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 Post subject: Plastics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Now I know, some may not, that France banned single use plastic cups, spoons etc last year. Hats off to France! Not sure why I still see those items for sale in France....... ah france some day....

Now we have suffered May bot spouting her usual nonsense on behalf of trying to gather some more votes (we can all see right through you May) That the stupid UK is finally going to look at doing something about plastics waste.........in 25 years time. Is May part french?
That will be too damn late you stupid cow!

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:27 pm 
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And there are solutions already out there.
In Germany most plastic bottles are sold with a deposit attached. Companies like Coco Cola use heavyweight bottles that can be sterilised and reused. Other companies like Aldi use the same sorts of bottles we all use but have machines in their stores that read the bar code accept the bottle and issue a credit note. The bottles are crushed in the machine to give metre cube bales to be sent straight to the recycler.

All plastics are accepted into the recycle streams - none of this silly, you can recycle a Tetrapak container* but not a yoghurt pot: plastic bottles are fine but plastic film is not.

And beyond that I fear that the real problem is not plastic packaging, but micro-fibres from our synthetic clothing which end up in the water courses every time we wash them. Whales trying to eat plastic bags or seals trapped in circular plastic moulding attract attention but I fear more what we cannot see regarding the real long term dangers.

*This must be one of the least recycling friendly packages around given the mix of materials within the package. I think it is still a very good package overall, just not straightforward to recycle. There must be ways however since these are accepted.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:55 pm 
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Germany has made some useful strides on removing plastic from waste, but they still produce the Kinde Eier with a plastic toy inside ( this is lost or thrown away). And I can testify to the efficiency of the bottle recycling/identifying machine in Lidl.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:47 am 
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Taking back bottles for their deposit was our weekly chore and subsequently pocket money!

Sadly, again, there are just too many people who are not responsible enough to dispose of their plastic rubbish properly. Goodness, it couldn't be much simpler! There are just too many people, full stop.

The worst culprits don't listen and don't care.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:21 pm 
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I heard a comment on one of the recent news items that half of the worlds plastic waste that is deposited into the oceans comes from 10 rivers.

Not sure how reliable that is, and I assume it refers to "large" plastic items and not micro fibres.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:43 pm 
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Many of these plastics just keep on breaking into smaller pieces until they are microscopic and cannot be seen. Fish, animals and birds ingest this plastic which cannot be seen ...


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:46 pm 
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It will be both, Asia is the worst polluter and this also affects the water supplies for the people.
I think part of the problem is people of a certain generation have it fixed in their minds and partly due to the greens, "Plastics take years and years to breakdown that is the problem"

That isn't a clear picture, plastics get do broken down quicker and eaten by everything from bacteria to simple plankton and these are the food source in the food chain for other species. Thus the toxic chemicals move into all the marine life and of course into our food.

Known as priority chemicals.

Had it not been for Blue Planet 2 would the Maybot have made any comment at all? I feel with the time scale she gave out this is just trying to canvas a new vote or two. The statistics people quickly gave out " this is the first statement of this type from a British politician" So moral high ground to Maybot.

The monitoring being done by marine biologists around the world all come to the same conclusion and action is needed now not in 25 years. Some like Dr Howard Dryden have plotted the rise in ocean problems caused by man and the effect on the oceans inside Maybots 25y time frame.

The ocean is so important to life on earth it cannot be ignored. The ocean acts as the biggest CO2 buffer we have but it can only do that if it is working, poison it and we poison ourselves through CO2.

A couple of years back I was linked to a french plastics company and they could recycle into usable items plastics that many said couldn't be recycled.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Really, don't get me started on this subject.... Blaze knows.

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:39 pm 
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I don't and now I am all curious :D

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:05 pm 
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:lol:
Scooby and I both live by beaches and see an awful lot of rubbish washed up. It's worse after storms. In the bay here, we get a lot of rubbish from the fishing boats and shellfish culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:36 pm 
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The great Atlantic garbage patch?

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:10 pm 
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scooby wrote:
Really, don't get me started on this subject.... Blaze knows.

:lol:



Exactly what I said to my wife, she is very keen for something to be done if only to shut me up everytime I wrestle dangerously with a blister pack.

Now she is more infirm and I am doing all the shopping and cooking, it is back to the Sunday market from now on. I love it. Friendly helpful staff who not only weigh everything for you (I hate that supermarket racket back and forth to the weighing queue) but take your carrier bag and fill it as you go. Lovely grub and not a bit of plastic in sight. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:59 pm 
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This is a very exciting project for using recycled plastic
https://www.plasticroad.eu/en/


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:02 pm 
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I don't agree it is, not seen a fire on the road? leaching numerous chemicals directly into water courses and storm drains cutting out the middle man so to speak.

This puts over the issue quite nicely.
https://www.change.org/p/toxic-priority ... nvironment

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Sadly not a real solution as Teapot points out. As vehicles (even if only bicycles) and feet plod across it, it will tend to break down into fine particles that wash into the rivers every time it rains.

It is a way of locking up plastic waste until we have better disposal solutions, but is probably not a good one.

There are a number of options
1. sort and recycle - which is what happens with some plastic bottles - especially in Germany where each household does the sorting before feeding back into the deposit return bin in the supermarket. This seems to work well by and large. Good for single items but won't work well with the mix of materials that constitute trays and film wrappings where too many different plastic materials are used.
2. Melt and convert - the above road surface and (possibly better) wood replacement items. The problem being that the source of materials is very variable and the properties of your finished product therefore are also quite varied. Despite this it can work well even if the items tend to have to be over-engineered to account for the variable feed stuff. I have 2 compost bins bought nearly 20 years ago made from recycled plastic ( partly I suspect industrial recyclate since I can see un-melted granules [probably nylon] in the mix). These are interlocking panels and have stood up well. When we bought our house in France I sought out more and could not find the same sort but did find compost bins made from recycled plastic. I bought one and it lasted 3 years before degrading and breaking up - our high altitude means we get double the uv radiation of those on the coast and this is the death of some plastics - and clearly this plastic mix.
3. Burn in specially designed incineration units and recover the energy value of the (now solid) oil used to make the plastics. You either need some very sophisticated cleaning systems to scrub out the dioxins that are potentially generated in this burning process, or you need a way to eliminated chlorine (and potentially fluorine) containing plastics [PVC] from entering the combustion area. Dioxins are chlorine containing molecules that are very carcinogenic - so ensure that no chlorine enters the combustion chamber and you do not produce them. PVC would be the main culprit and although no longer widely used in food pacaging it is still around - especially in toys, which could also be discarded into the recycle bin. While it is theoretically possible to get the general public to sort their plastics, in reality this does not seem to be an option.
4. Heat the plasic mass at very high temperatures and pressures and break the polymers back to the original constituent parts. A wonerful solution that has not got beyond the laboratory bench. The commitment to build an industrial plant would be huge and would require major subvention from the public (aka tax revenues). Until Oil as a raw material becomes very scarse I see little prospect of this elegant solution, which is a nice way of saying that until we recognise the real cost of plastic waste, this cannot be economic.

and of course
5. Make and use less single use plastics

That is down to you and me.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:37 pm 
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What I would have expected to hear in the 21st century from Maybot is a decision to only use one type of recyclable plastic for packaging and laying down a date for companies to comply within a couple of years. That and single use plastic like cotton buds, toothpicks etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:53 pm 
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Sadly the use of a single type of plastic for all packaging is not possible.

Different plastics have different properties and those properties are used by the packaging industry to give the optimum package for the product concerned.

So for example those nice clear bottles ar made from PET. It is very strong under pressure (needed for holding carbonated drinks under pressure over a period of months/years). It is not so good for maing a closure (the lid) and it is a disaster for making a tamperproof seal arrangement. So the coloured cap on that nice bottle of water/coke or whatever is made from HDPE. HDPE has excelent creep properties which means that when screwed down onto the bottle it forms a tight seal, and can be so moulded that a tear strip at the neck can show if the lid had been opened.

PET is however expensive (and price is a property) so for non-carbonated drinks and where see-through properties are less important (milk is the classic example but it could be shampoo, liquid detergent or a host of other liquids) HDPE is an excellent material for both bottle and cap. You will sometimes see charity appeals to collect caps from bottles because in this instance the material collected is virtually guaranteed to be only HDPE which reaches a good recycle price as pure recyclate.

HDPE is not good at high temperatures, so for materials that have to be hot filled or for materials that need heating in their container (microwave meals) it is not good. It is also poor for high fat storage at elevated temperatures where the fat leaches into the plastic and worse, the plastic leaches into the food.

For heavy duty sacks (gardening "soils" or fertilisers, sand or ballast for example) you need a material that can form a relatively thin film, but one which has extreme strength when holding perhaps 33kg or product which the ham fisted shopper (me) is going to pick up by the corners, realise how heavy it is and then drop it on the ground - without it splitting and spilling the contents on the ground. LDPE or LLDPE (or a mixture) are the materials of choice. They have the advatage that they can be easily sealed at each end of the sack by heat, without the sack distorting. [These materials are therefore the materials of choice for packaging raw plastic pellets of many shapes, sizes and types for sale to the converters that then make all of those plastic materials that we use - whether packaging or more durable materials.] LDPE has however very poor high temperature performance. Back in the 50s I remember the early plastic buckets sold to Mrs Jones for doing her household chores. And wonderful they were. Cheaper than metal and much lighter. Brilliant innovation until Mrs Jones filled the bucket with very hot water in the kitchen sink. She would then lift the handle, and lift, and lift but still the base of the bucket was in the sink as the plastic distorted under the higher temperature.

Yoghurt pots and ice creams tend to be made exclusively from either High Impact Polystyrene or Polypropylene where the ability to withstand cold and to be easily moulded (ice cream) or vacuum formed (yoghurt) means the packages can be cheaply and efficiently manufactured in their millions.

And when you get to films and foils the choice of materials again is heavily driven by the demands on the product, ease of sealing, ease of printing, ability to withstand knocks, ability to be laminated and to keep the contents of package fresh and untainted for the required period.

For plastics in contact with food stuffs, the following are (at a minimum) to be considered:
Hot fill
Cold fill
Hot storage/treatment
Cold storage
Acid contact
Neutral contact
[All of the above will include not only how well the material works as a package but also how it taints, or could impact on the contents.]
Oxygen permiation (under all of the conditions above)
Carbon dioxide permeation (ditto)
High pressure resistance
Impact resistance (at all working temperatures)
compatibility with other materials.
The list goes on and on.


There is sadly no one-size fits-all material.

You have probably gathered that I could go on for weeks on this topic - blame 40 years in industry for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:23 am 
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:lol: yes, I must admit to 16 years in industry some time back doing similar. Re PET we should go back to glass.

Potential ready meals removed from packets before heating etc etc. People have become too lazy and need bring back to reality and the mother earth balance sheet.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:31 am 
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Teapot wrote:
:lol: yes, I must admit to 16 years in industry some time back doing similar. Re PET we should go back to glass.



Agreed

Quote:
Potential ready meals removed from packets before heating etc etc. People have become too lazy and need bring back to reality and the mother earth balance sheet.


If by that you mean people who buy ready meals are lazy, you may be right in many cases, but they have a real value for people who have restricted facilities to cook, restricted mobility or restricted storage space.

With my wife now falling into one of those categories and maybe more not mentioned, I tried one of those meals and it was so easy and nutritious. When I go away, I prepare as much as I can for her but am not always sure that she properly feeds herself. Being able to put one of those in the micro for a few minutes could be a life saver. So I will be buying again, however I do rail against unecessary packaging all the time and will continue to avoid it as much as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:20 am 
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Hi David, No I meant that with the plethora of packaging so well described previously that if you can remove the product from packaging and put in a pyrex for example then heat resistant plastic may come off the list of plastics.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Teapot wrote:
Hi David, No I meant that with the plethora of packaging so well described previously that if you can remove the product from packaging and put in a pyrex for example then heat resistant plastic may come off the list of plastics.


Oh, yes, I see. I have only bought one, as a try out and I think it just needed puncturing before putting in the micro.

However, what you suggest may also discourage some people from eating properly. I am thinking of the need to have a clean Pyrex and bothering, or remembering, to wash it afterwards.

What do meals on wheels use? Re-usable and thus swappable containers?

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:40 pm 
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You may have touched on another issue, the plastic trays should be washed before putting them in recycling. China stated they are fed up with recycling the west's dirty dishes etc. If China stops recycling we are really in the crap.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Teapot wrote:
You may have touched on another issue, the plastic trays should be washed before putting them in recycling. China stated they are fed up with recycling the west's dirty dishes etc. If China stops recycling we are really in the crap.


Indeed, but I have little sympathy for China's problems and think that their recent decision stems more from over production (of their own waste) than in cleaning within the recycling process. I'm pretty sure that they will have to clean first anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:46 pm 
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thelastoneout wrote:
Back in the 50s I remember the early plastic buckets sold to Mrs Jones for doing her household chores. And wonderful they were. Cheaper than metal and much lighter. Brilliant innovation until Mrs Jones filled the bucket with very hot water in the kitchen sink. She would then lift the handle, and lift, and lift but still the base of the bucket was in the sink as the plastic distorted under the higher temperature.

:lol:
That reminds me of the time I was farm sitting : I mixed up a plastic bucket of Jeyes fluid to disinfect some lambing pens, lifted up the bucket and .... the handle came off :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:49 pm 
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:lol:
Plastic bottles make great garden cloches

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:00 pm 
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MAD87 wrote:
:lol:
Plastic bottles make great garden cloches

And traps for wasps ... and those horrible processionary caterpillars !


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Teapot wrote:
:lol: yes, I must admit to 16 years in industry some time back doing similar. Re PET we should go back to glass.

Potential ready meals removed from packets before heating etc etc. People have become too lazy and need bring back to reality and the mother earth balance sheet.


Re ready meals: I don't buy them any more but I do agree in principle. Some meals are specifically designed to be cooked in the pack, but I am sure they could be designed to be cooked on a plate.

Re glass: If glass as a packaging material were to be invented today, it would probably be banned. It requires very high energy to make and to recycle. Its recycling rates are (it seems) rather low
https://www.britglass.org.uk/recycling
look at the links
surprised me too. Less than 40% so 60% ends up in land fill. And it like plastics takes forever to break down. Archaeologists still dig up Roman and Etruscan glass. In 2000 years will we be digging up plastic bits from packaging? Quite possibly even if the companies suggest "only" 400 years before they break down.

Glass is weight inefficient. A truck load of empty bottles probably makes not much difference whether PET or glass - you are essentially shipping the air in the container, but once filled the weigh difference can effect the loading capacities of the truck.

But most importantly glass is very dangerous.
Drop a lemonade bottle in PET and the worst you need to think about is redecorating the ceiling when you open the bottle. Drop one in glass and it explodes using the glass shards as shrapnel. It was the supermarkets that pushed for the change to plastic (once a good alternative package became available) due to the thousands of their staff and their customers injured due to broken glass every year. I speak as a victim who picked up a bottle of wine that shattered in my hand leaving me with a corked neck and a very deep laceration and spent a couple of days with these guys

http://clinique-kennedy-montelimar.ramsaygds.fr/vous-êtes-patient-pourquoi-choisir-notre-établissement/la-chirurgie-de-la-main-20

So if you read my bye line - for every problem there is a solution that is simple, quick, and..............

wrong

This probably applies to glass pop bottles - or maybe even glass bottles in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:40 pm 
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re plastic water bottles:
In the supermarkets here every other trolley is half or full-filled with plastic bottles of water. At first I thought it was because they depend on well water. So one day, in the queue, I asked the lady in front of me . She had about 3 dozen bottles. She said she bought it because her family don't like the taste of javel in the tap water. :-?
Our tap water tastes fine.
The supermarkets have a big section devoted to bottled water which is used up quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:22 am 
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Yes, I've noticed that.

I would say it's the responsible disposal of plastics that's the problem. As mentioned above, plastic was produced to replace glass, for very good reason.

As usual, it's more about educating the masses into disposing of litter properly. If all that plastic could be recycled, it wouldn't be ending up in the waterways and sea. Dirty humans again not thinking or realising the consequences of their bad habits.

I have a "for life" shopping bag made from recycled plastic bottles, I was astonished when the giver told me as it was a real "wow!" moment!

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:18 am 
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Our Super U has been using biodegradable plastic bags for some time for fruit and veg as do the local pharmacies. They feel like surgical gloves !

There was a time when Body Shop in the UK used to let you refill your Body Shop bottles. But they stopped it and I can only assume it was for hygiene reasons and being afraid of complaints. Same thing for wholefood shops which used to sell products loose. However, I've seen that shops like Bio Coop and Coop Bio are selling cereals, nuts and biscuits loose.

I'm sure I remember farmers in the UK growing something like linseed to make plastic milk bottles - it was a way of getting around set-aside where you weren't allowed to grow anything for human consumption. And I believe a lot of polar fleece fabric is made from plastic bottles. I've even seen bags and other things made from recycled tyres !


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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:16 pm 
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thelastoneout wrote:
So if you read my bye line - for every problem there is a solution that is simple, quick, and..............

wrong

This probably applies to glass pop bottles - or maybe even glass bottles in general.


Now the wine industry haven't suffered massively in all this.
Maybe because the wine snobs are mostly accountants?
Yes it maybe more costly to transport glass so the accountants look to lower their balance sheets using plastic but add it to worlds balance sheet which we all pay for.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/240 ... ince-2007/

Glass, or should I say sand (raw material) is being recycled but for some industries it's gone out of fashion. It matters not that it doesn't break down and Greek or Roman glass has been found because it hasn't harmed the environment and after 1000's of years could still be recycled.

If the water tastes bad out of your tap buy a filter! Ours was fine but now has a nasty tang and is too high in pesticides (above the world health authority limits) It makes tea taste disgusting. The filter removes all the harmful stuff at a fraction of the cost of bottled and a fraction of waste product.

It's not just having biodegradable plastic bags etc, yes they breakdown but that puts the chemicals into the sea.

Reducing plastic usage is the one of the things we need to do. Recycling of all plastics is another and filtering the waste water from the recycling plant is also vital otherwise it ends up in rivers and the sea.

Some companies like Unilever are researching containers made from natural products that won't harm the environments which is a big step in the right direction.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
Our Super U has been using biodegradable plastic bags for some time for fruit and veg as do the local pharmacies. They feel like surgical gloves !

There was a time when Body Shop in the UK used to let you refill your Body Shop bottles. But they stopped it and I can only assume it was for hygiene reasons and being afraid of complaints. Same thing for wholefood shops which used to sell products loose. However, I've seen that shops like Bio Coop and Coop Bio are selling cereals, nuts and biscuits loose.

I'm sure I remember farmers in the UK growing something like linseed to make plastic milk bottles - it was a way of getting around set-aside where you weren't allowed to grow anything for human consumption. And I believe a lot of polar fleece fabric is made from plastic bottles. I've even seen bags and other things made from recycled tyres !


Don't get me started on "bio-degradable" plastics. Oh you did.

Well it's a con. The plastic used is starch based (and therefore biodegradable) and makes items as rigid as a piece of wood - which is a closely related material. So to make flexible film for plastic bags they add PET or acrylic fibres at a microscopic size but astronomical level. I believe it is about 49% - just so that they can claim the bag is biodegradable because the major element it.


AS to wine in glass bottles - so far no plastic has been found that gives sufficient oxygen impermiability for long term storage. So you will find the cheapo plonko wines in plastic bottles where the shelf life is probably months - I must say I have never checked a sell by date on such wine. Yes I would guess that even if/when a suitable replacement material is found there will be more that a smidgen of snobbishness about switching - just as there has been about moving from cork (often tainted these days due to Tri-Chlor-Anisol) to plastic bungs or screw caps. That is now however changing with even some of the more prestige wines (at least in my price range if not the real top of the market) now having abandoned pure cork.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:39 am 
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In view of all the extremely complicated, but quite obviously knowledgable, info fro Andy and others above, would not the best solution all round to change to glass, re-usable rather than re-cyclable?

So instead of dumping all the bottles in a bin to recieve that satisfying crash, return them intact to re-cuperate a small deposit charge. Just like we used to years ago, if my ageing memory serves?

Part of the deposit, non-returned, may cover the cost of collection and cleaning. If the bottles were returned on the same delivery wagon, then little or no transport cost either.

That's what we used to do when I was a pop man for the Co-op years ago. Even the poorest areas people didn't object.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Spardo wrote:
In view of all the extremely complicated, but quite obviously knowledgable, info fro Andy and others above, would not the best solution all round to change to glass, re-usable rather than re-cyclable?

So instead of dumping all the bottles in a bin to recieve that satisfying crash, return them intact to re-cuperate a small deposit charge. Just like we used to years ago, if my ageing memory serves?

Part of the deposit, non-returned, may cover the cost of collection and cleaning. If the bottles were returned on the same delivery wagon, then little or no transport cost either.

That's what we used to do when I was a pop man for the Co-op years ago. Even the poorest areas people didn't object.

I believe so, many accountants wouldn't :YMDEVIL:

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 Post subject: Re: Plastics
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Paying a small charge for returnable bottles is still practised in Germany. We've come across a few places here - for example, there's a Wine and Beer shop that takes back beer bottles. I always return my honey jars to the apiarist when I buy more (they like to reuse the big jars) and any jam jars get reused for making jam and marmalade. It would be nice to reuse wine bottles, but neither of us is interested in buying wine en vrac as the thought of having to drink dozens of bottles of the same stuff doesn't appeal to our taste buds !


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