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Discussion > The New War on Plastics

Give "we are exploring if we should ban the 8.5 bn drinking straws"
I'm betting that that gov can't supply stats in the harm.'s probably so small its not worth bothering with.

Feb 24, 2018 at 2:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Michael Gove "we are exploring if we should ban the 8.5 bn drinking straws"
I'm betting that that gov can't supply stats on the harm.
..It's probably so small, its not worth bothering with.

Feb 24, 2018 at 3:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Invasion of the Nurdles

Feb 25, 2018 at 9:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Grantham Lecture : Prince Albert of Monaco calls on Britain to take the lead in saving the world's oceans from plastic pollution Telegraph

Grantham tweet \\"#Plastics take centuries to degrade & have devastating effects on #ocean ecosystems and the food chain."
Explore @Grantham_IC work on the ocean plastic challenge here (large set of pages) //

I find their claims hyperbolic, as generally nature is going on mostly fine : wildlife is minorly affected rather than "devastated".

Mar 2, 2018 at 1:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I know it is old news at Bishop Hill but worth repeating

"It took more than 10 months, but today the scientists who blew the whistle on a paper in Science about the dangers of microplastics for fish have been vindicated. An expert group at Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) has concluded that the paper’s authors, Oona Lönnstedt and Peter Eklöv of Uppsala University (UU), committed “scientific dishonesty” and says that Science should retract the paper, which appeared in June 2016."

Mar 2, 2018 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A significant advance in Green Blob Science. But why no arrests for fraud?

"The Swedish government has terminated a four-year grant to a researcher at Uppsala University recently found guilty of misconduct — and, in a first, has also banned him from applying for grants for another two years.

A representative of the Swedish Research Council told us that it is “very rare” for the body to rescind a grant — and it has never simultaneously rescinded a grant and temporarily banned the researcher from applying for funding.

The researcher is Peter Eklöv, who co-authored a now-retracted Science paper which suggested fish larvae prefer to eat tiny particles of plastic over their own natural prey.  As soon as it appeared in 2016, the paper earned both media attention  and controversy, as critics alleged it contained missing data and used a problematic methodology. Late last year, the Swedish Research Council announced that Eklöv  was among more than 300 recipients of new grants; his totalled 3,300,000 ($355,440 USD)."

Mar 2, 2018 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It's a lib rule... libs are allowed to cheat ..cos they probably doing it in a good cause.
protecting lib religion is the most important thing so individual transgressors like Brendan Cox are covered up.

But if a righty steps out of line, has a few too many drinks and puts his hand on a lady wrestler's knee
..then suddenly have a moral panic and put him in the same class as groom/rape gang multiple offender

Mar 4, 2018 at 12:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BBC plastic guilt & virtue signalling continues
Telegraph 3 MARCH 2018 •
Monty Don has pledged to cut down on the amount of plastic used on BBC Gardeners’ World after admitting the programme uses too much non-recyclable material behind the scenes.
The first episode of the new series will see Mr Don "embarking on a mission to reduce the use of plastic in his garden", including looking at alternative containers for seed sowing.
“I am going to try and drastically cut down on the amount of plastic we use in the garden," he told BBC Gardeners’ World magazine. //
The fallacy is that all plastic is a hydrocarbon so is always recyclable as fuel in high temp incinerators.

Mar 4, 2018 at 12:32 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

London incineration plant in £1.5bn auction
That sounds bigger than most windfarm projects

Mar 4, 2018 at 1:41 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stew. I let it go the first time, but you are promulgating an error. Plastics are not hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are compounds that only contain hydrogen and carbon. Plastics are large molecules where there are not only carbon-hydrogen bonds but linkages are made with atoms such as oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen. These give the complex molecules their very different properties and uses creating very different plastics. The different linkages also mean that different types of plastic cannot easily be combined during recycling.

Mar 4, 2018 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Those additional elements also mean that hazardous organic compounds may commonly form when some plastics are burned at low to intermediate temperatures, but at high temperatures, where most hydrogen-carbon and carbon-carbon bonds are broken and oxydized, compounds like H2S, NO, and NO2 still form.

Mar 4, 2018 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Largely agree @ST not pure hydrocarbons, I use the term in the loosest sense, after all coal has sulphur in it.
I am certainly not saying you can melt down different plastics together
..but generally the high temperature incinerators are said to operate safely , no nasty dioxins and other particles can be contained.

Mar 4, 2018 at 10:44 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

ITV local news they have one of those central items they drop in
Matt Price..went Plastic blah, blah
..."if we continue dumping plastic in the sea at the present rate, measured by weight, there will be more plastic than fish by 2050."
..Hmmm that's a claim pulled out of orifice ..rather than robust science
..Anyway they then went to the "waste to heat centre at Lincoln" (don't call it an incinerator !)
"this burns waste at super high temperature"
... so finally media people do mention that plastic can be burn, but not in a super emphatic way.

Mar 6, 2018 at 7:15 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The BBC were at it again this afternoon on the radio. They had an 'expert' professor of materials from somewhere or other. Said professor was sensible enough to say that we can't really do without the benefits plastics have brought us, but he still rabbited on about recycling. No mention of the fact that modern incineration techniques can safely transform them to harmless small molecules which are recycled in the natural environment, or that more biodgradeable plastics can also be made.

I sometimes despair of promulgated environmental policies that so often ignore the simplest and best solutions and go instead for the one that always seems to involve extra laws, regulations, interventions, and oversight. For many human actions and industrial processes the only affordable and sustainable ones in the long run are those which go in the opposite direction, by design. This is the genuine main take-home-message of much CQI management blurb. Some people seem to that it is about introducing ever more sophisticated and stringent quality controls, when in fact it is about designing processes that don't actually need much quality control. Similarly, the best laws are those which don't produce extra enforcement costs. That is the path to the impossibly bloated and doomed bureaucracies seen in the days of the Soviet Union.

Mar 13, 2018 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

In my badness, I was moved to comment on how the green anti-plastics brigade at the BBC seemed to be ignoring a very long standing issue in plain sight: To whit, Vulcanized Rubber, aka car tires. All that rubber, doing what rubber does, being rubbed on the ground, and other places (no, that's latex), distributed widely around the nation, particles washed into our water supply... The horror, the horror.

...But I'm sure BBC employees will be happy to ride to work on wooden wheels, like Queen Boadicea on her chariot-of-gender-equality, if it is saving the planet.

Enjoyment aside, I started looking into some references for the various degradabilities of rubber. I couldn't resist the opening paragraph of one such article:

"The Achilles heel of rubber and plastics is that, compared with metals, inorganic materials and natural materials such as leather, they are easily degraded and short lived."
They then show a qualitative graph showing plastics being less stable than metals, inorganic species, and natural materials such as leather, cotton, silk and lacquer.

Well b*&!er me sideways with a camel, who would have imagined it? Certainly not the BBC.
While for sure, some modern plastics are much more stable than others, the BBC and allies are simply not interested in the reality of finding out. They aspire to educate the world, yet cannot educate themselves.

Mar 18, 2018 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Mar 18, 2018 at 9:19 PM | michael hart

In my experience, the thing most likely to degrade rubber and plastic is the Sun.
"Many natural and synthetic polymers are attacked by ultraviolet radiation, and products using these materials may crack or disintegrate if they are not UV-stable. The problem is known as UV degradation, and is a common problem in products exposed to sunlight. Continuous exposure is a more serious problem than intermittent exposure, since attack is dependent on the extent and degree of exposure."

The market is full of products to protect rubber and plastic from sunlight.

Mar 18, 2018 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

And what's more, GC, is that the plastics that probably get most of the attention from the activists are the ones that float, thus placing them in the zone where they will be more rapidly degraded by UV/Oxygen/Ozone. So a few of them pass through a fishes digestive system as a result. No harm done. They don't seem to harm me either, and I've lived longer than most fish.

Mar 18, 2018 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Today's Mail scare story about plastic found ON fish
(guess where it comes from ...not from fish stomachs, buried deep in the article
" were mainly fibres from textiles used in clothing, carpets or furniture."
So it's the shop air that is origin of plastic NOT the fish. )

Strange thing the way that lib/left people throw labels on things to dismiss them
(which is basically the same as racism)
They shout "rightwing" at Daily Mail to dismiss it.
Yet the Mail has a number of agendas not fitting that
eg pioneering on Stephen Lawrence
... and now Green issues ..plastic bags ..and now plastic

Today they have "Mail probe finds airborne plastic particles in* EVERY sample of shop-bought fish tested "
* actually it's "on" the fish from plastic packaging
So they are not probably gone by the time you've cooked it .

Mail goes full ProjectFear
\\ Tiny plastic particles are 'part of the air we breathe' say scientists and can damage lungs, poison kidneys and even interfere with our hormones
Experts warn shop-bought food is contaminate with dangerous plastic particles

em the narrative that I am about to die due too plastic seems a bit "too wow to be true"
There are plenty of high and low plastic communities on this planet
and to date the people in high plastic communities live the longest

Sian writes typical Mail stories
but done this activism 2 years ago also
\\ 31 Aug 2016
Ministers hold talks with green groups to ban plastic menace via @DailyMailUK #banthebeads //
26 Aug 2016
\\ Plastic found in third of fish caught in Britain because of microbeads #banthebeads #microbeads //

she wasn't scared 5 years ago
18 Nov 2013
\\ Just paid £5.40 for a salad from @Pret and found a huge shard of plastic in it which I nearly swallowed. Pretty much sums up Pret.//

She simultaneously writes in the Independent

- Health reporter
- First time she's had a front page
- She's tweeted before mocking a Mail headline
- She's not British
- she studied at The Missouri School of Journalism in Brussels

Expert quoted
Dr Natalie Welden, who led the research, said the findings had major implications for any uncovered food.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
\\ Dr Welden, who has studied microplastics for six years,
said: 'I wouldn't be surprised if they're not building up in the air in the same way as in the oceans.
They will be fragmenting and still not going away.//
She compared airborne microplastics to the CFC carbons in fridges that caused the hole in the ozone layer.

Professor Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer,
warned in her annual report this month of the dangers of humans ingesting microplastics
– whether by inhaling them or eating contaminated food.
\\ she said there was a risk of gut blockages
and hormone problems from chemicals leaking out of the microplastics and into the body.//
( Hmmm ...Sally Davies is clueless anyway)

The particles were too large to have passed from the gut into the flesh of the fish.
" between 0.25mm and 1mm long. They were mainly fibres from textiles used in clothing, carpets or furniture."
"The fillets from fishmonger counters were more contaminated than those from closed packets."
(Hang on minute Mail you buried that bit, your title is saying fish is dangerous ..yet that is not the source
... we have a bigger risk from air)

The Portsmouth scientists concluded instead that the plastics came from airborne contamination
– something shops have no control over.
(strange thing to say ..cos if you free fish in the ocean , as is normal , they'd just be covered in water, so if you wash before unfreezing that would remove any transit residue )

Quotes Frank Kelly
"So how concerned should we be?
...Just to be clear, there is no evidence of a link between the microplastics and lung cancer."
Now Kelly does say that evidence is wear and tear around plastic knee joints do lead to the death of cells and scarring of nearby cells
... isn't that the abrasion rather than the mere presence of plastic.
... I've got another 2 pages to read

Mar 19, 2018 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen, if you buy a simple dust mask, or one requiring disposable filter cartridges, the products should be in sealed plastic bags.

Samples for testing, whether for police evidence, food safety, phlebotomy etc will all end up in plastic bags/containers.

Some of these experts should be asked to prove that they have not caused the contamination that they then find.

Mar 20, 2018 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It's weird, that at the same time as protesting tht every microgramme of plastic in the environment is an environmental catastrophe, the same people every day abrasively brush their teeth with plastic bristles which must mean that microgramme of plastic pass into their bodies.

Mar 26, 2018 at 11:05 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Today the gov seems to confirm what the Mail has been claiming victory for
it will implement a deposit and reverse vending machine system.
Last night before the news broke I was on the facebook page of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England)
I left a few comments :

Britain doesn't have a plastic problem has a LOUT problem,
The plastic you or I use is a positive and after use we send for proper reprocessing.
- I think that Green Political guys think a deposit scheme is a magic solution
just like beach clean-ups or village litter picks are
But they are not cos next week the same LOUTS will fill the environment with some other kind of rubbish.
A similar rushing into things was shouting for more diesels to reduce CO2.

You have to do your preparation properly where is the pilot study ?

Reverse-vending machines have ungreen consequences.
You and I get along without them fine cos we put plastic in the recycling
the RV machines will be an extra stage, that take earth resources to make them, and energy to run them.

If you could get the 5-10% of people who are louts to stop be louts it would be better

So I was NOT pleased to see the letter in the Times yesterday
Also Jonathon Dimbleby should not have signed the letter
as a BBCnews guy we pay him to be impartial; he should not be using a platform awarded to him by BBC status for POLITICAL lobbying

CPRE has to represent the whole public , not just Green POLITICAL guys
Other charities have suffered cos they got taken over with narrow politics.

Mar 28, 2018 at 12:31 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"no brainer" is a naive phrase
The machine use earths materials to make , and energy to run
Yet are unnecessary for you , I and 80% of people cos we put rubbish in the right recycling anyway.
Britain has a lout problem, this magic solution won't cure that.

Mar 28, 2018 at 12:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Monday’s Times : Melanie Reid : had 2 digs at the BBC from her wheelchair
one was 'Why do we have to have rubbish about a family trying to live plastic-free,
when plastic is such a positive thing for hygiene etc ?'
(This is the fourth plastic free family thing, local news did one, Radio4 and ITV did one)

Mar 28, 2018 at 12:42 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen, a few photographs of BBC staff drinking out of plastic water bottles would be interesting. Or paper cups? Or polystyrene cups? Or aluminium cans?

The BBC could set an example by banning the lot from their premises.

Mar 28, 2018 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I've not been following the plastic scare, so maybe this has been said and/or discounted already, but it has crossed my mind that the real target is the hydrocarbon feedstocks. I.seem to remember something in a peak oil type piece where a sandwich wrapped in plastic was described as "dripping in oil" ...

Mar 28, 2018 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet