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Plastics Parasitical Paradox

03 Jul


The plastics industry does not want you to stop needing plastic products, it stands to simple basic business reason. Until such time as scrap waste has a commercial value, on a global scale, there will be no drive or strive for improvement.  Also, the reliance on plastic is a global issue, we may be doing our bit by putting our empty bottles in the recycling bin at home, but what about when you are out and about? Do you bring your empty bottle home to put in your recycle bin or bung it in the first available everything and anything trash unit?  Whilst we in the UK are ‘doing our but’, what about some of these emerging, growing, economic countries, we’ve seen the photos of the Mayan river choked with discarded rubbish.

Think it’s not such a big deal? Back about a couple of decades or so ago, before home recycling really took off, many charities would collect old newspapers, when they had a car full off they’d drive to a centre who would weigh it and give them a cheque – it became a highly lucrative income stream. Paper had a commercial value, it was worth collecting. Then all of a sudden it became worthless, a happenstance that could be attributed to the following. American was in an economic depression (what’s that to do with me dog eared copy of Pigeon Fanciers Gazette). Well you see folks, because the jolly US of A peeps weren’t out spending, there was less being imported, significant quantities coming from China, therefore less cartons, boxes and packaging were produced which were made from recycled paper. Old paper and cardboard was exported to China from many corners of the globe, for recycling and then used to produce more boxes and packaging.  

So you see, so much of things are commercially driven.  Currently there is a commendable movement to reduce ‘single use plastics’, there is hardly a product in our home now that doesn’t have a plastic element. It will take decades, a lot of joined up thinking and action before anything will change.  The general public consumer is being told to choose the non-plastic version, take your own country cup to the coffee shop, recycle your old/used items, but unless those items are readily available at a comparable price, it will be slow going, and incredibly minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

Many more of our daily use items (I’m envisioning toothbrushes, food containers, picnic sets, children’s toys, garment hangers etc) are made of an un-recyclable plastic. This is where business needs to do its part, research and develop a recycling method for that plastic, find the market for the recycled plastic to be used or switch to a recyclable plastic version. All this is beyond the realm of we mere consumers. 
Until everybody, everywhere, gets onboard, we will still continue choking.

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7 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2018 in In The News

 

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7 responses to “Plastics Parasitical Paradox

  1. Bushka

    July 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Recycling surely has an environmental spin-off? 😉 Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • AnneMarie

      July 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      There isn’t enough joined up, big thinking. It’s all small. Until business (producing, selling, packaging and recycling) work together the plastic pollution will continue. It’s a global problem, but there will never be global thinking, or global attitude, or global coming together.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Bushka

        July 3, 2018 at 8:37 pm

        …..while continuing, regardless, global warming and global self-destruct. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. daryan12

    July 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    The old waste pyramid says, reduce, reuse, recycle, incineration then and only then does anything go to landfill. The thing is we’ve got it in reverse, we dump stuff until it becomes intolerable, then we look at recycling (other countries use incineration, but there’s too much opposition to that in the UK), then only when the limitations of recycling are realised do we look at reusing or reducing waste in the first place.

    I’ve long argued that pollution taxes or carbon taxes (you’d be paying say an extra £1 or £2 for a bottle of water, most of which would be refunded if the bottle is recycled, etc.) would help solve a lot of these problems. But you’d need to implement at the international level to be effective, otherwise you’ll just end up moving the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • AnneMarie

      July 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Interesting. The plastics industry needs to develop more recyclable plastics, and more recyclable ways for more types of plastics. There is business in recycling. We all diligently put our plastics in the fetching ugly wheelie bins but so much of that isn’t recycled because of oddities (like the lid left on the milk bottle, wrapper not taken off lucozade bottle, the whizzy sorting machinery failed). We are making slow commendable changes, but for every soda bottle, egg carton, food tray I sling in the bin, across the world another dozen are being slung into landfill, or the local river 😦

      Like

       
      • daryan12

        July 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

        Caps on bottles, I always take those off and separate them, same with drinks cartons. Of course this is part of the problem, bad packaging design including separate materials that are incompatible in terms of recycling.

        I must do a post on this on my blog sometime, because the thing is they did develop alternatives, ages ago! I remember coming across a car once (1920’s I think?) which was made of fibre laminate body panels, basically hemp coated in a resit, which was one of a number of materials that were used prior to petroleum based plastics coming along. They were more sustainable. And although not always recyclable they could be easily disposed of by incineration. The trouble was two fold. Firstly hemp got caught up in the drug war again marijuana and competition from the fossil fuel industry led to us switching to petroleum based alternatives.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • AnneMarie

        July 7, 2018 at 12:45 pm

        Precisely, everything can be broken down (except plastic, lol) to the mighty £€$, until there is money in it, there isn’t real drive for change. Who e ear takes the lead, takes the world.

        I look forward to reading your blog post.

        Like

         

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