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Plastic Planet

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Plastic Planet
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SparhafocPosts: 1330Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Plastic Planet

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40654915

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782

Plastics have outgrown most man-made materials and have long been under environmental scrutiny. However, robust global information, particularly about their end-of-life fate, is lacking. By identifying and synthesizing dispersed data on production, use, and end-of-life management of polymer resins, synthetic fibers, and additives, we present the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured. We estimate that 8300 million metric tons (Mt) as of virgin plastics have been produced to date. As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.


So in just over a hundred years, we've produced the same weight in plastic as the weight of all elephants in the world: 8.3 billion tonnes, 79% of which is still sitting in the environment.

Problem is, of course, that elephants break down and decompose, whereas some plastics last essentially forever, just breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces.

How much of that plastic is used just for a single incident, like a plastic bag to take goods from shop to home?

Here in Thailand, the amount of plastic used is genuinely absurd. You buy 2 products wrapped in plastic - say cat food, and a banana -, and then the shop will put them into two separate plastic bags (because no one wants their plastic-wrapped cat food next to their plastic-wrapped banana) and then put both bags into another bag to carry.

It's literally a struggle to minimize usage of plastic here, and people look at you as if you're from another planet when you sit collating all the products into one bag, and giving back the rest.

Forget the West... while it's obviously a mass producer/consumer, people are pretty well educated with respect to the threat of plastic. It's the rest of the world which needs education and awareness because plastic is booming here.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:13 am
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1170Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Plastic Planet

Yep. I wonder if all that plastic is even recyclable. I doubt it is. So even with education and recycling, most of that plastic would still be out there in the environment, polluting every ecology and food chain on Earth.

This seems to leave only two bad options. We either collect and burn it all, which will cost trillions and will cause massive air pollution, or we give up and leave it. Neither option seem particularly attractive to me.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:12 am
SparhafocPosts: 1330Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Plastic Planet

Right. There's just tonnes of it laying around, unable ever to decompose, only breaking down from sunlight weakening bonds into smaller bits which eventually find their way into the lowest levels of the food web. Plankton->crustacean->fish->mammals/birds.

Particularly noticeable in the oceanic gyres where all the shit collects:


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40584629

A mariner who has spent years travelling "hundreds of thousands of nautical miles" to measure the impact of plastic waste in the ocean has estimated that a "raft" of plastic debris spanning more than 965,000 square miles (2.5m sq km) is concentrated in a region of the South Pacific.


Again, it's another of those dramatic problems which cross national boundaries, and consequently needs a world agreement. That's not going to remove what's there, but at least we might be able to stop shooting holes in the hull of our boat.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:21 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Plastic Planet

Greetings,

Too much packaging? Dump it at checkout, urges minister

Tesco tells shoppers: too much packaging? Leave it with us

I think that this is the only way to get manufacturers to stop making packaging - once they realize that they're wasting time, and money, doing so, they'll stop producing it.

In some places, people just dump the packaging at the shops, and let them deal with it.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:48 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1330Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Plastic Planet

Dragan Glas wrote:Too much packaging? Dump it at checkout, urges minister

Tesco tells shoppers: too much packaging? Leave it with us

I think that this is the only way to get manufacturers to stop making packaging - once they realize that they're wasting time, and money, doing so, they'll stop producing it.

In some places, people just dump the packaging at the shops, and let them deal with it.



Nice share James. I am quite a large step out of touch with the 'western world', even the UK.

This would be ideal. I would genuinely love to see this return. It would even spawn an industry for making durable portable containers for various uses, to carry eggs (although the packaging is already pretty good), liquids, powders, whatever.

Seems like the win/win to me, a return to the pre-War period, funny that going backward here would result in going forward! :)
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:59 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3317Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Plastic Planet

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Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:34 pm
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