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Plastic makes me a sad panda

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lil old me, May 28, 2010.

  1. Lil old me

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,460

    Location: Birmingham

    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.
     
  2. Morgoth

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 5,128

    Location: West Lothian, Scotland

    Does not compute.
     
  3. Antar Bolaeisk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 19, 2006

    Posts: 9,267

    Location: Saudi Arabia né Donegal

    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.
     
  4. Morgoth

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 5,128

    Location: West Lothian, Scotland

    The plastic saved in this country is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the world though.
     
  5. BluZiff

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,001

    Location: Reading

    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.
     
  6. izzy eckerslike

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 16, 2007

    Posts: 1,728

    Location: Worcestershire

    If rocks & stones eventually degrade into sand then buried plastic will erode to nothing purely by abrasion so' last forever' is a myth
     
  7. Antar Bolaeisk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 19, 2006

    Posts: 9,267

    Location: Saudi Arabia né Donegal

    Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Every little helps.
     
  8. SlugForAButt

    Suspended

    Joined: Sep 5, 2009

    Posts: 2,200

    Location: God's own country

    So the OP is advocating that we wear real fur too? As "faux" fur is acrylic which is plastic.
     
  9. lazer46

    Hitman

    Joined: Apr 14, 2010

    Posts: 519

    Our council collects plastic every 2 weeks from everyone to recycle. It is surprising how much we buy in a fortnight!
     
  10. Gackt

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 2, 2007

    Posts: 6,405

    That just means we're one drop better off.
     
  11. iNPUt

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 9, 2009

    Posts: 1,801

    Location: London

    You crazy hippy, NO think about the boars...
     
  12. Lil old me

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,460

    Location: Birmingham

    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.

    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.

    I never said I have a mental toothbrush, but the blogger did. Not sure how it got made, the link wouldnt work for me.

    Or dont wear fur at all because it looks awful?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  13. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 16, 2005

    Posts: 14,442

    Location: Manchester

    "infinitesimal" means not very many! :p
     
  14. Longbow

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 15, 2004

    Posts: 9,317

    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?
     
  15. Lil old me

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,460

    Location: Birmingham

    Eugh, its late :p

    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.
     
  16. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 16, 2005

    Posts: 14,442

    Location: Manchester

    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.
     
  17. snowdog

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 27, 2005

    Posts: 13,401

    Location: Netherlands

    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.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  18. Greenlizard0

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Mar 15, 2004

    Posts: 28,199

    Location: Liverpool

    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  19. Longbow

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 15, 2004

    Posts: 9,317

    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.
     
  20. Lil old me

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,460

    Location: Birmingham

    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!

     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010


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