Killing our planet with plastics

venator260

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2015
358
Huntingdon County, Pa
Our homemade olive oil dressings congeal in the refrig. Not solid, but it won't pour.

That was my thoughts too. At the temperature of my drainpipes (basement usually doesn't get below about 65 degrees year round) sour cream is fairly liquid. What bits of cottage cheese that would go down the drain would be liquid as well. Not sure about the run between the wall and the septic, but I would think that one person showering would get things warmed up enough to get it moved to the septic tank.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, like I said, it would be a bad idea to dump a half-container down the drain, but rinsing out an empty container, no problem. These containers need to be recycled or reused and not landfilled.
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
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.
I use silicone spatulas. Makes it very easy to use all of the product. So there's not enough to worry about rinsing the container in your sink.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,511
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The sewers can handle solids so it isn't about the chunkiness. The greases, oils, and fats,(FOG) are a problem in sewers because they adhere to the walls and leave a thin layer of FOG as they pass. Those layers accumulate over time until flow is reduced and you get a backup. Then you need to clean the whole line. Very seldom does it clog in just one spot with the rest of the line clean. So dumping a slug of fat one time is not as bad as dumping a little bit of fat every day for an extended period.

What many folks do with a FOG backup is dump a boiling pot of water down the drain to remelt the FOG and send it down the line.

We don't recycle garbage and do not wash FOG down the drain. No stink. The real stink is from rotting meat scraps.
 

venator260

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2015
358
Huntingdon County, Pa
Well, this should be too much of a problem for me. My sink runs into the pipe that comes from first the dishwasher, and then, on the other side of the wall, the washing machine. I would think that those get enough hot water run through them to take care of any problems associated with a buildup of fats. I suppose if I ever do have a problem, I'll have to cut into the lines, in which case I'll install cleanouts
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
In the meantime let the bottling companies pay for the disposal, landfill and recycling costs.
Let them put a small deposit on bottle Mfgs. Can be small to start,a nickle or 2. Would be enough for people to collect and turn in discarded bottles that would not find their way to waterways. Exempt plant based and glass bottles. Industry would find solutions as soon as plastic becomes more expensive than alternatives. .I already recycle all my plastic bottles, water,detergent,milk,food containers ect ect.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
I was very impressed with how well they recycle in Colombia. There are recycling bins everywhere. You can even take a bag of your plastic bottles and recyclables to the Metro and pay your fare with them or by a multiride pass. We saw recycling crews at work and noted the city streets are very clean.
Here is a recycling station at a Medellin Metro stop.
IMAG0193web.jpg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the recent study reported in Nature shows that previous estimates for size and volume of the GPGP are very low. This is a detailed, and conservative study. And yes this is just one of six human garbage collecting gyres. If people thought of this in terms of petroleum dumped in the ocean they would be much more alarmed, but that is essentially what it is, time-released, but just as fatal in many ways. And this is just one issue. It was reported in the past week that we have also grossly underestimated the amount of microplastics that is currently pouring into the oceans from freshwater rivers. And this is before ocean acidification. We are killing our very source of life, the seas. Without ocean produced oxygen, terrestrial life as we know it will not survive.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w

PS: Love Carlin, but since he did that monologue we are up to 150-200 species going extinct per day. That is way above the background rate of 25 per day that he mentions. The planet is our habitat and the only one we have. In the big picture he is correct, the planet will survive without us, but at the current rate humanity's days are numbered. It's basic math.
 
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Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
Yea the planet will be fine, its our own butts we need to save not the planet . But we can do a lot more so we dont have to live amongst the garbage we generate.
 
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WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,915
Winter WI
Yes, the recent study reported in Nature shows that previous estimates for size and volume of the GPGP are very low. This is a detailed, and conservative study. And yes this is just one of six human garbage collecting gyres. If people thought of this in terms of petroleum dumped in the ocean they would be much more alarmed, but that is essentially what it is, time-released, but just as fatal in many ways. And this is just one issue. It was reported in the past week that we have also grossly underestimated the amount of microplastics that is currently pouring into the oceans from freshwater rivers. And this is before ocean acidification. We are killing our very source of life, the seas. Without ocean produced oxygen, terrestrial life as we know it will not survive.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w

PS: Love Carlin, but since he did that monologue we are up to 150-200 species going extinct per day. That is way above the background rate of 25 per day that he mentions. The planet is our habitat and the only one we have. In the big picture he is correct, the planet will survive without us, but at the current rate humanity's days are numbered. It's basic math.
Between that and the warming planet which will make food and water more scarce in the future possibly unleashing water wars things could be tough for the future. It’s a shame that the government is basically controlled by corporations and special interest groups meaning not many in DC will vote their conscience but will instead vote just to keep their own job. It disgusts me.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
If the zooplankton ecosystem collapses then we lose about 70% of our oxygen supply. Not many species will survive that until the system resets itself. Imagine a future life based on tardigrades and cockroaches.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,343
Schenectady, NY
Probably wouldn't want to use up the oxygen with a fire, so they'd be raw roaches! You could season them with a little sea salt though.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
We definitely could go to alternative packaging and drastically cut plastic use. Its TOO cheap. My plastic waste is most of my garbage. I guess were waiting until the garbage patch goes shore to shore in the ocean before acting. One sure fire way to get rid of plastic it to TAX IT.
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,915
Winter WI
Is this

So who dumped it there? Are they still dumping there?
From what I heard on the radio they said there’s many different languages on the plastics including English. They also said that 48% of the gppp is fishing nets. They are cheap and often cut free from shops and they kill everything that gets caught in them. I’ve also seen reports on cruise ships that dump their trash in the middle of the night.
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,915
Winter WI
We definitely could go to alternative packaging and drastically cut plastic use. Its TOO cheap. My plastic waste is most of my garbage. I guess were waiting until the garbage patch goes shore to shore in the ocean before acting. One sure fire way to get rid of plastic it to TAX IT.
My commingled recycling is definitely much more than my garbage and here in the sticks we buy bags to take our garbage to the dump but the recycling is taken for free so it just makes sense to separate out all recycling but still some up here don’t do it or they illegally burn all of their trash, plastics and all. I especially hate to see that as we have good clean air up here. These people who do that are the laziest people imo.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
Is this

So who dumped it there? Are they still dumping there?
This has been building for decades. A big part appears to have been added during the largeJapanese tsunami that washed entire towns out to sea. But there are objects in the gyre dated from 40 years ago too. Places like Indonesia are still contributing a lot. About a third of the materials found there were from China. Not sure if this has since declined significantly as the Chinese put stricter environmental controls in place. Their rivers are still a major source. Most importantly, this is only one of 6 major garbage gyres around the planet. The Atlantic gyres would have content from the Americas. But it is reported that 10 rivers are responsible for the most contributions.

http://www.dw.com/en/almost-all-plastic-in-the-ocean-comes-from-just-10-rivers/a-41581484
http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2016/12/world/midway-plastic-island/

 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,534
Nova Scotia
Build some big factory ships that can process that stuff into compressed brick type stuff, then bring it ashore and burn it in some co-gen plants. That have stack scrubbers and stuff.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
We definitely could go to alternative packaging and drastically cut plastic use. Its TOO cheap. My plastic waste is most of my garbage. I guess were waiting until the garbage patch goes shore to shore in the ocean before acting. One sure fire way to get rid of plastic it to TAX IT.
In Norway you pay 1 krone when you buy a soda or water, etc. in a plastic bottle. At every store and in public areas there are machines that then take in the returned empty bottles. This eliminates a lot of handling. The cost is covered by the bottling companies. They get lower taxes for complying.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
Build some big factory ships that can process that stuff into compressed brick type stuff, then bring it ashore and burn it in some co-gen plants. That have stack scrubbers and stuff.
That thought has come to mind. I don't like incineration, it's often poorly done, but the Swedes seem to be perfecting the scrubbing and filtering. It could be part of the solution. The other part is a moratorium on new plants producing the raw materials for petroleum based packaging plastics. Since 2010 $180 Billion has been spent on new plants.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,080
Eastern Central PA
Rather than deal with it as toxic waste it seems it would be so much simpler to produce a biodegradable substance to replace plastic altogether. Bottles may be a few pennies or a nickle more expensive but they would return to the environment as compost or some inert less dangerous material. Once plastic enters the waste stream it is hard and expensive to deal with it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,745
South Puget Sound, WA
There are companies working on that overseas. Not sure about in the US.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,343
Schenectady, NY
I've seen what appears to be plastic bottles stating that they are plant based, not plastic.

I've seen plastic bottles that claim to degrade with the sun, but they are buried at the landfill.

Not sure what exactly you were talking about though. I bet waxed paper milk and oj containers degrade or are recycled just fine.