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Stopping companies using plastics that don't biodegrade within our lifetimes

 
pioneer & author
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 As someone who in the past has done A LOT of composting and observed how things break down over time it’s hard to overstate how utterly indestructible some of these plastics are.  This has become a mainstream topic now and I expect just in terms of geology this is one the things that is going define our era to future generations.  Is there any way to encourage companies never to use this stuff again ?
 
gardener
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Some are hoping that this is a start, Eric. Hideous stuff!
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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This is another interesting take ...
 
pollinator
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Yes, quit buying from them altogether. Do not involve the government! It can be done if enough people quit buying their products. The challenge is how to get enough people on our side to boycott.
 
author
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There seems to be a growing hunger for cutting out plastic. We need to stop it at source. With plastic in the zooplankton at the very bottom of the ocean food chain, how long will it be before plastic fills every gut of every marine animal there is, and then long outlasts the corpse... and goes on to fill more fish, birds and sea animals (and ourselves, who eat them!).

In terms of how - I think we can boil down our responses to 5 things:
1 - Feed the right wolf (buy the biodegradable material rather than the plastic item) in our own shopping;
2 - Live simply (negating the need for that purchase in the first place);
3 - Advocate for change (through change.org, uplift.ie, sumofus.org, avaaz etc., through letter and email campaigns, through communicating with manufacturers, local and national governments etc., Extinction Rebellion etc.);  
4 - Hold hands (find like minded company for support and assistance and company while you engage with the other elements);
5 - Hold the vision (what top athlete will tell you that she succeeded in getting that Olympic gold by picturing a good clear image of a terrible outcome? None. Similarly, even as we face into uncertain times, we may do well to hold a very clear positive image of a desirable goal: even something as simple as feeling really good that our local health food shop now stocks wash-up loofahs, to take just one example)

That's all ;-)


 
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Look for PHB in English!
What is biodgredable still contaminate with nanoparticles... I asked what this plastic was made from, and they could not answer though...

https://www.europapress.es/sociedad/medio-ambiente-00647/noticia-nuevos-plasticos-biodegradables-libera-nanoparticulas-nocivas-ecosistemas-acuaticos-20190701144105.html

Uno de los nuevos plásticos biodegradables libera nanopartículas nocivas para los ecosistemas acuáticos

polihidroxibutirato (PHB) que libera 'nanoplásticos' --fragmentos 400 veces más finos que un cabello humano-- durante su proceso de degradación que producen efectos tóxicos sobre organismos de los ecosistemas acuáticos.
 
eric fisher
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Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen !

phb.PNG
[Thumbnail for phb.PNG]
Poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB)
 
Xisca Nicolas
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eric fisher wrote:
Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen !


Yes, as many other substances... it is all about the organisation of molecules!
So they say that it is toxic for water ecosystems,
 
garden master
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:

eric fisher wrote:
Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen !


Yes, as many other substances... it is all about the organisation of molecules!
So they say that it is toxic for water ecosystems,



I want to play off of this! This is what I find fascinating about chemistry, that just the number of, and orientation of, simple and often harmless elements can make something sweet and delicious or kill us. Let's take a look at some!

Sugar (glucose yum!) C6H12O6
Ethanol (let's get drunk!) CH3CH2OH
Methane (I farted) CH4
Acetone (Yikes scary solvent!) (CH3)2CO
Benzene (Toxic, causes cancer! Run!) C6H6
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Toxic solvent!!) CH3C(O)CH2CH3
Formic Acid (Ant and Bee Venom, Ow!! But also a preservative in some livestock feed. What?!) CHOOH

To make this pertinent to this thread, I think one solution to plastics already manufactured is fungi. It's amazing what fungi can do, breaking down toxic manmade complex molecules. I don't believe this is the solution to keep producing plastics, I think production needs to be stopped. I think a good start would be to at least stop producing the plastic products that are made by the billions annually, such as water bottles and those grocery bags, which form a considerable percentage of plastic pollution.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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The main issue with this "seems to be toxic though ecological because biodegradable" is that it throws DOUBTS UPON its use! Because they do not say from WHAT source was this plastic made from! Are they all equal?
 
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I think it's important to distinguish between single use plastic and long term use materials. I am totally willing, but not always able, to avoid single use plastics and I often turn single use plastic into multi-use/re-purposed plastic whenever possible. I admit plasticized paper ticks me off.
In my opinion, plastic has its place: 1. I'm a wimp and plastic is light weight. If I had to carry water to the ducks in a rubber or wooden bucket, I would not be able to carry it as far.
2. Plastic doesn't have to be disposable: I've got some Tupperware that my mom gave me that she bought 55 years ago, and we still use it. Yes, I've had some Tupperware fail sooner than that, but replacing it with glass in lunchboxes is both heavier and breakable, and metals don't seal as well and tend to get dented.
3. If plastic were treated as a "special" commodity, people would make more effort to use it where its benefits outweigh its risks. The trouble is, that just like CO2 in the atmosphere, people have put profits ahead of long-term sustainability, leading to many of our current crises, and neither governments, nor the general population have been willing to pro-actively change things.

I'm really hoping that research into things that can genuinely return plastic to its component carbon, hydrogen and oxygen will bear fruit, or that Mother Nature will do so on her own. The situation we've developed seems like a very deep hole and even the small things we can do to reduce the use of new plastic and prolong the use of existing plastic is really important. As the videos show above, buying food/drink is one of the higher plastic generating activities in North America at least. If we got out to dinner, I bring containers for left-overs. I take my own bags to buy groceries. I grow what food I can. I carry a washable/refillable water bottle. I wash and re-use plastic bags. I treat plastic as a valuable resource, rather than as "garbage". If everyone in North America did so,  it would have significant impact. Pushing governments to enact legislation to both ban single-use plastic in most categories (hypodermic needles may need to be exempt for example) and to put in legislation requiring paper to be manufactured from short cycle, polyculture sources (coppiced trees, kudzu, etc) are both required. Before we ban one thing, it's really important to know what will replace it!
 
I'm not sure if I approve of this interruption. But this tiny ad checks out:
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