Jump to content
wild_turkey

Plastic waste in the environment

Recommended Posts

On 9/7/2019 at 8:38 AM, Born to Run said:
On 9/6/2019 at 12:20 PM, BabaYaga said:
Lest the last vestige of South Austin's mom not be forgotten when our robot overlords take their rightful place

What's the back story on South Austin's Mom?

She does her part by reusing condoms.

Edited by RollLeft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They interviewed a "recycling expert" on NPR the other day. They pretty much stuck to just plastic, but some interesting take aways:

 

Since China ships a shit load of crap to the US, these shipping containers were going back mostly empty. It was super cheap to just fill them with plastic. This made it cheap for China to buy the plastic, which they then recycled, because they actually have recycling infrastructure in place. This means there was no incentive for the US to develop a recycling infrastructure.

The problem was that if the containers of plastic were often contaminated with plastic bags, food residue, oil residue, or whatever, it was simply cheaper to throw it all away than actually sort/clean it. So entire shipping containers would end up in landfills or worse just be dumped in the ocean.

Enter DOTARD and his trade war. China stopped buying the plastic, but other countries picked up the slack for a little while until they got sick of getting contaminated plastic and stopped buying it, or even taking it for free. So now nobody is buying the plastic, and its going to take awhile until the US gets its recycling infrastructure up and running, if it ever does.

 

So,

 

1) stop buying so much plastic shit

2) reuse it if you do buy it

3) recycle it if you can't reuse it

4) sort that shit correctly, and rinse the food out before recycling

5) shame the shit out people who don't do these four things

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the biggest problem, is that theres no sorting or cleaning. If we can start at the home, then the rest would be better off for it. Trying to sort and clean all that shit at the plant is impossible.

Also have to take the plastic rings and caps off plastic bottles. Cartons with the plastic spout has to be removed. Its tedious, but very much doable. 

First step should always be stop using the plastic bags, bring your own, they're cheap too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serious question... There are what...375 million people in the US?  And between the UK and Germany and France another what? The same amount?  So 700 million out of 7 billion on this planet even begin to give a shit. Does it even really matter what we even do?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, pops said:

Serious question... There are what...375 million people in the US?  And between the UK and Germany and France another what? The same amount?  So 700 million out of 7 billion on this planet even begin to give a shit. Does it even really matter what we even do?  

Yes.  It absolutely matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm of the opinion that it will not get better.  We could do alot more.  There's a bunch of technology out there that has already been developed that we could take on to improve landfills, recycling & decomposition of unwanted materials.  But noone in the U.S. will take a step forward without a government subsidy, because we are lazy and greedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Dewey said:

That's the biggest problem, is that theres no sorting or cleaning. If we can start at the home, then the rest would be better off for it. Trying to sort and clean all that shit at the plant is impossible.

Also have to take the plastic rings and caps off plastic bottles. Cartons with the plastic spout has to be removed. Its tedious, but very much doable. 

First step should always be stop using the plastic bags, bring your own, they're cheap too. 

I gather that most don’t really understand what can and can’t be recycled.  They just throw in anything that might potentially be recycled, and figure someone down the line will figure it out.  That adds costs and potentially can ruin other recycleables. 

Wash out as much food or liquid as possible.  And don’t recycle plastic bags or pizza boxes.  Take the bags to the store, who claim to recycle them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

I gather that most don’t really understand what can and can’t be recycled.  They just throw in anything that might potentially be recycled, and figure someone down the line will figure it out.  That adds costs and potentially can ruin other recycleables. 

Wash out as much food or liquid as possible.  And don’t recycle plastic bags or pizza boxes.  Take the bags to the store, who claim to recycle them.

I don't believe grocery stores recycle the plastic bags.  They do crush, along with carboard, the paper bags.  And sell it for around $50 a ton.  That's what it went for back when we were in the business.  So use your own bags or paper bags.

And Jesus stop using so many single use plastic bottles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody ever been to japan? The recycling is fanatical.

We went to a street festival. There were no trash cans, there was a trash area with several attendants directing you to place each item in the appropriate bin.

The hotel hallways are lined with trash bags every morning and every single thing removed from the room is sorted and placed in the appropriate bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

while people get mad about any plastic usage (bags, bottles, straws, whatever) the real problem is how people dispose of them. We still have people that dispose of trash by throwing it out of their car window.  I live on a residential street in Houston that gets a fair amount of pass through traffic.  I can basically pick up a plastic bottle, chip bag, etc. everyday from my lawn.  I also see some of this trash go into the storm sewers, which means it's next in White Oak bayou, then Houston ship channel, and finally galveston bay. 

If people would just dispose of plastic properly, we would see less trash in the water. Of course this is a symptom that many people are net takers from society as opposed to giving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Gil Bang said:

Anybody ever been to japan? The recycling is fanatical.

We went to a street festival. There were no trash cans, there was a trash area with several attendants directing you to place each item in the appropriate bin.

The hotel hallways are lined with trash bags every morning and every single thing removed from the room is sorted and placed in the appropriate bag.

yep. i lived there. we had four different types of trash and the neighborhood obachans would help me sort everything out if i screwed anything up. it was a fairly easy thing to figure out, though. 

we just had a small green compost bin delivered to our house in austin. time to figure that out again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Johnny Sack said:

What is the point of a straw?  I hate drinking out of them.  

I prefer them for a beverage in the car; like an iced tea from a drive-thru.   But that's it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

while people get mad about any plastic usage (bags, bottles, straws, whatever) the real problem is how people dispose of them. We still have people that dispose of trash by throwing it out of their car window.  I live on a residential street in Houston that gets a fair amount of pass through traffic.  I can basically pick up a plastic bottle, chip bag, etc. everyday from my lawn.  I also see some of this trash go into the storm sewers, which means it's next in White Oak bayou, then Houston ship channel, and finally galveston bay. 

If people would just dispose of plastic properly, we would see less trash in the water. Of course this is a symptom that many people are net takers from society as opposed to giving.

Is a lot ending up in the oceans because of the drainage you describe?  Not that I thought the number was zero, but I would guess it's drops in the bucket to what is just being flat out dumped in the oceans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Johnny Sack said:

What is the point of a straw?  I hate drinking out of them.  

The origins are probably something to do with sanitation, but seems like one of those things that caught on, was super cheap, and with no consequences at the time.  Even when the consequences became evident down the line we are just too lazy/stupid to stop.  Hell single use water bottles weren't even a thing when I was a kid and I'm only 35.  That entire issue exploded when we were well aware plastics in the environment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wife has sensitive teeth. If she wants to drink something cold, she needs a straw for the most part. I think the thinking is they also keep your teeth from getting as stained and keep all that sugar from our American drinks from contacting the teeth as much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2019 at 9:24 PM, freyguy said:

I'm of the opinion that it will not get better.  We could do alot more.  There's a bunch of technology out there that has already been developed that we could take on to improve landfills, recycling & decomposition of unwanted materials.  But noone in the U.S. will take a step forward without a government subsidy, because we are lazy and greedy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2019 at 1:56 PM, Dewey said:

That's the biggest problem, is that theres no sorting or cleaning. If we can start at the home, then the rest would be better off for it. Trying to sort and clean all that shit at the plant is impossible.

Also have to take the plastic rings and caps off plastic bottles. Cartons with the plastic spout has to be removed. Its tedious, but very much doable. 

First step should always be stop using the plastic bags, bring your own, they're cheap too. 

There is a big sticker on top of our recycle can that lists exactly what you can and can’t put in it. It specifically says you can’t recycle anything that came in contact with food. So what does the wife do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Well I’ve gone 2 weeks without Propel fwiw. But I’m drinking more La Croix so I hope we don’t discover a similar problem with aluminum cans.

Uhhhhhhhhhh.  Used to be issues I believe.  They now have an internal plastic coating that keeps the alum. from the contents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Uhhhhhhhhhh.  Used to be issues I believe.  They now have an internal plastic coating that keeps the alum. from the contents.

I think the whole aluminum causing dementia? Alzheimers? limp dick? whatever it was, has been disproved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We visited the sea turtle rescue place on SPI last summer. There was a picture of turtle with a straw up its nose that had somehow penetrated into its brain. After seeing that, the daughter and the wife never use straws anymore. I have never used them.

I remember back in the day, the snack bar next to Barton SPrings stopped giving out straws because of all the litter. People were OUTRAGED!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my neighborhood all have a blue recycle trash cans.  It's not sorted everything goes into the one big bin.  I try to clean food out of everything and don't throw in pizza boxes.  I just stick to the rules they gave me, but I know plenty of people don't.  Knowing it's not pre sorted and there are lots of contaminated items am I now to assume that it's likely just being dumped in the landfill?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, High Plains Drifter said:

I think the whole aluminum causing dementia? Alzheimers? limp dick? whatever it was, has been disproved.

That's good to hear.  I haven't read anything about the theory being disproved yet. Need to do a googelzz search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Gene Parmesan said:

So my neighborhood all have a blue recycle trash cans.  It's not sorted everything goes into the one big bin.  I try to clean food out of everything and don't throw in pizza boxes.  I just stick to the rules they gave me, but I know plenty of people don't.  Knowing it's not pre sorted and there are lots of contaminated items am I now to assume that it's likely just being dumped in the landfill?

I think it gets packaged and dumped for someone else to sort out, which means it just sits somewhere, on land or ocean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2019 at 11:18 AM, Johnny Sack said:

What is the point of a straw?  I hate drinking out of them.  

Blow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do straws get all the buzz because they are the main culprit, or some other reason we latched onto it.  Just thinking about our plastic use and I would guess straws are a pretty small percentage of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Gene Parmesan said:

Do straws get all the buzz because they are the main culprit, or some other reason we latched onto it.  Just thinking about our plastic use and I would guess straws are a pretty small percentage of that.

I would assume it's just something we all have used and would be relatively painless to give up. I was annoyed by it at first, but now I couldn't care less if I ever used a plastic straw again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gene Parmesan said:

Do straws get all the buzz because they are the main culprit, or some other reason we latched onto it.  Just thinking about our plastic use and I would guess straws are a pretty small percentage of that.

Because a 9 year old said so.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/business/plastic-straws-ban-fact-check-nyt.html

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

They now have an internal plastic coating that keeps the alum. from the contents.

It's actually an acrylic can lining sprayed in. 

1 hour ago, Gene Parmesan said:

Are those six pack ring holders still a problem?  I haven't seen one of those in ages.  Who goes into a store and only buys six beers these days?

We still get 6-Pack cases of sodas at work. They must be cheaper than 12/24 packs. One thing I am fanatical about is cutting up the empty rings so there's no actual ring left. Think of the turtles.

e6pr-turtle.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are those six pack ring holders still a problem?  I haven't seen one of those in ages.  Who goes into a store and only buys six beers these days?


Most good beer comes in six packs but now they have those full plastic holders that snap onto the top. Good news is that turtles can’t get stuck in them because there are no rings, but the bad news is that each one uses much more plastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, RPM said:

It's actually an acrylic can lining sprayed in. 

 

Acrylic is a plastic...

13 hours ago, RPM said:

We still get 6-Pack cases of sodas at work. They must be cheaper than 12/24 packs. One thing I am fanatical about is cutting up the empty rings so there's no actual ring left. Think of the turtles.

e6pr-turtle.png

Dat waist to hip ratio, tho...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2019 at 3:33 PM, Gene Parmesan said:

Do straws get all the buzz because they are the main culprit, or some other reason we latched onto it.  Just thinking about our plastic use and I would guess straws are a pretty small percentage of that.

there was a viral video a couple years ago of a turtle with a straw stuck way up its nose that took a lot of work with some pliers to yank out, finally leaving a turtle with a bloody nose. 

they're also shitty on recycling equipment, either falling through conveyors or getting mechanically sorted into the wrong line.

 

maybe it's been covered, but there's a term for people throwing things that they think should be recycled into the recycling: wishcycling. 

Quote

If you’re like me, you’ve looked at a paper coffee cup or an empty tube of toothpaste and thought, “Is this recyclable?” before tossing it in the recycling bin, hoping someone, somewhere, would sort it out. People in the waste management industry call this habit “wishcycling.” According to Marian Chertow, director of the Solid Waste Policy program at Yale University, “a wishcycler wants to do the right thing and feels that the more that he or she can recycle, the better.”

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/08/recycling-wishcycling-china-plastics-zero-waste-bags-straws/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/06/28/federal-judge-rules-lawsuit-formosa-plastics-texas-pollution-case/

tldr: Wife's law firm got a 50 million settlement from Taiwanese plastic company Formosa Plastics for illegal dumping of plastic pellets into Lavaca Bay.

 

interesting tidbit: TCEQ had only fined the company $120,000 for the dumping, which took place over months, if not years. 

 

 

Edited by High Plains Drifter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to a 10-minute Planet Money podcast (link) about plastic recycling which led me to a longer PBS Frontline story (link.) Summary: plastic recycling is a marketing lie.

Most of the plastic that we place in our recycling bins cannot be economically recycled. So why do we all lie to each other:

  1. Consumers feel good about themselves
  2. The local govt doesn’t get heat from constituents who want to believe plastic can be recycled. see #1.
  3. The grocery stores are happy that you are buying their products in cheap plastic. See #1.
  4. Product and Plastic manufacturers are happy with the cheap and growing plastic industry. See #s 2 and 3.

What annoyed me the most about these stories are that the manufacturers place the chasing arrow recycling symbol on products knowing they will not be recycled. To them, if it’s chemically possible to recycle, they feel justified in adding that recycle symbol even if NO ONE in the world does that due to cost. They’ve rejected calls to improve labeling. They claim the small number within the arrow triangle is enough. I attempted to read my plastic starbucks cup label. I had to hold it up to a light several times to finally read the # within the recycle triangle.

And as far as plastic being dumped anywhere in the world, the plastic industry blames you and I for that. We didn’t do our part. We didn’t read the label correctly. We didn’t research the local recycling rules. We don’t hold govt officials to wise environmental stewardship. It’s not the plastic industry’s fault. I bet that less than 5% of residents know the local rules and take time to sort correctly. Instead if it feels and looks like plastic, put it in recycling. My responsibility is now over.

The plastic industry is set to triple in size in the upcoming decades. They claim they want 100% recyclable plastic. Is that believable? Do they truly want product manufacturers to use all recycled plastic and not buy new plastic?  Or 50% recycled Or 25%?  Hell no. They only want enough recycling to make the consumers feel good about their purchase and to keep govts off their back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

I listened to a 10-minute Planet Money podcast (link) about plastic recycling which led me to a longer PBS Frontline story (link.) Summary: plastic recycling is a marketing lie.

Most of the plastic that we place in our recycling bins cannot be economically recycled. So why do we all lie to each other:

  1. Consumers feel good about themselves
  2. The local govt doesn’t get heat from constituents who want to believe plastic can be recycled. see #1.
  3. The grocery stores are happy that you are buying their products in cheap plastic. See #1.
  4. Product and Plastic manufacturers are happy with the cheap and growing plastic industry. See #s 2 and 3.

What annoyed me the most about these stories are that the manufacturers place the chasing arrow recycling symbol on products knowing they will not be recycled. To them, if it’s chemically possible to recycle, they feel justified in adding that recycle symbol even if NO ONE in the world does that due to cost. They’ve rejected calls to improve labeling. They claim the small number within the arrow triangle is enough. I attempted to read my plastic starbucks cup label. I had to hold it up to a light several times to finally read the # within the recycle triangle.

And as far as plastic being dumped anywhere in the world, the plastic industry blames you and I for that. We didn’t do our part. We didn’t read the label correctly. We didn’t research the local recycling rules. We don’t hold govt officials to wise environmental stewardship. It’s not the plastic industry’s fault. I bet that less than 5% of residents know the local rules and take time to sort correctly. Instead if it feels and looks like plastic, put it in recycling. My responsibility is now over.

The plastic industry is set to triple in size in the upcoming decades. They claim they want 100% recyclable plastic. Is that believable? Do they truly want product manufacturers to use all recycled plastic and not buy new plastic?  Or 50% recycled Or 25%?  Hell no. They only want enough recycling to make the consumers feel good about their purchase and to keep govts off their back.

Yep.  Sucks.  Seems like if it's going to end up in a landfill anyway, the only thing this does is make the process for actually recyclable materials less efficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd be stunned to know how few people in the CPG space know where the plastic in their packaging materials comes from.  They think oil has zero to do with the equation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Biff Tannen said:

Yep.  Sucks.  Seems like if it's going to end up in a landfill anyway, the only thing this does is make the process for actually recyclable materials less efficient.

Yep. From the reports I linked, a local landfill is better than the recycle bin for most plastic. The recycling centers struggle to find buyers of most of their plastic waste. 3rd world countries take this material, sort out the small amounts of valuable materials and then either burn or throw the rest away. Most likely not in official landfills but perhaps waterways or tossed openly on land. Does acres and acres of open trash in Indonesia matter to us? Maybe not today but I can't believe there isn't a future impact to us.

These two stories basically tell me that plastic should go in with the regular trash for the local landfill. we're not going to get away from plastic entirely but I don't want my plastic trash tossed in the ocean. The recycle bin should be for paper, metal and glass only. Plastic recycling is a joke. We want it to work because the idea makes us feel good so we're not going to stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:
  • The local govt doesn’t get heat from constituents who want to believe plastic can be recycled. see #1.

That's the thing.  If the cities actually discussed and put it on full blast to where folks couldn't miss it, and explained just what can be recycled (and what they actually recycle), it might shock a few people.

For example, it's game day.  There's going to be a shitload of pizza ordered and delivered.  You will see plenty of pizza boxes being tossed into recycling bins, when they can't be recycled, and everybody throwing them in there will be unaware of that fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


mpu


Football ... Basketball ... Baseball ... Other Sports ... Recruiting ... Gambling ... Movies & TV ... Music ... Hobbies ... Lulz ... Food & Travel ... Daily Texan ... Help ... For Sale ... Politics ... Board Discussion
×
×
  • Create New...