you look for alternative packaging of products? How often do you buy PET bottles for example? Coca Cola?
     
  8. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    5,036
  9. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,402
    My wife does most of the shopping, but she is also the most thoughtful about recycling. Myself? If I'm at work and I want a Coke, my only choice is plastic. We do have a return deposit on most beverage containers, so most everything gets recycled. If I were to throw it in the street, someone would pick it up for the 10 cent deposit. Nonetheless, it's pretty hard for the consumer to avoid plastic.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,505
    In the UK I think we have just woken up to the issue. Most local authorities ask households to separate recyclable plastic, paper and card from the rest, but beyond this practices vary widely. What is quite shocking is that plastic film, including bubble wrap, is not recyclable and almost everything comes with some of that. Just recently our local supermarket increased the amount of plastic used to package meat, using vacuum packs that you have to slit open with scissors and which cannot even be washed out to be recycled, which was possible with the plastic trays they used previously.

    One issue I think needs to be looked at is that I suspect the exponential growth of on-line ordering and delivery greatly increases the amount of packaging of goods of all kinds. Instead of one huge lorry, delivering tightly packed containers of products to a store, which are then professionally unloaded by fork lift truck etc, you have all these little vans buzzing about, with random items in them that do not stack, all individually wrapped to be be proof against the sort of casual mishandling you get with poorly paid delivery drivers. I got an item measuring 0.5m by 0.3 m yesterday, cocooned in so much bubble wrap that the box it came in was 1m square! And then I had to get in my car and burn petrol to drive to the municipal rubbish dump to get rid of all the damned packaging that was cluttering up my house. And at the dump, they said the bubble wrap was unrecyclable anyway!

    I think many citizens are motivated to help if it does not inconvenience them seriously. But this sort of thing makes one despair.
     
  11. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,402
    I think part of the problem is that plastic has little value. The Bottle Bill in Oregon is, in my opinion, an act of genius. It put value into what otherwise would have been garbage. People roam our city streets day and night searching trash bins for discarded bottles and cans. Why they haven't included wine bottles, I don't know. I would support a refundable deposit on recyclable plastics, knowing that if I failed to return it, someone else certainly would. I'm not certain how it would be implemented--like the one we have on bottles--but it would create an incentive.
     
  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,779
    Sorry, misread your post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  13. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    5,036
    Thank you exchemist. Better late than never, or? Do you think UK has awakened to this problem too late? Are you going to react to these impairmnets, as for example complain to the local supermarket and the online company you ordered from? That is just terrible that the bubble wrap is unrecyclable. The chain of events shows how the problematics permeats the whole society. What alternative packaging solutions could you suggest? I found this link that could be useful:
    https://www.unleashedsoftware.com/blog/8-eco-friendly-packaging-alternatives-shipping-needs
     
  14. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Bottle_Bill
    Really good idea. In Sweden we also have pawn on plastic bottles, but it would be better if the pawn included all plastic materials, not just bottles.
     
  15. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    Please tell, how did you misread?
     
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,779
    I misread Bowser's post #8 about deposits on bottles. I though he was talking about deposits on bottles, which we've had since the 1960s. But apparently he was suggesting expanding that to all plastics.
     
  17. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    Yes, what do you think of that idea?
     
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,779
    I think it's a good idea in principle but I don't know how it would be implemented. We have a deposit of 25 cents or so on each bottle, jug,etc. but not for clamshells, trays, etc. You can return the bottles and jugs for a refund or you can throw them in the recycle bin where people will scavenge them to claim the deposit. That could probably work for all plastic containers.
     
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  19. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,298
    Circa 1940:
    Having read of Henry Ford's soybean plastic car, my grandfather announced to the family that soybeans would be the wave of the future, and promptly planted the farm in soybeans.
    Unfortunately, come harvest time, he discovered that there was no market for soybeans---gee darn. So the beans went to feed the animals.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,505
    Some companies use shredded cardboard for packing goods delivered by courier. That is (a) already recycled once and (b) is recyclable again. Far better.

    For meat in the supermarket, they do have to wrap it in something impermeable and the customer does have to be able to see it before buying. But I think returning to plastic (or cardboard??) trays with a thin plastic film over the top would be far better than these vacuum packs.

    I am not proposing to kick up a fuss with the supermarket myself but if I get a questionnaire from them, as sometimes happens, I will certainly use the chance to make my opinion clear. Re the on-line company this was a one-off purchase so not worth starting a chain of correspondence with them specially. These things need to be done via changes to the law not left to consumer pressure. We all have busy lives and it is unreasonable to expect consumers to police good environmental practice as amateurs. Some of the issues require proper end-to-end analysis of the supply chain, not just knee-jerk responses from people in the street.

    We changed the law recently to charge 10p for single-use plastic bags by the way. People have gone back to what they used to do, which is to take a shopping basket - something I have done for years anyway, having had a French wife. I'm sure people would be happy to go back to paper bags as well for most things and buy their vegetables loose if the supermarket were forced by law to do this. It might put the price of goods up a bit but I doubt most people would even notice.
     
  21. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    Ford was ahead of his time, now there is a market. Revise the concept with modern technology?
     
  22. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,036
    Shredded cardboard sounds like a good solution. I read somewhere that popcorn also works, unflavoured and with no butter then, have you heard of that? Law changes are often a result of complaints from people. Necessary changes are thus in this scenario are delayed due to humility or fear of being seen a a 'knee-jerker'. What could motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and send a small notice to the concerned companies? Charging for plastic bags is a step in the right direction, we have that in Sweden since many years and most grocery stores also sell fabric reusable bags. Blaming corporate forces seen as overpowering individual action is unfortunately very common. The individual feels powerless, and wrongly so I would say.
     
  23. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,298
    It's complicated. It ain't just the up front and personal experience with plastic, phthalates have found their way into our food supply, and almost everything we come into contact with, including cars, furniture, etc... .
    What I did was ask that phthalates be included in my blood workup. Living rural and harvesting and processing much of my food seems to have lowered my exposure.
     

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