Killing our planet with plastics

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
Since oil is likely to remain too cheap for the foreseeable future, a deposit on plastic bags may sound crazy but it may also work. Also a surcharge on the Mfg of bags to go to an environment cleanup fund.
 

Sprinter

Minister of Fire
Jul 1, 2012
2,984
SW Washington
I think you may be confusing ethylene with ethane, however. A lot of these wells have some heavier (or 'wetter') contents like ethane and propane.
Yes. As I understand it, ethylene is steam-cracked from the lighter components, but takes a lot of energy? This is really straining my memory banks...
 

Sprinter

Minister of Fire
Jul 1, 2012
2,984
SW Washington
Low levels of ethylene are supposed to be ok. Some fruit generates this gas when ripening. But repeated exposure to ethylene oxide is a serious health issue and one to be concerned about when working in the styrofoam industry.
The Oracle of Delphi seemed to love the stuff (ethylene);). I wonder what concentration she was subjected to? The oxide form, I know nothing about.

I always keep my ripening fruit together for that reason. I never thought about sniffing my bags of peaches, though:cool: I'll let you know how that works out (if I can...)
 

beatlefan

Feeling the Heat
Oct 2, 2015
278
Urbana, Ohio
"The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity."
This is a must fix situation. The plastic bottle blitz started in the 1990's. Now CocaCola alone produces 100 BILLION bottles a year!! They won't use recycled plastics because they think their customers won't like it. Time to make these bottlers assume cradle to grave responsibility for this blight on the planet. In the time it takes to read this thread about a million single-use plastic bottles have been produced. It's time we required these manufacturers to assume cradle to grave responsibility for their products.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change
We should go back to the good ole returnable glass bottles like they had when I was a kid. 100% recyclable. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood, picking them up from the ground and taking them to the store for 10 cents a piece.
 
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Sprinter

Minister of Fire
Jul 1, 2012
2,984
SW Washington
We should go back to the good ole returnable glass bottles like they had when I was a kid. 100% recyclable. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood, picking them up from the ground and taking them to the store for 10 cents a piece.
FWIW (not much), I like glass much better too. I wonder if the plastic bottle craze is more a matter of shipping weight than anything. Frankly, I've not given it much thought, but I'd like to hear some thoughts from industry folks. Glass is so cheap to make, I don't get it.
 
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Dec 29, 2016
5
harley05
It's really kind of ironic when you think about it. All the tree hugging "green" fanatics are the ones who buy bottled water by the case. You never see them without a plastic water bottle in their hands. Me, being the unsolicited redneck I am, I stroll over to the kitchen sink and fill my glass. During the summer, we always have a cold gallon jug in the refrigerator.

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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
It's really kind of ironic when you think about it. All the tree hugging "green" fanatics are the ones who buy bottled water by the case. You never see them without a plastic water bottle in their hands. Me, being the unsolicited redneck I am, I stroll over to the kitchen sink and fill my glass. During the summer, we always have a cold gallon jug in the refrigerator.
I never knew "green fanatics" drank more bottled water than everyone else. I drank from plastic liter bottles most of my life (now I have insulated metal bottles). But it was/is just tap water. I would buy a liter of club soda for $1 once every year or two so I always had a convenient bottle handy. Some bottles lasted me 5 years or more. You have no idea what's in those plastic bottles so don't be so quick to judge. It might just be vodka! ;)

Or the same tap water you drink.

My water district has tap water that comes out of the tap 41-42 degrees, year round. It's pure unchlorinated unfluorinated and uncontaminated groundwater from melting glaciers composed of compacted mountain snowfall that fell 10,000 years ago. It has just enough dissolved minerals to be the most delicious water you've ever tasted but not so much to leave water spots or to need a water softener for laundry. I get all I can use for a flat rate of $25/month (but there would be a cu/ft. rate if I exceeded typical household use). They test it regularly for bacteria/pathogens but there are never any so they don't add disinfectants.

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Want me to show you how to get rid of that useless clutter?
 
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Dec 29, 2016
5
harley05
All I can say is I drive truck for a major retailer and it absolutely blows my mind the amount of bottled water we haul. Can't keep it on the shelves.

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beatlefan

Feeling the Heat
Oct 2, 2015
278
Urbana, Ohio
I wish I was the guy that thought of that one. Who'd have thought that you could get people to buy water in a bottle. When I was a kid, it would have been considered crazy. But now we all do it. Lol
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
I wish I was the guy that thought of that one. Who'd have thought that you could get people to buy water in a bottle. When I was a kid, it would have been considered crazy. But now we all do it. Lol
I refuse to do it unless forced, like when travelling on a plane.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
I refuse to do it unless forced, like when travelling on a plane.
I bring my empty water bottle through airport security and fill it with fresh tap water from the restroom/fountain in the secure area.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
Here is one interesting solution coming from the UK. They take plastics from recycling (including bags), pelletize them and blend them into asphalt for roads. The roads made from this product are supposed to be less expensive, tougher and more resistant to potholing. The claim is this product will outlast regular asphalt roads by 60%.
http://www.macrebur.com/
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
Seems like a good thing for roads ,but there may be a downside.
Once the plastic degrades on the roads i would imagine as small bits it winds up in the streams and eventually the oceans. I can see the oceans fast becoming a cesspool of modern human habitation beyond our ability to clean them up. Radical change is needed quickly by the masses and not just small groups of concerned citizens like us. Im not very optimistic about this. The cost of cleanup needs to be borne by the Mfg of these materials in order to affect change IMO.
 
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sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
I'll chime in...since I work in a plastic injection molding facility.

We recycle 100% of our waste. If a part is scrap for whatever reason, it is either ground up and reused or it is ground and sent to another facility for them to reuse. We make dairy containers. Much emphasis is on how thin you can make a container in order to save material costs.

I think the biggest bang for our buck isn't wraps and bags...they have very, very little mass. One use containers have quite a bit of mass..think your sour cream container. There is no deposit, so all are either recycled at home, or tossed in the trash and may be in the landfill or recycled by the trash collection center.

The problem isn't an easy one, because rinsing fatty sour cream, yogurt, cottage chesse,,ect out in your sink...isn't a good idea. And no one wants to have stinky cheese smelling trash in their garage, waiting for a collection day.

The demand for bigger and bigger dairy containers is only growing. We make a very popular 40oz greek yogurt container.

To give you some perspective...my one little obscure facility produces well over 100MM lbs of plastic products each year.
 
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venator260

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2015
358
Huntingdon County, Pa
The problem isn't an easy one, because rinsing fatty sour cream, yogurt, cottage chesse,,ect out in your sink...isn't a good idea. And no one wants to have stinky cheese smelling trash in their garage, waiting for a collection day.
Alright, perhaps this should be common knowledge; but I've never heard this warning extended to these products. Cooking grease and butter yes; I have removed a 'butter plug' from my drain. Does sour cream and yogurt have the same effect?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
I suppose if one dumped a half a container down the drain multiple times that could be a problem, but not from just rinsing out an empty container. After the container is rinsed out, there is no smell, even after weeks in the recycling bin. We've reused used cottage cheese containers for years. There has never been a sanitation problem.
 
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venator260

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2015
358
Huntingdon County, Pa
I suppose if one dumped a half a container down the drain multiple times that it could be a problem, but not from just rinsing out an empty container. After the container is rinsed out, there is no smell, even after weeks in the recycling bin.

That's what I had always figured. I do wash out any dairy containers, and I usually have to store my recyclables for a couple of weeks as I don't have curbside pickup. I was asking because it's a fairly long run from my kitchen sink to the septic tank, and I have no desire to cut open PVC to clean crud out of the pipe.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
No one should buy sour cream or cottage cheese. They're gross!
What about yogurt? I was raised in the country and know clabbered milk when I see it.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
What about yogurt? I was raised in the country and know clabbered milk when I see it.
They're similar but different bugs. Clabber is thinner and works at room temp and uses local wild bacteria. Yogurt is thermophilic, it requires heat to culture and uses a different strain of bacteria.
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
Alright, perhaps this should be common knowledge; but I've never heard this warning extended to these products. Cooking grease and butter yes; I have removed a 'butter plug' from my drain. Does sour cream and yogurt have the same effect?
All oil/grease/fat when hit by cold water hardens up.

I don't know if it's an issue or not....but fat is fat.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
Most cottage cheese and yogurt is low-fat.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,534
Nova Scotia
All oil/grease/fat when hit by cold water hardens up.

I don't know if it's an issue or not....but fat is fat.
Not all, I don't believe. I don't think I've ever seen my oil based salad dressings go hard in the fridge, for example.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,722
South Puget Sound, WA
Our homemade olive oil dressings congeal in the refrig. Not solid, but it won't pour.