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Old 28th May 2010, 21:40   #1
Lil old me
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Plastic makes me a sad panda

Recently I have become a bit of an environmental convert. After spending 2 weeks sorting out my parents' loft of all the rubbish they have accumulated I found myself thinking, "no way do they need all this stuff". Since then I have started reading and researching about the environment and how I can be less wasteful.

I've done various small things, using the car alot less, switching to Soya milk, halving my meat consumption, but today I had my eyes truly opened by two blogs about the evil that is plastic.http://plasticmanners.wordpress.com/ and
http://fakeplasticfish.com/. Both blogs are of people trying to dramatically cut down their plastic use, from refusing straws at cantines, to buying a toothbrush made out of boar hair!

Plastic really is everywhere but it is a poison. Its creation pollutes and its existance pollutes. Even when it is disposed of after the shortest of moments it will remain forever. That little plastic spoon, the cupholder, the little table you sometimes get in a pizza box. All of those will exist forever after they have been used.

I dont want to be preachy, but reading those blogs really has changed my view on the world. So if you care about your planet at all give them a look for a minute. Maybe refuse that straw next time, or take your own bag, or even track how much you use for a week or two. If we all used and wasted just that little bit less, the results could be staggering.
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:46   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
switching to Soya milk, halving my meat consumption,
Does not compute.


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Old 28th May 2010, 21:46   #3
Antar Bolaeisk
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Indeed, one of the best things they did in this country in recent years environmentally wise was start charging for plastic bags at shops. While it hasn't removed the plastic bag altogether it has drastically reduced the amount floating around the country.

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Old 28th May 2010, 21:47
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:48   #4
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Originally Posted by Antar Bolaeisk View Post
Indeed, one of the best things they did in this country in recent years environmentally wise was start charging for plastic bags at shops. While it hasn't removed the plastic bag altogether it has drastically reduced the amount floating around the country.
The plastic saved in this country is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the world though.


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Old 28th May 2010, 21:49   #5
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Hippy.


Though using less plastic is great, packaging is the worst offender.

Halving meat consumption and eating soya beans though - back to my first reaction.

First post deleted? moderation is getting a little extreme.

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Old 28th May 2010, 21:49   #6
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If rocks & stones eventually degrade into sand then buried plastic will erode to nothing purely by abrasion so' last forever' is a myth
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
The plastic saved in this country is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the world though.
Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Every little helps.

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Old 28th May 2010, 21:53   #8
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So the OP is advocating that we wear real fur too? As "faux" fur is acrylic which is plastic.

Post count means nothing.
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:55   #9
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Our council collects plastic every 2 weeks from everyone to recycle. It is surprising how much we buy in a fortnight!
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
The plastic saved in this country is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the world though.
That just means we're one drop better off.

Quote:
Somebody has to make the tough choices that get people killed. I guess that somebody is you.
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Switching to Soya milk, halving my meat consumption, buying a toothbrush made out of boar hair!
You crazy hippy, NO think about the boars...

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Old 28th May 2010, 21:58   #12
Lil old me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluZiff View Post
Hippy.


Though using less plastic is great, packaging is the worst offender.

Halving meat consumption and eating soya beans though - back to my first reaction.

First post deleted? moderation is getting a little extreme.
Your knee jerk is totally expected and understandable. If I had read this post even a month ago I would have done the same. Though I ask you just to try some soya milk, just once, just to see if you like it. My girlfriend actually prefers it to dairy milk and my parents didnt know the difference on their cereal.

As for meat, dont get me wrong, I love a nice big juicy steak. I cook all the time and would hate to lose all my meat. But I have started substituting half of my meals with a quorn alternative meat or no meat at all. Again, I implore you to just buy some and try it. Quorn ham slices are really tasty in a toastie and quorn chicken is impossible to differentiate in a curry. Honestly, just try it, it won't hurt and you may be pleasantly surprised.

However I have today come to realise they do indeed come packed in plastic. Going to have to think about that one! But its early days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzy eckerslike View Post
If rocks & stones eventually degrade into sand then buried plastic will erode to nothing purely by abrasion so' last forever' is a myth
Err, if rocks and stones erode into...sand (essentially very small stones)....then plastics, erode into, very small plastics? Forever or not, thousands of years is still plenty for an infinite number of birds/whales/dolphins to starve from eating them.

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Originally Posted by iNPUt View Post
You crazy hippy, NO think about the boars...
I never said I have a mental toothbrush, but the blogger did. Not sure how it got made, the link wouldnt work for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugForAButt View Post
So the OP is advocating that we wear real fur too? As "faux" fur is acrylic which is plastic.
Or dont wear fur at all because it looks awful?
Last edited by Lil old me; 28th May 2010 at 22:07.
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:05   #13
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"infinitesimal" means not very many!

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Old 28th May 2010, 22:05   #14
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The problem isn't the plastic, it's the disposal of it. It needs to be buried or recycled, if it's dumped into the sea, it will create a mess, what do expect?


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Old 28th May 2010, 22:10   #15
Lil old me
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Originally Posted by SiriusB View Post
"infinitesimal" means not very many!
Eugh, its late

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longbow View Post
The problem isn't the plastic, it's the disposal of it. It needs to be buried or recycled, if it's dumped into the sea, it will create a mess, what do expect?
Im afraid you're missing the point. Not all plastics can be recycled, and even the ones which can leave a toxic waste product. Also most plastics are 'downcycled' so they have to be used for something less than originally, like copier paper becoming loo roll. This reduces their utility.

Some dumping in the sea is unavoidable simply because it will get caught in surface run off (even if it is buried, soil erosion will catch up eventually), or will be consumed by birds who end up by the sea.

Also the plastics were talking about here get used for such a short amount of time and are seen as so insignificant (thinking of spoons or wrappers) they will often simply be disregarded and not be considered for recycling by most people.
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:11   #16
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The problem is the plastic. We use way, way WAY too much. Go into any supermarket and you will see 2 or 4 apples bounded in masses of plastic and foam/polystyrene. Have you seen Sainsbury's croissants? You can get 4 in a huge plastic tray, which is then wrapped in an acre of plastic. And most of it probably says it can't be recycled.

The world sucks at disposing it, but we do a fantastic job of using as much as we possibly can. I would not be shocked if there are products out there that weigh less than the plastic they're packed in.

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Old 28th May 2010, 22:12   #17
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No, we can afford it, we can afford waste disposal, until I can't I will use it as much as I want to and while I still can before the oil runs out.


I WILL NEVER stop eating something I adore ( meat) either. I love cow milk too.
I know plastic pollution in the oceans is a big problem, however it is more a problem of shippers throwing their rubbish overboard than plastic usage on land.


With a growing population and growing overall world wealth, there is no way plastic usage is going to be reduced, the population must first stop growing.


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Old 28th May 2010, 22:22   #18
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The trouble also as well is individual economics. Soya milk is more expensive for example as often 'organic' labelled products are as well. While there are plenty of recycling centres around the country there are some areas which don't do it. I'm in a heavily urbanised area near the centre of Liverpool, yet the only waste disposal I'm aware of around here (without a car) is the non recycling type. I'm pretty much forced to use the big purple ('normal') bins.

I'm well aware of turning off lights and switching things off, but that's far more to do with the electricity bill rather than saving the environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusB View Post
The world sucks at disposing it, but we do a fantastic job of using as much as we possibly can. I would not be shocked if there are products out there that weigh less than the plastic they're packed in.
It wouldn't surprise me at all, think about computer parts I'm sure that come in more packaging than their weight. Mobile phones too perhaps?

The yanks and Europeans package supermarket goods pretty well, we're just a little bit behind. They obviously do it to keep weight (transport) down and if they do it for money then I suppose fine. Milk apparently is a large problem, we can use packets rather than plastic bottles easily. I think this even made the news a while back but can't find a link.

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Old 28th May 2010, 22:27   #19
Longbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Im afraid you're missing the point. Not all plastics can be recycled, and even the ones which can leave a toxic waste product. Also most plastics are 'downcycled' so they have to be used for something less than originally, like copier paper becoming loo roll. This reduces their utility.

Some dumping in the sea is unavoidable simply because it will get caught in surface run off (even if it is buried, soil erosion will catch up eventually), or will be consumed by birds who end up by the sea.
It can and is buried. Soil erosion? What are you talking about? Soil isn't just going to disappear like that, it's fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusB View Post
The problem is the plastic. We use way, way WAY too much. Go into any supermarket and you will see 2 or 4 apples bounded in masses of plastic and foam/polystyrene. Have you seen Sainsbury's croissants? You can get 4 in a huge plastic tray, which is then wrapped in an acre of plastic. And most of it probably says it can't be recycled.
Loose apples come in cardboard boxes, some people may want them in a polythene bag, and that's consumer choice.

If the croissants weren't in a plastic tray, they would get slightly squashed and people wouldn't buy them, people are fussy.


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Old 28th May 2010, 22:36   #20
Lil old me
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Originally Posted by Longbow View Post
It can and is buried. Soil erosion? What are you talking about? Soil isn't just going to disappear like that, it's fine.

Loose apples come in cardboard boxes, some people may want them in a polythene bag, and that's consumer choice.

If the croissants weren't in a plastic tray, they would get slightly squashed and people wouldn't buy them, people are fussy.
Its not fine. Just because it is buried obviously doesnt just make it right. Soil wears down over time and depending where the landfill is located some of the buried material could be revealed. That is assuming parts of the plastic dont begin to break down into the soil which releases severely toxic chemicals into the soil and therefore into the water supply.

On the croissants, this is exactly the fussiness im trying to fight. If people really knew the damage they were doing I dont think they would be as fussy.

Also much of it isnt buried or incinerated much of it is sent to China!

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.i-sis.org.uk/RFTPW.php
Outsourcing plastic wastes

But what really happens to the plastic packaging and bottles that the British consumer diligently places in the recycling bin for collection by the local authorities, and, more so, those that supermarkets, the biggest users, are supposed to be responsible for recycling?

It turns out that more than a third of the waste paper and plastic collected by British local authorities, supermarkets and businesses for recycling have been sent 8 000 miles to China [8]. Exports to China are running at 200 000 tonnes of plastics rubbish a year. UK’s supermarket chains, some of the largest generators of plastic packaging waste in Britain, are getting their recycling done in China. Environmental groups and Members of Parliament were shocked at the scale of the trade. No studies have been done on the environmental costs of shipping wastes to China.
Last edited by Lil old me; 28th May 2010 at 22:39.
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Old 28th May 2010, 23:02   #21
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Can't spell Environmentalist without mentalist!

Plastic like Cluroflurocabons (CFCs) before it and Tetroethylene before that and Radium before that is just one in a list of many things mankind has thought was a great thing gets has turned out to have horrendous side effects for people or the planet (for example lead in the atmosphere and CFCs in the ozone will be around for a Hell of a long time)

Use of plastic needs to be reduced by a lot and soon.


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Old 28th May 2010, 23:03   #22
SlugForAButt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Or dont wear fur at all because it looks awful?
Who the **** are you to tell people what they can and can't wear because you like or dislike the look of it?
I made a valid point and all you can say is that... Pffff rubbish
I actually like my wife's fur coat and it's better for the environment than a plastic coat. TBH, it's probably a lot nicer than your gf's "Swampy" inspired mud thatch effort.

Post count means nothing.
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Old 28th May 2010, 23:06   #23
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Does charging for carrier bags really reduce the use? I can't see people doing a weekly shop not buying bags because they're 6p.

I think the bag for life things are better because people actually do use them instead, because they don't suck and degrade within a few seconds of looking at them.
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Old 28th May 2010, 23:11   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluZiff View Post
Though using less plastic is great, packaging is the worst offender.
I completely agree, packaging is by far worse.
It's something I've noticed in the UK more than the rest of Europe.

Cucumbers, for example, are wrapped in plastic. Why? Little things like that are such a waste.

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Old 28th May 2010, 23:14   #25
SlugForAButt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Or dont wear fur at all because it looks awful?
Who the **** are you to tell people what they can and can't wear because you like or dislike the look of it?
I made a valid point and all you can say is that... Pffff rubbish

BYW, my wife's fur coat looks great and is better for the environment than your plastic alternative.

Post count means nothing.
Last edited by SlugForAButt; 28th May 2010 at 23:16.
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Old 28th May 2010, 23:31   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swi1ch View Post
Does charging for carrier bags really reduce the use? I can't see people doing a weekly shop not buying bags because they're 6p.

I think the bag for life things are better because people actually do use them instead, because they don't suck and degrade within a few seconds of looking at them.
You gave the answer in your own post...

It does reduce the use of plastic bags, because it's more financially viable to buy a bag for life rather than having to be charged x amount for the bags you use.


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Old 28th May 2010, 23:32   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Recently I have become a bit of an environmental convert. After spending 2 weeks sorting out my parents' loft of all the rubbish they have accumulated I found myself thinking, "no way do they need all this stuff". Since then I have started reading and researching about the environment and how I can be less wasteful.

I've done various small things, using the car alot less, switching to Soya milk, halving my meat consumption, but today I had my eyes truly opened by two blogs about the evil that is plastic.http://plasticmanners.wordpress.com/ and
http://fakeplasticfish.com/. Both blogs are of people trying to dramatically cut down their plastic use, from refusing straws at cantines, to buying a toothbrush made out of boar hair!

Plastic really is everywhere but it is a poison. Its creation pollutes and its existance pollutes. Even when it is disposed of after the shortest of moments it will remain forever. That little plastic spoon, the cupholder, the little table you sometimes get in a pizza box. All of those will exist forever after they have been used.

I dont want to be preachy, but reading those blogs really has changed my view on the world. So if you care about your planet at all give them a look for a minute. Maybe refuse that straw next time, or take your own bag, or even track how much you use for a week or two. If we all used and wasted just that little bit less, the results could be staggering.
Stopped reading after this.

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Old 28th May 2010, 23:37   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugForAButt View Post
Who the **** are you to tell people what they can and can't wear because you like or dislike the look of it?
I made a valid point and all you can say is that... Pffff rubbish
I actually like my wife's fur coat and it's better for the environment than a plastic coat. TBH, it's probably a lot nicer than your gf's "Swampy" inspired mud thatch effort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugForAButt View Post
Who the **** are you to tell people what they can and can't wear because you like or dislike the look of it?
I made a valid point and all you can say is that... Pffff rubbish

BYW, my wife's fur coat looks great and is better for the environment than your plastic alternative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugForAButt
Post count means nothing.

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Old 28th May 2010, 23:40   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil old me View Post
Your knee jerk is totally expected and understandable. If I had read this post even a month ago I would have done the same. Though I ask you just to try some soya milk, just once, just to see if you like it. My girlfriend actually prefers it to dairy milk and my parents didnt know the difference on their cereal.

As for meat, dont get me wrong, I love a nice big juicy steak. I cook all the time and would hate to lose all my meat. But I have started substituting half of my meals with a quorn alternative meat or no meat at all. Again, I implore you to just buy some and try it. Quorn ham slices are really tasty in a toastie and quorn chicken is impossible to differentiate in a curry. Honestly, just try it, it won't hurt and you may be pleasantly surprised.
So, what exactly have you achieved through this? :/

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Old 28th May 2010, 23:42   #30
Xenia Onatopp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antar Bolaeisk View Post
Indeed, one of the best things they did in this country in recent years environmentally wise was start charging for plastic bags at shops. While it hasn't removed the plastic bag altogether it has drastically reduced the amount floating around the country.
lol wut, been charged maybe 1 in 100 times for a carrier bag and every time I bought one anyway.


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