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Discussion > The New War on Plastics

Mar 28, 2018 at 10:18 PM | not banned yet

It is another opportunity for Roger Harribin at the BBC to justify his salary, as all his other scary stories have proved pointless, and been discarded as unwanted rubbish.

I do not doubt that plastic waste does end up in the sea, and will be found around the British Isles, but trying to blame all Brits for being responsible for rubbish in the Indian and Pacific Oceans seems a bit far fetched.

Mar 28, 2018 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Tom Heaps prog on dangers of micro-fibres
It was a bit of a "fishing expedition for doom"
Scientist says waste water filtration removes 97% of microfibre plastics then the whole effluent ends up on farmland
"There is no proof it harms fish, but it might have subtle effects rather kill them"

Mar 29, 2018 at 12:26 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

NBY, I suspect you are correct. One needs to look at the approaches taken by environmental campaigners, and others too.
They do not just attack what they perceive to be a wrong, but many other people, industries, and products associated with it. Thus they attack banks or financiers associated with companies or products. And it often works.

More recently, they now attack Glyphosate weedkiller which has been used for decades without good evidence of harm. They attack it not really because they believe glyphosate truly has any significant dangers to other life forms, but because many new GM crop varieties rely on glyphosate-resistance as a way of increasing crop yields with GM technology. I personally regard neither as a significant problem, but I can now more clearly see the strategy employed by the activists. I thought I was cynical about them, but it turns out I was naïve and not cynical enough.

I have never, once, seen this aspect reported on by the MSM. It is only through reading around the topic on the internet that I connected these two really quite obvious dots.

Mar 31, 2018 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

3pm Radio 4 : Isle of Wight: Plastic Free?

Ian Marchant visits The Isle of Wight looking for a plastic-free future. He helps with a beach-clean, finds out what skateboarders and sailors can contribute and visits Afton Down. Here a mountain of trash was cleared from the site of the legendary 1970 pop festival, when 600,000 people descended on the island to hear Hendrix play.

Ian also meets Father Xavier from Quarr Abbey, who has a spiritual approach to the problem of sustainability.
( "Plastic Free" that' a mere buzzword, cos you wouldn't want to live without plastic protection for hygiene products etc, same as "carbon free")

Apr 5, 2018 at 11:37 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Apr 5, 2018 at 11:37 AM | stewgreen

The Isle of Wight has a problem with dreams of sustainability

"When David Green launched the Ecoisland Energy Services Company in June 2013, it was not about smart technology or solar panels – although they had their role. As he told a buoyant crowd on the House of Commons terrace, it was nothing less than a community on the Isle of Wight “taking its destiny back”. He had been selling the dream of a self-­sufficient island for two years and it was time to “put rubber on the road”.

It was just the kind of scheme the government is seeking to encourage across the country following the publication of its first community energy strategy last month. With trust in energy companies at an all-time low, the idea of people taking power into their own hands has broad appeal.

This particular green dream was to end in tragedy and ruin, however. Green’s optimism masked a serious problem: there was no money coming in. Just four months after the launch of the energy services company, he was arrested on suspicion of fraud because the Ecoisland Partnership community interest company (CIC) had collapsed owing the council £120,000. Unable to face the shame, he took his own life."

Apr 5, 2018 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ah the prog didn't tackle that solar guy

But within seconds of starting the first woman was pooh poohing his dream of "plastic free"

Then half way through when he talking about the yachtclub regatta abandoning plastic bottled water in favour of refill stations ..he mentioned "100% plastic free again", the reply was .."well our yachts are mostly made of plastic"
.."Oh yeh, I'mm a bit of an idiot" he replied.

Apr 5, 2018 at 7:32 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Guardian \\Alleged fraudster made €1m by 'recycling' bottles, German court hears//

Yes but I've heard of a similar cae about a year ago when people defrauded the machines by putting the same bottles through multiple times.

Apr 5, 2018 at 7:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Impartiality means media stay separate from activists, so they can find fault with either side
But our lib establishment media in its metrobubbleworld is prone to going native
and it thinks that its strongly held beliefs are a universal good
and they jump on a crusade

One time was with Climate Change
and now the same is happening with plastics
Multiple events of media running "family lives plastic free for a week" items

Now on Monday night The BBC1 One Show devoted an entire edition to anti-plastic campaigning

That might be convincing to the maive
but on March 20th the prog had done a balloon release item ..where they relased hundreds of balloons in the atmosphere nutters that is plastic pollution.

@BBCTheOneShow tweeted
Tonight, we're joined by @ChrisGPackham, @michaelgove and @lucysiegle as *we talk about a topic that is at the forefront of everyone's mind*, plastic.
Join us for a 'plastic special' at 7pm. #TheOneShow #MondayMotivation

* That's PR words cos plastic is not at the forefront of our minds

Apr 17, 2018 at 11:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Part of the problem is that the BBC wants to play politics but is formally forbidden from doing so. It is probably very frustrating for some of them when they love politics and the traditional power of journalism, and see private companies unencumbered by the same restrictions. So what they do is try and find and area which they think people will regard as non-political and then go overboard on it. Environmentalism has long been one such area. It allows them to promote lots of high-handed government interventions and taxes to fix the claimed problem, while simultaneously pretending it to be a charitable-type of planet-saving act that every sane person would surely agree with. Such policies very conveniently agree with their own politics.

America, of course, has long lead the way in charities just being an excuse for politics, and environmental activism pretending that it does not include politics, when all they ever talk about is persuading people and politicians what new laws are needed to completely restructure the industrial economies back to an imagined Cider-with-Rosie idyll that existed before coal mining and the internal combustion engine. The US and UK could probably do with some better policing of existing laws as to what counts as 'charitable' in the public domain where it involves either tax-exempt status or publicly-funded institutions.

Apr 20, 2018 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Times 'Wow student has invented the plasticless bottle'
..em we already have cardboard tetrapacks with minmal plastic
and can's tins
... since most of what's in the container is water , it would be easy to only sell concentrate to shops and they would add water into your cup at the shop.

May 2, 2018 at 4:17 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

That Pacific plastic garbage patch - evidence now presented 47% of identified stuff is fishing tackle....

May 7, 2018 at 9:49 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Latest Shukman piece on plastic panic.


May 8, 2018 at 7:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo

That Shuckman article is fairly long , but tells us little.
Comments open at 5.30pm ad close at 8.30pm the next day
- That's only 27 hours
- Only 51 comments , people are harfly excited
- Progreen dream dominated and they down voted pragmatic people

May 10, 2018 at 11:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Starts Tue 15 May 2018 11am 3 part radio series about plastics
Mark Miodownik sounded quite positive in the trailer.
..but I expect it will turn out to be the normal BBC green bad maths based propaganda

\\ One major area that needs an overhaul is recycling. *
In the UK only 10-20% of plastic collected is recycled.
We, and the rest of Europe tend to burn our waste for energy,
and plastic has a calorific value similar to that of coal.
But proponents of the circular economy say ..... needs ... reusing and recycling again and again//

* So the BBC assert that a particular policy needs implementing just cos "proponents of the circular economy say"
But it's not there job to tell us how to behave , the maths may not work out that way
e.g.burning plastic at final destination maybe more eco than collecting it all up from all parts of the UK and sending it back to the one factory in China.

May 11, 2018 at 12:02 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

FFS Radio 4 just had one prog What is the problem with plastic?
The Briefing Room

\\ Some 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, where it can be lethal to marine life. (that's a maybe)
Governments and businesses have vowed to take action to curb it.
But Just how serious is the problem of plastic waste, and what can be done to tackle it?
with Susan Freinkel, author of 'Plastic: A Toxic Love Story'
Jan Piotrowski, environment correspondent for the Economist
Rob Opsomer, researcher, Ellen Macarthur Foundation

all anti-plastic people I guess

May 11, 2018 at 12:10 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BBC Look North video item
The Plastic Free shop
It's just the barrel shop, without any plastic bags.

May 21, 2018 at 10:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The problem in all enviro stories is creepage
Times story today talks of Mediterranean sperm whales being killed allegedly by plastic.
'Most found dead since 2001 were killed by plastic debris'
postmortems on 9 of 24 .... stomachs blocked by plastic'
hang on 9 out of 24 is not most ... and I expect there were other creepage steps.

May 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yorkshire Post has cutNpasted another NGO scare story in
"Half unaware of pollution from laundry"
44% do not realise that synthetic like nylon are released from clothing, when washed
.. poll for charity Hubbub
40% "did not realise"could end up in oceans
44% "did not realise"could end up in seafood

Then it moves to talking about another campaign group "A Plastic Planet" and their world campaign "World plastic free day"

That's the Unquantified Risk fallacy.
Stories about real risk contain real numbers, whereas doom-PR stories just contain vague hints.

Look every nature compound contains a small number of atoms that are radioactive.
So every food fire is pumping radiation into the air.
So we might well say "80% of the public unaware of pollution from woodburning"

(The context is that the quantity vs the dispersal factor makes the real world risk minimal)

I see the article doesn't appear in the online edition ..maybe it was just a page filler.

Jun 5, 2018 at 1:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I meant "80% of the public unaware of RADIOACTIVE pollution from woodburning"

Jun 5, 2018 at 7:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Dont want to be cynical but didn't this plastic campaign scare just start because China is no longer taking our waste as we haven't got the capability to deal with it.
How does it work with Sky ?
Were they approached by a Govt dept to start this public awareness off and if so do they get paid ?
Is this plastic campaign as prominent in other country's ?
Just come back from Disney and everything is disposable plastic tonnes of it but they do have paper straws :)

Jun 6, 2018 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

I seem to remember that about 15 years ago some EU countries were running out of suitable landfill sites such as old mines and other earthworks. As a consequence, the EU passed regulations restricting landfill. Apparently, we have lots of suitable sites so I remember thinking that the EU directive would backfire in some way.

Now it appears that the EU has been sending its plastic waste to Asian countries where it is dumped straight into the sea.

Jul 2, 2018 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

\\ UKWIN @UKWIN_Network Jul 16
UKWIN will be launching a report on incinerator pollution at the House of Lords tomorrow with cross-party support from MPs John Grogan (Labour), Philip Davies (Conservative) and Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Tyler. The report will be made available at: //

The Times dutifully cutsNpastes

\\the industry used the excuse that there was no commercially available equipment to allow continuous monitoring of PM10 and PM2.5, different sizes of particulate. //

Then a good commenter adds info

I have worked (on or off) within the EfW industry for the last 10 years.

Plant emissions are monitored on a minute by minute basis to ensure that the stringent requirements of the European Waste Incineration Directive (WID) are complied with. All instances of failure must be reported and, if necessary, the plant must be shut down.

To ensure that these requirements are complied with sophisticated scubbers are employed to ensure that the following are not allowed to enter into the environment:
heavy metals, dioxins and furans, carbon monoxide, dust, volatile organic compunds, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, sulphur dioxide as well as both nitrogen oxide and dioxide.

The ensuing "fly ash" (circa 3% of original mass) is then treated to ensure that it is chemically inert before final disposal.

Most plants that I have had experience of are consistently operating well within the set limits. "Studies" by anti EfW groups have generally been shown to be flawed in terms of methodology and conclusions. In particular, it is not helpful for The Times to quote an uncited report.

For anyone suffering from insomnia, the WID can be found here

Jul 18, 2018 at 10:03 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

made a similar comment to 'BLACK PEARL' at ""

"Have noticed MSM seem to moved on/back to real enviro problems like waste plastic,rather than the earth is burning stories.
have to wonder if China stopping all imports of our recycled junk/waste from the west woke some people up?"

we, the west shipped all our waste to China (and other places) for years without a thought on what happened to it after that.

now China has enough waste, it no longer needs ours to recycle, we suddenly get BBC stories about some African nation about to ban plastic?

Jul 19, 2018 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDOUGIEH

Mon Oct 1st the Liz Bonin 90 min special aired on BBC 1
I quote ....
Sometimes the BBC are their own worst enemies, through sheer ineptitude and bias.
Watched the programme about plastic in the sea. Now personally i think it is a genuine problem which needs a decent airing. But the programme……….

Naturally the programme is used as a round the world jolly, so we start in Lord Howe Island, off the coast of Queensland. Nice if you can get it. We are treated to many examples of the presenter (female, non-white needless to say) emoting and looking shocked and forlorn at the contents of sheerwater birds’ stomachs. Ok, we got it from the start, you don’t need to keep on with the emoting.

Then its off to Indonesia to see a river of plastic floating on, well, a river. The problem (which I’ve seen in India for myself) is totally inadequate, often non-existent, refuse collection, due to local and national (usually emerging economies) government failings. But that is swiftly brushed aside and we are told the problem is down to those nasty private sector global brands selling products in sachets. Weird thing was, in all the coverage of plastic floating on water or submerged beneath it, there were no sachets to be seen.

So the programme is human interest driven, full of presenter emoting, and with the usual private sector targets.
What could have been useful is rendered useless with questionable credibility by the BBC’s insatiable bias and dreadful lefty agenda and editorialising.

Oct 2, 2018 at 3:21 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Ben Pile tweeted the url of the BBC anti-plastic POLITICAL campaign page

Oct 2, 2018 at 3:34 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen