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markeymark

Plastics in the cut

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37 minutes ago, markeymark said:

Hi Guys, Bob included, am on the road at the moment and will get back to you tomorrow...but I do see what you are saying...thanks for the input.

No problem, safe driving.

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I'm all for cleaner canals, but surely the issue suffered on the cut is one of old fashioned littering and fly tipping rather than one of corporate negligence and global scale pollution. Your campaign sounds well intentioned but misplaced.  Perhaps you should either aim higher, in which case the cut is probably not the right arena, or pressure local councils to do more about litter and fly tipping.

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Good morning. After a few days away to think about this thread I have decided not to do the campaign after all. I was clearly naive in thinking that there might be a critical mass of support in bettering the pollution in the cut. I am NOT singling anyone out here and really appreciate the input especially from Dr. Bob. I was in the merchant navy in the 70's and on our ship it was the practice to throw 50 bin liners of rubbish in to the sea daily...all of which has come back to haunt me. When I quit in 1978 I left feeling guilty for my part in it and ever since tried to concentrate on reducing my waste input.

It was just recently following Attenboroughs Blue Planet that awareness finally seem to be happening so I was hoping to ride that bandwagon with my idea, but from what I can see (partly  from the fact that only 7 people on CW forum have contributed to the thread) is that there is very little action being done about the problem and so maybe the majority of boaters, and CRT, dont see this as an issue worth addressing.

The silver lining is that now I dont have to invest more time and money into a campaign and can spend more time and money in the watering holes and can get drunk into oblivion.

I do hope to meet some of you whilst cruising this year.

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10 minutes ago, markeymark said:

I was in the merchant navy in the 70's and on our ship it was the practice to throw 50 bin liners of rubbish in to the sea daily...

Me too, late '70's, early '80's, although, whilst I knew stuff was thrown overboard, I had no perception of how much.

My difficulty with this plastic waste in the sea thing is that I have no idea how any of the plastic I might use, and throw in my dustbin, could end up in the sea. In addition, apart from rivers, I dont see how any discarded plastic on land can end up in the sea.

So the problem must be mostly caused by stuff being directly dumped in the sea, in large volume, and it is this that should be stopped, rather than the use of plastic at all.

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Whilst I applaud any effort to cut down on plastic waste it seem to me everyone, government, media, industry etc. are constantly trying to shift all the blame onto the consumer who basically has very little choice other than to obtain myriad plastics. I recently wrote to my MP (Conservative) and asked to address whoever was carrying out the recent enquiry into plastic waste and he replied that he thought  the problem needs stopping at SOURCE (my capital). and to email my thoughts t him and he would pass them on. I did that and said I was pleased the government that he is part of intended to stop it at source and went on to explain how it could be done given the political will.

Those of us old enough to remember know drinking straws used to be made form waxed paper, drinks came in glass bottles with DEPOSITS on them, cotton buds came on wooden sticks, toothpaste came in zinc tubes.

Tax the plastics at source and really sting those retailers who do ot get rid of plastics.

  • Greenie 2

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Richard, just go to the beaches in some parts of the world and see the users walking off and leaving their rubbish behind! Each day, here in Southern Spain (in a 'Natural Park'(sic)) I clean the beach and the next  day there is more waste on the beach, not one litter bin, and the ranger comes down and shouts at those in motor homes to move on and does not pick up one piece of litter, but says he has to move on the motorhomers cos they litter the beach...when they dont. Its amazing how many campervan keep their area clean when the fishing boats lob all their waste in the sea and it gets washed up on the beach, but the ranger does nothing about that....hypocrisy.

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Brown paper carrier bags with string handles that re-cycled theirselves before you got home. After resting it on a wet pavement to talk to someone and then picked it up again the bottom would  fall out leaving your chops,  pot herbs and jar of Virol in a pile on the pavement, to arrive home with nothing.  Co oP Divi number 365748.

Edited by bizzard

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Richard, which shipping line were you, with out of interest? I was on the SS Arcadia, MV Oriana,  MV Sea Princess and Island Princess and we managed to pollute the whole world with our rubbish, but the Canberra being the flagship polluted the most!

Blizzard, see your point of view but just get a 'bag for life 'made of thick cotton...its not rocket science:captain:

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10 minutes ago, markeymark said:

Richard, which shipping line were you, with out of interest? I was on the SS Arcadia, MV Oriana,  MV Sea Princess and Island Princess and we managed to pollute the whole world with our rubbish, but the Canberra being the flagship polluted the most!

Blizzard, see your point of view but just get a 'bag for life 'made of thick cotton...its not rocket science:captain:

I have my own.:P

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57 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Tax the plastics at source and really sting those retailers who do ot get rid of plastics.

Agreed, and focus that tax on items where the 'source' makes it difficult or impossible to recycle. I keep banging on here about the 'sources' mixing the plastics which is a big contribution to not being able to recycle them ie PET bottles/tops. Coffee cups are another example of making an item out of something that is very difficult to recycle. Coextruded plastic trays containing barrier polymers with linear low density film (cling film) over the top. All items that use plastic packaging should be designed so there is a clear route to recycle otherwise slap a big tax on them.

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11 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

Agreed, and focus that tax on items where the 'source' makes it difficult or impossible to recycle. I keep banging on here about the 'sources' mixing the plastics which is a big contribution to not being able to recycle them ie PET bottles/tops. Coffee cups are another example of making an item out of something that is very difficult to recycle. Coextruded plastic trays containing barrier polymers with linear low density film (cling film) over the top. All items that use plastic packaging should be designed so there is a clear route to recycle otherwise slap a big tax on them.

and, if as a recent TV programme said, black plastic food trays can not be recycled because the machinery at the recycling centre can not differentiate between a black conveyor belt and black plastic trays then the obvious solution would be to make the production of black trays illegal or so heavily taxed the suppliers use a different colour.

I also do not see why each type of plastic can not only be supplied in a single colour so automatic sorting can properly separate each type of plastic.

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5 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

and, if as a recent TV programme said, black plastic food trays can not be recycled because the machinery at the recycling centre can not differentiate between a black conveyor belt and black plastic trays then the obvious solution would be to make the production of black trays illegal or so heavily taxed the suppliers use a different colour.

I also do not see why each type of plastic can not only be supplied in a single colour so automatic sorting can properly separate each type of plastic.

Maybe we could ban black conveyor belts ....

(This is a joke - I once did some work for BTR)

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

and, if as a recent TV programme said, black plastic food trays can not be recycled because the machinery at the recycling centre can not differentiate between a black conveyor belt and black plastic trays then the obvious solution would be to make the production of black trays illegal or so heavily taxed the suppliers use a different colour.

I also do not see why each type of plastic can not only be supplied in a single colour so automatic sorting can properly separate each type of plastic.

The problem with black plastic is that the technique to separate you are talking about is Near Infra Red analysis (NIR). The NIR machine can tell plastics apart as long as they are not black. Black absorbs all the NIR signal.  So the NIR sorters work ok with any colour as long as its not black. However, the NIR sorters are not really that good. You can get maybe 90% purity if you are lucky which in many cases is not high enough purity. An example is separating polypropylene from polyethylene. You really need 95% purity if you are going to replace virgin plastic. Assuming it is not black then, an NIR sorter is not really going to provide that purity - and the polymer then gets sold off for a 'lesser' application at a lower price.

There is new technology now appearing that can get to 95%+ purity on PP/PE (and it works on black polymers) which should be fully commercial soon.

The problem with banning black polymers is that many recycled items are made black to give a consistent appearance - ie the recycled polymer is 'jazz' - a term used for mixed plastic chips. If you banned black, then it would limit the recycle opportunities.

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

or we get used to swirly, muddy colours in plastic products.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest uses of recycled polypropylene is in making car panels ie a large number of the internal panels you get whey you buy a new car, - the dash board, the door internal panels, the floor pans, the parcel shelves etc etc are all polyprop, often covered with a nice covering. All of it is black and if it wasnt used, the manufacturers would have to buy new virgin plastic which means millions of tonnes more of CO2 emitted. The panel manufacturers are crying out for 96-98% purity recycle PP and would use far far more than they do now if it was available.

There is a lot going on in the recycle arena that the public just dont see. There are reasons of why something is done one way or done another that the public dont understand so it is difficult for most people to get there heads around what they see. The bottom line for me is that now the route of waste to china is no longer available (they had cheap labour to separate by hand), we must do the separation ourselves (with new technology) but more importantly lets make products that minimise the separation needed.....hence I agree with your taxation view.

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At least with car panels there should be a reliable and effective way of recycling them properly sorted. Of course the scrappies don't seem to want to know and put it all in the crusher without stripping it out. In my view another case of strong legislation and penalties.

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