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Chilli-head
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It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

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default It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Dandelion on 1st January 2018, 8:50 am

It will be interesting to see if China's new stance on disposing of the West's plastic waste will affect the way plastic is used in the UK.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42455378

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Dandelion
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Chilli-head on 1st January 2018, 10:17 am

"China has introduced the ban from this month on "foreign garbage" as part of a move to upgrade its industries."

What we also need is to stop importing Chinese garbage too. Cheap rubbish goods that will be on it's way back to China for recycling after its 10 minute design life is up. Not that the Chinese are to blame for it, they just supply what we ask for. We need to find a way to drive the world's economy that doesn't rely on ceaselessly turning finite natural resources into garbage.

Let's cross our fingers and hope this starts a change. Combined with Attenborough's effort to draw attention to marine plastic pollution, maybe there is some hope.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by freebird on 1st January 2018, 10:27 am

Can't add anything to that CH. Hopefully good will come out of this.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by FloBear on 1st January 2018, 11:29 am

Let's hope that Mr Attenborough is more successful at alerting the public to the plastic waste problem. Thor Heyerdahl reported on oceanic pollution on one of his expeditions - probably Ra in the early 1970s, it's a long time since I read the book.
For me, legislation is the only way to go. Most people will not be bothered enough to do anything about it otherwise.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Dandelion on 1st January 2018, 12:12 pm

Chilli-head wrote:

What we also need is to stop importing Chinese garbage too.  Cheap rubbish goods that will be on it's way back to China for recycling after its 10 minute design life is up.  Not that the Chinese are to blame for it, they just supply what we ask for. We need to find a way to drive the world's economy that doesn't rely on ceaselessly turning finite natural resources into garbage.

Couldn't agree more. I went shopping after Christmas with my daughter (who studied planned obsolesence as part of her design course) - we had a good old rant in Paperchase, looking at the rubbish which was half price after no-one wanted to buy it for Christmas. The best example I can give is a roll of 'Christmas refuse bags' - when full, they were printed to look like big bulging Christmas puddings. That says it all...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Hairyloon on 27th February 2018, 1:41 am

Plastic recycling is not rocket science: in most cases you just grind it up, melt it down and make it into something new.
The equipment to do this does not need to be massive nor hugely expensive: there should be facilities everywhere: at least as often as every pub or skool.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Chilli-head on 27th February 2018, 12:09 pm

I think you're right that chewing it up and re-melting it is all that's required for a lot of plastic. That is probably OK if you're doing the Norwegian style recycling of PET bottles into new PET products.

The harder bit is when you have mixed plastic waste, it has to somehow (optically ?) be sorted before being melted. And of course, there are thermoplastics that can be re-melted and thermoset plastics that can't. Then all the biodegradeable alternatives made from cellulose etc need to be kept out.

And, IIRC, rather like when recycling paper the fibres get broken and slowly shortened, so the quality of the resulting product gets lower or it needs to be mixed with fresh pulp, with plastics the polymer chains get broken and shortened, so producing a weaker result. This is a hazy memory, so if I'm wrong do set me right.

Nothing is quite as easy as it seems, but we could easily be doing a lot better !
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by freebird on 27th February 2018, 1:42 pm

And quite apart from the logistics of actually recycling successfully, there has to be an end market for the resultant product.
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default Re: It's now more difficult to dispose of plastic waste

Post by Hairyloon on 27th February 2018, 1:58 pm

Chilli-head wrote:The harder bit is when you have mixed plastic waste, it has to somehow (optically ?) be sorted before being melted.

The problem is in quantity and bulk. If you have a small amount then you can easily sort it by type, but it rapidly becomes bulky.
If it can be sorted and ground up at the local point, then that would help.
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