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Posted By begreen,
Feb 22, 2013 at 11:37 PM
On the boat I work on we save all of the garbage we catch in our nets over the course of the day. Most days we fill a bushel basket,and it mainly consists of celophane balloons and plastic bags.Im all for the bag bans many towns are implementing, and I wish soda,and milk companys and many others would only use glass containers for their products. Theres just to much plastic being used and its a big waste of our oil supply, not to mention some scientists are finding a link between cancer and foods that are contained in plastic.
The plastic six pack holders are a menace!
I have 700' of road frontage and I know what pigs people are. I think we need more deposit containers and more glass.
Glass is 100 percent recyclable, many times over. With a little responsibility, we'd be able to clean up the earth if we quit using plastic containers and went back to glass......
The key word is responsibility (at both the consumer AND producer level), and we know that just isn't going to happen......
I agree about glass but one of the big factors in plastic packaging is weight, for shipping purposes. Weight = cost and fuel use.
No sure where the balance point is, though it makes a good case for local/regional bottling facilities where practical.
One major downside to plastic bag bans is illness borne by unwashed re-usable grocery bags;
Personally, I prefer paper. Trees are renewable after all.
We try to recycle plastics, but it is hard here in Livingston county, Michigan. This is a very conservative area, the red county of Michigan, and there are 0 recyclying programs here. They refer to those programs as "That Al Gore chit". These folks are never going to change, until they assume room temperature. My wife saves up our plastics and takes it to her mom's house every month or so. She lives in a blue county, they have curbside recyclying.
My refuse company won't allow glass in the co-mingled recycle bins we use. When we moved here from Virginia, I found this curious, so I asked some folks about it. Turns out that down at the landfill/recycling center (a very nice facility, btw) there's a mountain of glass (I'm talking about building-sized) because there's no market for it. Nobody will buy the glass from the facility. I guess it must simply be cheaper to make brand new glass than to recycle old glass. They have a dumpster there we can toss glass into, then it goes on the mountain rather than into the landfill...I guess in the hope that someday there will be a market for it. We can return some glass containers on which a deposit was paid...I haven't a clue what becomes of all that glass. Rick
It's pretty amazing that the simplest things, such as bottle bills, cannot be passed by every state!
I'd argue that we have vast problems - BUT, I'd also posit that, unlike before 1970 or so, we are at least becoming aware and starting to address many of them.
Martha just picked up a copy of the famous first book by Ian McHarg and I was struck by the introduction - which he updated in the 90's.
A piece of it is enclosed - enlarge and squint and you can probably read it - it is uplifting because, at the time, you could count ALL the real environmentalists in the country on your fingers and toes. It simply was not part of the public dialog...
Those are some truly disheartening images BG.
Sad state of affairs when you dissect birds and observe that garbage we put out. Incredibly sad.
The majority of states don't have bottle bills. We have had 4 bottle bills come up for vote in WA. They were common sense proposals similar to those already in place in OR and CA. Every time it came to ballot, the major bottling companies bring out devils from the closet and spend millions to defeat the bill. Some scare tactics they use are: It will be unsanitary and a health threat. Workers will need to be laid off. It will cause a significant increase in your grocery bill beyond the 5 cent fee per bottle, etc. etc. The last ballot bill was in 2011. It included a provision that required plastic six-pack rings be biodegradable. The bill was defeated again, after the bottling companies outspent the supporters by a margin of 20 to 1. One has to wonder what could have been done with the hundreds of millions spent on anti-bottling campaigns were applied in a more responsible corporate policies.
Basically the solution is a nationwide, cradle to grave responsibility bill. Stop industries from creating something and then leaving the bill for cleanup on the tax payer. We have this law for hazardous wastes, but not for all manufacturing. Germany has cradle to grave law to make every single manufacturer responsible for their own product and package recycling. It works for everything from donuts to BMWs and has dramatically reduced waste in their country.
Michigan passed a bottle bill in 1972? It could never get passed today. Whenever a recycling bill comes up for other food containers, the industrial folks all get the paid shills to work against it. And conservatives always, always, come down against anything enviornmental here.
Same here with glass, it was not accepted in the curbsite recycling but everything else was.
So.....a local brewery (Boulevard Brewing Co) started up a glass recycling program by putting these purple recycling bins around in parking lots and its gotten so popular that the suburbs partner with them to bring glass recycling to their area and they are apparently branching out to other towns in the area too.
It's only five cents . . . but come Spring time you will find folks walking alongside the roads here in Maine collecting cans and bottles. Fast food wrappers and cigarette butts however . . . that's a different story.
The beaches of the northern Hawaiian Islands look just like that. There is a plactic dead zone the size of texas just north of there.
We dont need to go to mars and space before we fix what we have done to the earth.
That is the convergence zone of the North Pacific Gyre. The garbage is now estimated there at 100 million tons.