Well, umm, no

When dealing with the life cycle of plastic, hundreds of solutions await, from alternative bioplastics that might be able to degrade themselves through the magic of fungus, to complex chemical recycling that can break plastics down to become other petroleum products or to be rebuilt good as new

But as promising as chemical recycling and next-generation plastics may sound, experts also say some of the most realistic solutions to plastic pollution involve eliminating it from packaging as much as possible.

We could – and should – just burn the shit. It is, after all, a petroleum product…..

15 thoughts on “Well, umm, no”

  1. Many years ago, my father had an incinerator in which he burned plastics, newspapers, in fact any inflammable waste. However the woke of the day said the smoke from burning rubbish was intolerable.

    Needless to say, the enlightened now deem the resultant increase in waste a sign of the luxurious decadence of the present generation.

  2. Bogan, I have looked in wonder at the dancing flames, the pretty colours, the myriad sprites from polystyrene, PVC, timber that has been treated with ‘stuff’ to pervent it rotting, soggy cardboard etc. etc., coming from a bonfire in my back garden.

    It triggered something ‘organic and primordial’ in my swede (especially after a few cans of 1664), but over the last couple of years I did think the smoke was getting a bit out of hand, so now take stuff to the recycling centre so that they can burn it…….

  3. We switched from wood/cardboard packaging in large part to ‘save the trees’. We switched from glass bottles to aluminium cans and plastic for reasons of cost – cheaper to make and ship, no need to return and reprocess – and for safety reasons, a lot of injuries due to broken bottles (particularly to children) and people being hit over the head with them.

    We started recycling plastic in the early 1970s for economic reasons in the wake of various Middle East oil crises.

    Now we must go back to paper, cardboard and glass to save the fish, and we recycle plastics for no reason other than for mindless blobs it is a compulsory rite of worship in the Environmental religion.

    We have plenty of land-fill for plastics which being non-biodegradable can pose no hazard to man, beast, or plant. If we burn it we can get much needed electricity generation and a residue which can be used as bedding for roads or other construction or whatever else bright minds can come up with.

  4. John B,

    There’s a lot of discussion in wine circles about getting away from glass because of the environmental cost of transporting it, while plastic is better.

    And yeah, this is all just high status opinions, really. 30-40 years from now, I reckon the new high status opinion will be about the population crashing and how we need more people fucking and producing babies, and you’ll have a new load of banal policies around that.

  5. I recall reading somewhere in the past 12 months that the Japanese have discovered a range of enzymes that are busy breaking down all plastics in rubbish dumps. Each plastic appears to have at least one enzyme that prefers to munch on it.

    My aging noggin has forgotten the solurce. Anyone recall seeing this newsbyte?

  6. @John B – “plastics which being non-biodegradable can pose no hazard to man, beast, or plant”

    Well, they form microplastics which some people are very afraid of.

  7. “I reckon the new high status opinion will be about the population crashing and how we need more people fucking and producing babies, and you’ll have a new load of banal policies around that.”

    Well, if they start paying people to do it, I might just make more effort…

  8. Salamander: “I wonder when we will start to mine the landfills for something to burn….”

    Some places already are, even designed for it… Methane and heat from decomposition. There’s various things being trialled in that direction. Thing is, you generally need older landfills for that, stuff needs to build up.

    Dr K.A. Rodgers, there’s been a healthy interest in organisms/enzymes that can break down “plastics”.
    I know for a fact Organon in Oss was researching them in the early ’90s, as a sideline on their research on improving detergent enzymes ( washing powder to the oinks.. 😛 ).
    I very much doubt they were the only ones, as there’s some serious commercial applications for the stuff if they can get them going, and produce them in bulk.

    Biggest problem then, and I guess now as well still, is that the degradation process produces either highly denaturing or highly mutagenic byproducts, which in turn destroys the enzymes pretty rapidly in a solution/suspension-based setup, or kills off the carrier organisms in a reactor setup.
    Oh, and oxygen is a big No-No….

    I’m of the opinion they’ll eventually manage to create a chimaera enzyme like they did with the modern low-temperature enzymes used in washing powder, but that’s a matter of endless trial and error until they find something that works for the environment/engineering setup they aim for.
    Could be tomorrow, could be 10 years from now, could be it’s physically (both meanings) impossible. Until then…
    ( No, poor, bedazzled Greenies…Those Eco-Friendly cold-water/low temperature detergents are a prime example of Evil GMO Meddling by Mankind.. At several levels. They’re 100% artificial and never existed in Nature. Deal with it.)

  9. Well, they form microplastics which some people are very afraid of.

    Baseless fear shouldn’t drive policy.

  10. BBC running an advert for one of their programmes again this morning (Saturday, it’s Money Box, Monday- Panorama, Tuesday – etc. etc).

    Seems someone has upset someone at Al Beeb and they’ve done an expose (proper reporting, not some puff piece fronted by Attenborough or any of their other green gang drones) into Drax and their ‘Green, renewable bio-mass’ scam.
    Actually, all they’ve done is what most of us had done years ago and had a look at what bio-mass really means.

  11. jgh, coming soon – all those people who bought a wood burner because they were *told* it was was good for the planet are soon to be told that they are killing Gaia……..

  12. “It is, after all, a petroleum product”
    A petroleum product with lots of extra chlorine, surely?
    But even so, it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to burn it in a reaction that captures the chlorine.

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