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Plastic Bags

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Plastic Bags

Old 16th Sep 2021, 15:13
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
What the EU back then originally had intended was banning those clear thin plastic bags used to wrap fruit and vegetables as they were considered to end up in the oceans finally. Instead carrying bags got banned.
The same madness has happened over here - many municipalities have either taxed single use bags (most are 10 cents/bag although some places are higher) or banned them outright. They've also banned plastic drink straws in many places. All to keep plastic from getting into the oceans. Yet the contribution of the west to the plastic pollutions of the oceans is minimal - over 90% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 5 rivers - all in Asia...
BTW, Covid has caused most places around here to suspend their single use bag rules - my local grocer doesn't even allow the use of reusable bags since the onset of Covid...
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 15:28
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
over 90% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 5 rivers - all in Asia...
.
I've a feeling much of that plastic may have originated in the West though. We send it back in the boats that bring us our smart phones and toy helicopters, to be 'recycled'.
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 15:55
  #23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by UniFoxOs View Post
our local ALDI used to put their empty boxes in the packing area after the check-outs and you could pick a suitable box and load your stuff into it. Some time ago they stopped doing it, some H&S crap no doubt.
Most of these have gone due to the fire risk report. Lots of cardboard in a public area unmonitored etc.
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 23:08
  #24 (permalink)  
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The steep charge for a disposable bag, which will wind up in a river, a sea turtle, a land fill, or, in my case, high up in our tree fluttering in the breeze, is to encourage you to use any of the many widely available tote bags.

However, to be a curmudgeon, I’ve read that cotton bags have such an economic cost to produce that you might have to use it hundreds of times to compensate for its ecological cost to produce. Still, cotton will rot, and become one with the earth more easily than plastic.

The most eco-friendly bag to use is one made from recycled plastics.

Remember folks, the La Brea tar pits in California was not a friend to the dinosaurs, it merely trapped them in a sticky mess.,
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 23:22
  #25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
All to keep plastic from getting into the oceans. Yet the contribution of the west to the plastic pollutions of the oceans is minimal - over 90% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 5 rivers - all in Asia...
I was under the impression that the US ships almost all of its plastic to Asia to be recycled, and that they’ve recently pushed back against this because the plastic the US ships is too highly contaminated, be it with food or other garbage, that it’s not worth there while to deal with it.

I’ve read that a lot of plastic in recycling bins goes straight to the landfill because plastic is so cheap there is no cost effective way to recycle it.

Plus, not all plastic items are stamped with the magic number indicating what type of plastic they are composed of, making it near impossible to recycle.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 11:28
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Today I bought a small electrical item (bathroom pull-switch). It came in a manufacturer's branded plastic bag. Inside this was another, plain, plastic bag containing a single small brass screw which is intended to be used inside the switch to secure the earthing wire, if needed. The terminals for the power supply both had their brass screw already installed. Why the need for yet another plastic bag?
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 11:50
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Surely compostable/biodegradeable bags would/should have been the solution?

I packed some stuff in plastic sacks in my attic and looked 9 months later and the plastic bag had disintegrated! Wow, what a surprise as I did not know they were biodegradeable!

I use the compostable bags (that Waitrose deliver their fresh veg and fruit in) as bags for my kitchen waste prior to putting in the compost bin. They break down very well!
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 13:32
  #28 (permalink)  
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Having inherited some “ancient” items, I can assure you that rubber bands rot and fall apart, and plastic bags will fall to pieces, which does not preclude the problem of micro-plastics.

Pins, metal staples, or paper clips may rust, but they will keep your paperwork together more than a century later, as will cotton twine.

When people switched to using acid to produce paper, they guaranteed that said paper pages would flake apart and disintegrate within decades. In contrast, I have books and letters over a century old that are aging far more gracefully than I. Their only enemy is mold.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 12:35
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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There are some things for which a plastic bag is eminently suitable. Having roast a chicken, one is left with a carcase, off which one strips as much meat as possible for the freezer, for eventual incorporation in a chicken and mushroom pie. Then boil the carcase and you have chicken stock, chicken bones and skin and chicken fat Freeze the stock to solidify the fat and the ideal container for the fat, bones skin etc is disposable plastic bag which gets incinerated with the bones etc. Hopefully, the contractors the Council use manage to extract the heat from the incineration for further use....
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 14:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Or you simply keep what you want to keep in a glass jar such as the fat, water bath the stock so no freezer is needed and the rest can be discarded wrapped in a newspaper.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 14:26
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That might very much depend on the climate you live in.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 15:01
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
That might very much depend on the climate you live in.
What has climate got to do with it?
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 16:09
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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It would affect the temperature your glass jar storage sits in wouldn't it? In cooler climate it might work but even there not with everything. It sounded like you wanted to avoid using refrigerators and freezers?
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 16:18
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
It would affect the temperature your glass jar storage sits in wouldn't it? In cooler climate it might work but even there not with everything. It sounded like you wanted to avoid using refrigerators and freezers?
Once preserved in a water bath, it can be kept at room temperature and even in hotter climates most houses do not heat up above 28 degrees, since most people do try to keep their houses below 25 degrees.

The fat would have to go in the fridge, but a chicken normally only produces a small jar and it should be used within a few weeks.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 16:25
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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How about milk? Could it be kept fresh this way? Or fish? Dried, smoked or salted certainly.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 20:25
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by visibility3miles View Post
I was under the impression that the US ships almost all of its plastic to Asia to be recycled, and that they’ve recently pushed back against this because the plastic the US ships is too highly contaminated, be it with food or other garbage, that it’s not worth there while to deal with it.

I’ve read that a lot of plastic in recycling bins goes straight to the landfill because plastic is so cheap there is no cost effective way to recycle it.

Plus, not all plastic items are stamped with the magic number indicating what type of plastic they are composed of, making it near impossible to recycle.
The US hasn't been shipping much plastic to Asia for several years since as noted they pretty much stopped accepting it. So aside from the readily recyclable stuff (mainly plastic bottles) most of it ends up in landfills. Reportedly, even a lot of the stuff you put in the recycling bin ends up in a landfill. The recyclers separate out the stuff that they can make money on (mainly metals and paper/cardboard), and then the balance goes to the landfill.
As for stuff being degradable, once it's in a landfill it doesn't matter much. There are reports of digging into old landfills and finding 60 year old newspapers that were still readable.

Last edited by tdracer; 18th Sep 2021 at 21:38.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 21:23
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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The US hasn't been shipping much plastic to Asia for several years since as noted they pretty much stopped accepting it. So aside from the readily recyclable stuff (mainly plastic bottles) most of it ends up in landfills. Reportedly, even a lot of the stuff you put in the recycling bin ends up in a landfill. The recyclers separate out the stuff that they can make money on (mainly metals and paper/cardboard), and then the balance goes to the landfill.
As for stuff being degradable, once it's in a landfill it doesn't matter much. There are reports of digging into old landfills and finding 60 year old newspapers that were still readable. Reportedly, a lot of the stuff you put in the recycling bin ends up in a landfill.
I'm sure that this is either wholly or partially the case the recycling world over, and that's pretty deflating tbh. The nirvana is that all things get used again, either by recycling in some way, or combusted to power turbines making electricity. The cheapest and likeliest option will be landfill and that's the shortermism that produces profits for the operators at the cost of the environment.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 02:31
  #38 (permalink)  
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I admit, I wonder when I read the disclaimers on some plastic bags used for packaging that warn that babies could be asphyxiated by them. Some of the bags are so small that you would have to deliberately place it over the child’s head yourself, as I doubt a child of that age could walk, much less crawl.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 04:54
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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I visited a U.K. recycling plant recently. Local authority carts were tipping mixed recycling at one end of the plant. At the other end pallet loads of materials sorted by type were being loaded for onward transport to more specialist sorting units for further refinement. White plastic had been separated from coloured and from PET. There were loads of aluminium and of steel. Glass had been crushed for further treatment. It didnít look like there was much that would be going for landfill to me.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 11:59
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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The crushed glass is known as 'coulter' and is very much used in making new glass.
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