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Discussion » Questions » Environment » It's simply impossible to stop all individuals buying throw away plastic bottles,food containers or disposable implements....

It's simply impossible to stop all individuals buying throw away plastic bottles,food containers or disposable implements....

All Government could though make new laws to stop them being manafactured though....When will the penny drop and they actually realize it will have to be that way.....? 

Posted - October 1, 2018


  • 22400
    they dont have a place to recycle where i live
      October 1, 2018 3:44 PM MDT

  • 14556
    Stop buying single use plastic items then...we are all responsible for what we buy and then need to dispose of..:( 
      October 1, 2018 4:15 PM MDT

  • 1502
    Why not compromise and make it mandatory to recycle? I’m sick of people simply wanting to ban everything. 
      October 1, 2018 3:47 PM MDT

  • 14556
    In England it's mandatory to recycle ....not all bother to and most if what's collected goes to land fill or is incinerated .....Local governments are the worse offenders and a law unto themselves.... 

    Do you not care what is happening to our oceans ...bottom feeders are eating it and fish eat them and you eat fish....Fish is fed to animals and it ends up in our food chain...

    What will you say about the plastic that you ingest begins to effect your health and then learn there is no cure....
    Will you say the same things then...
    All single use throw away plastic things within reason should be banned tomorrow and all nations made to clean the oceans 
      October 1, 2018 4:02 PM MDT

  • 1502
    I don’t care about oceans or the planet because I don’t want to ban plastic bottles? Seriously? What do you propose we substitute plastic bottles with? What can we replace them with to store drinks that won’t harm the environment? Whatever is substituted would end up being the same problem we have with plastic?

    I do my part and recycle. I can’t and don’t control what my local, state, and federal government do. I’m willing to find solutions, but jumping to a ban is stupid.

    I’m sick of this, “If you don’t agree with me you don’t care about the environment, ocean, poor people, the elderly, or whatever else. It’s a close minded way of thinking and hinders civil discourse. 
      October 1, 2018 4:12 PM MDT

  • 14556
    I take it you don't care about anything that lives in our oceans then....with out the creatures big or small that live in our oceans and that feed most of the worlds population ,so many of the worlds population would starve to death....
    The world doesn't need coca cola or any diet sugar free drinks..

    All Disposable things need to be biodegradable,inert and harmless to the enviroment and all living things big or small 
    You can buy your drinks in glass bottles or aluminum cans....
    You don't have to follow blindly what your State or Government want you to are free to make your own mind up...
      October 1, 2018 4:56 PM MDT

  • 1502
    I see you don’t understand what I said. If you want to believe I don’t care about ocean life, that’s your choice. It’s close minded thinking and shuts down the conversation. I’m done trying to discuss this. Good day to you. 
      October 1, 2018 4:59 PM MDT

  • 5469
    The problem with that idea is that something else has to take their place. But what? 

    The real failure is a lack of urgency for governments to facilitate widescale recycling in every country that these plastics are present. This post was edited by Don Barzini at October 1, 2018 8:11 PM MDT
      October 1, 2018 3:59 PM MDT

  • 14556 one will ever instigate it though...
    Liz Bonnin the Biologist said tonight on a TV program that the problem will be fifty times worse within the next ten years...

    The oceans will become one giant dustbin devoid of life and unable to be cleaned...
      October 1, 2018 4:09 PM MDT

  • 3973
    I think the time will come when all throw away plastics are banned, probably in a phased manner to allow manufacturers to re-gear their processes.
    Single-use plastics might remain for some things such as hygiene wrappings for medical dressings, but it should be pretty easy to ensure that those do not end up in drains, rivers or seas.
    Some states have already banned single-use plastic bags. Some a having great success with coin return systems for recycling.

    In the meantime, we can help by adopting the methods of our great-grandparents. They had re-usable containers for everything and took them along when shopping. It's not hard once one gets into the habit. By setting an example, we can demonstrate to businesses and politicians that we care, and that will speed the arrival of the bans. This post was edited by inky at October 2, 2018 8:27 AM MDT
      October 1, 2018 6:23 PM MDT

  • 189
    I believe the time will not in the not so distant future.
      October 2, 2018 8:27 AM MDT

  • 2156

    It's not "plastic" per se that's the problem, but certain types and physical forms. The really bad ones for  marine life are polythene bags, which resemble food to some animals; netting and rope for their entanglement hazard; and "micro-beads".

    The last are microscopic plastic spheres used as abrasives and bulking media in products like cosmetics and toothpaste so end up flushed down the drain and if even treated effluent is discharged into the sea the beads become ingested by creatures like copepods. It does not poison them, simply obstructs their digestive systems - reduce the copepods and you reduce the food supply for other animals.

    The rest just end up creating a mess, but that's the fault of people not caring, not the fault of the materials.

    Yes, we certainly could move to repeat-use packing and containers, or plant-based materials provided the plants are properly cropped; but you still need fuel to make and transport them. I had noticed over the years, manufacturers of commercial equipment moving from using those polystyrene foam "maggots" as packing materials, to versions made from some sort of flour; or various shredded-paper forms. Similarly, the polystyrene foam blocks between items and cartons, were becoming cardboard constructions - some involving very ingenious origami! 

    Scrap cardboard and paper can be turned into new versions, to a point anyway. Scrap timber could be used, if only by shredding to make particle-board or more paper. It can be burnt as a power-generation fuel, though that's not as sustainable as it may seem because the calorific value of wood is far lower than that of fossil fuels: about half that of coal, I think, meaning twice the fuel tonnage for the same MW/hr output. 

    Glass is recoverable, as are all metals; but these materials do use a lot of fuel in their manufacture or recovery. Glass especially, is not as easy to re-melt as it may seem, though I don't know the details.

    Some materials are just not recoverable. Concrete from demolition sites can be, and is, crushed to form hard-core and aggregate, and any reinforcing steel it contains is salvaged as scrap metal; but you cannot revert old concrete to new cement, sand and gravel; and making cement uses a great deal of fuel. 

    There will always be some attrition: for example, you could turn 1 000 000 tonnes of steel into many products from ships to food cans; but you won't get back 1 000 000t of useable steel because whilst most of those products might eventually be scrapped in the proper manner, there is always some loss.

    In the end we all have to face the fact that we are a profligate society! I wonder how many who so virtuously rinse and "re-cycle" every last bean tin, blow it by replacing their portable' phone every time the makers produce a new model?

      October 4, 2018 6:14 PM MDT

  • 3973
    Great answer, Durdle! :)
    Thanks for your contribution to our environmental awareness. 
      October 5, 2018 2:11 AM MDT

  • 2156
    Thank you! Actually this matter was the subject of this evening's (25 October) edition of BBC R4's business-magazine programme, The Bottom Line, which said plastics are a British invention now over 100 years old, and among the points it made were:

       - many of the non-plastic alternatives or predecessors are not necessarily better for the environment than plastic (one example given was using polythene for water mains, as it is far lighter than steel pipes so considerably reducing the transport and handling fuels),

      -  but plastics are often used wastefully and unnecessarily, such as for drinking-straws and excess packaging, 

       - the littering is a problem of social behaviour, not of material; and

      - whilst not all of the very many types of plastic are recoverable, many can be reduced to near their source material, oil.

    The programme seemed to focus only on the common thermoplastics like polyethylene (usually called just 'polythene'), not on the equally common but more problematical thermosetting and synthetic-resin materials. I do not know if any of these can be salvaged in any way - for example, there is a vast amount of fibre-glass in the world, but how can we deal with that when the objects are scrapped? 

    It has struck me that once again, politicians and environmental campaign groups are generating a vast amount of campaigning and fear-mongering that may or may not be well-meaning but is often very deeply ill-informed, un-analytical, end-point-only, and seeks only scapegoats by blaming problems and causes easier to see than the real ones.

    [Edited to clarify a point.] This post was edited by Durdle at October 28, 2018 8:32 PM MDT
      October 25, 2018 4:01 PM MDT