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Topic # 159781 12-Dec-2014 12:32
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I thought this was compelling reading : 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11373207

Given what the world spends on irrelevant stuff each year, what do you think would be required to resolve this issue? 

I mean you can't get all plastic out, and I know some of it's spread around, but at the end of the day there will be big mountains of it, that could potentially be "collected". 

I guess the article is pretty vague, so difficult to know how much of it would be recyclable, but would it be as bad to put it into landfill in an inhabatable part of the world till it decomposed "naturally" where it wouldn't do as much harm?

Excuse me if I am talking nonsense, I profess no knowledge of how to fix it technically, but a desire to find out more.

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  Reply # 1196282 12-Dec-2014 13:30
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The last thing we need is nanny state to dictate what we do..




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Old3eyes




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  Reply # 1196283 12-Dec-2014 13:31
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old3eyes: The last thing we need is nanny state to dictate what we do..


Err what?

I was thinking in terms of world govt spending some money collecting and removing this from the oceans etc.

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  Reply # 1196284 12-Dec-2014 13:33
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A government that is prepared to legislate to address this and to protect our environment and future is not a nanny state. It should be encouraged and applauded




Mike
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TLD

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  Reply # 1196335 12-Dec-2014 14:20
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268,000 tones in all the Earth's oceans?  What would that work out to?  One part in a trillion trillion? 

Wikipedia says Lake Taupo contains 59 cubic kilometers of water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Taupo

And answers.com says one cubic kilometer of water weighs 1000 million tonnes

http://www.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_a_cubic_kilometer_of_water_weigh

So Lake Taupo holds 59,000,000,000 tonnes of water, and if my dodgy math is right (which I agree is doubtful) if they dumped all 268,000 tonnes of plastic in Lake Taupo, it would make 0.00045%   Heck, I wildly over estimated in my first sentence!!!





Trevor Dennis
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  Reply # 1196336 12-Dec-2014 14:28
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Given the weight of say a plastic bag or a plastic tie that figure amounts to a lot of plastic.  "Each dot on the map represents 20kg of plastic."

The risk to marine life which is the foundation of the food chain is very real. This should be a concern to all of us.

I believe a good start would be to make plain packaging compulsory, if there was no marketing potential in the packaging there amount of packaging used would be reduced considerably.




Mike
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 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1196342 12-Dec-2014 14:39
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well there are chemical engineers out there. make them figure it out and legislate products to comply.

but then there is third world country ... who only legislate to make politicians richer and more powerful and nothing else

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  Reply # 1196351 12-Dec-2014 14:50
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networkn: I thought this was compelling reading : 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11373207

Given what the world spends on irrelevant stuff each year, what do you think would be required to resolve this issue? 

I mean you can't get all plastic out, and I know some of it's spread around, but at the end of the day there will be big mountains of it, that could potentially be "collected". 

I guess the article is pretty vague, so difficult to know how much of it would be recyclable, but would it be as bad to put it into landfill in an inhabatable part of the world till it decomposed "naturally" where it wouldn't do as much harm?

Excuse me if I am talking nonsense, I profess no knowledge of how to fix it technically, but a desire to find out more.


First person to make a plastic magnet will be richer than Buffet!





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  Reply # 1196353 12-Dec-2014 14:51
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old3eyes: The last thing we need is nanny state to dictate what we do..


No, what we need is for society in general to stop being so lazy and complacent and look after the planet they all live on.

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  Reply # 1196354 12-Dec-2014 14:54
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KiwiNZ: A government that is prepared to legislate to address this and to protect our environment and future is not a nanny state. It should be encouraged and applauded


It's needed - but not going to be easy to legislate.
For example, even without FTA in place (yet), US groups might wish to sue NZ if we put in place restrictions on how soft drink and bottled water was to be packaged, and NZ would be in strife if the UK banned plastic shrink-wrapping for chilled meat imports from NZ.  Deciding what's "necessary" and what's not will be a big problem - especially when there would be intense lobbying from all quarters

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  Reply # 1196410 12-Dec-2014 16:18
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A good start would be not dumping trash in the ocean.
I thimk the USA do this by the barge load.

JWR

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  Reply # 1196443 12-Dec-2014 17:00


I think plastic is a wonderful thing.

But, so many uses of it are stupid and the true cost isn't considered.

Single-use plastic bags are a perfect example.

I don't think the public should pay to clean these up. IMO, they should be either banned or heavily taxed.

This isn't a nanny state view.

Governments ban all sorts of toxic products.

We heavily tax good things we need - like Labour, fresh vegetables etc.. It is reasonable to tax things we don't want like bad uses of plastic.

JWR

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  Reply # 1196493 12-Dec-2014 18:22

TLD: 268,000 tones in all the Earth's oceans?  What would that work out to?  One part in a trillion trillion? 

Wikipedia says Lake Taupo contains 59 cubic kilometers of water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Taupo

And answers.com says one cubic kilometer of water weighs 1000 million tonnes

http://www.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_a_cubic_kilometer_of_water_weigh

So Lake Taupo holds 59,000,000,000 tonnes of water, and if my dodgy math is right (which I agree is doubtful) if they dumped all 268,000 tonnes of plastic in Lake Taupo, it would make 0.00045%   Heck, I wildly over estimated in my first sentence!!!



I think the 268,000 tonnes is only an estimate of floating, identifiable plastic. There must have been a lot more than that put into the oceans over the years.

Here are a couple of arguments that counter the 'dilute it isn't a problem' argument.

Firstly, virtually all the plastic ever made, is still in the environment. It just gets chopped up into smaller pieces. So waste plastic is a growing problem.

Also, because the pieces of plastic become smaller and smaller, then they get absorbed by small fish, eaten by bigger fish and eventually into the human food chain.

These two things lead to increasing concentration- not dilution.

TLD

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  Reply # 1196597 12-Dec-2014 21:10
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What is the end product of biodegradable plastics?  I just had a quick look on Wikipedia, and it appears there is 'still' no such thing as a free lunch, as the biodegradable process produces methane, which I believe is the main greenhouse gas.





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  Reply # 1196598 12-Dec-2014 21:15
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KiwiNZ: A government that is prepared to legislate to address this and to protect our environment and future is not a nanny state. It should be encouraged and applauded


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  Reply # 1196610 12-Dec-2014 21:19
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Go back a few decades. Bottles had a value so people cashed then in, recycled. Plastic is non bio degradable. It probably does but over a very lengthy time. We can talk economics, but lets also talk sensible. Tax it in favour of biodegradable products, if an extra cost, so be it. Value the Earth, it will still be here for our kids, grand kids etc, etc

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