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MikeB4
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  #2048173 3-Jul-2018 11:20
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You just have to sail around the South Coasts of Welly and around Matiu or Makaro Islands in Wellington harbour to see the plastic problem. When trolling I would often catch plastic bags on the outboard leg.


Lastman
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  #2048182 3-Jul-2018 11:47
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Fred99:

According to the data I posted earlier in this thread, a paper bag has the same environmental footprint as 43 single use plastic bags (this presumably not taking into account the difficult to quantify harm from failing to dispose of them correctly):


They compare how many times you’d have to reuse a given material as a substitute to make it worthwhile to replace a single-use standard plastic bag (i.e. how many times would you have to reuse to make it environmentally equal?).


- Polypropylene (PP) – those thicker woven bags that are common you’d have to use 5 times for CO2, or 45 times if you include all environmental factors;


- Paper – tends to be similar from CO2 perspective, but would use 43 times to be even on all environmental factors;


- Organic cotton bag – 149 times for CO2; 20,000 times for all environmental factors;


- Conventional cotton bag – 52 times for CO2; 7100 times for all environmental factors.



The 52 x for a cotton bag seems reasonable. So my six years is conservatively 3 bags x 52 weeks x 6 equals 936, they never seem to wear out.

The second statistic, I think that’s hot air out someones backside.

 
 
 
 


Geektastic
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  #2048197 3-Jul-2018 12:07
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There is a way to make things like park benches, bus stop benches and bike racks from recycled plastic - I have seen them in cities around the world. We could do that here and export what we do not need.

 

There is even a way to use sewage to build houses...see here






Fred99
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  #2048215 3-Jul-2018 12:17
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Lastman:
Fred99:

 

- Paper – tends to be similar from CO2 perspective, but would use 43 times to be even on all environmental factors;

 



The second statistic, I think that’s hot air out someones backside.

 

And that probably summarises the problem best.

 

An uninformed "throwaway" one line comment on a forum is used to discredit scientific research.

 

 


dafman
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  #2048231 3-Jul-2018 12:41
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The little things that I do ...

 

If I can carry a purchase out of a shop without a bag, I do. Last week I bought a couple of pairs of socks from Farmers, I just rolled them up and put them into my pocket. It's sad to see the default position of many shop assistants and purchasers is that everything just automatically goes into a plastic bag without any thought.

 

I keep a cotton bag in my work bag for when I pick up groceries on my way home, and we keep bags in the boot of the car for larger shops.

 

We compost whatever we can.

 

We use corn starch bags for the bin.

 

At the supermarket fruit and veg section, everything goes into the trolley without a plastic bag. Even brussell sprouts - it's pretty easy once you get used to it.

 

I now wash my hair three days a week, instead of seven. Better for my hair, and I'm throwing out less than half the amount of plastic shampoo bottles.


MikeB4
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  #2048233 3-Jul-2018 12:42
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Geektastic:

 

There is a way to make things like park benches, bus stop benches and bike racks from recycled plastic - I have seen them in cities around the world. We could do that here and export what we do not need.

 

There is even a way to use sewage to build houses...see here

 

 

Our homes are already crappy we shouldn't worsen them tongue-out


MikeAqua

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  #2048235 3-Jul-2018 12:49
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dafman:

 

I now wash my hair three days a week, instead of seven. Better for my hair, and I'm throwing out less than half the amount of plastic shampoo bottles.

 

 

I've taken this one step further and for about 10 years now, I've actually been reducing the hair coverage on my head.

 

Shampoo consumption has halved.





Mike


 
 
 
 


dafman
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  #2048238 3-Jul-2018 12:57
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Fred99:

 

According to the data I posted earlier in this thread, a paper bag has the same environmental footprint as 43 single use plastic bags (this presumably not taking into account the difficult to quantify harm from failing to dispose of them correctly):

 

 

Isn't a failing of your data that it only compares the environmental impact of production, while ignoring any comparison of the resultant environmental impact of pollution following production (eg. I've yet to hear of any concerns regarding vast floating islands of paper bags in the oceans strangling our fish and bird life)?

 

Or did I misread your data?

 

 


1eStar
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  #2048264 3-Jul-2018 13:22
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Lastman: I think it’s going to take an industry solution ie retailers demanding all products have minimum packaging and packaging has an acceptable recycling path, a big research push from packaging suppliers (Grahame Hart, how many superyacths do you need?), government regulation if necesary.

Another possible solution, having previously bagged burning, is the commercial, filtered incinerators European style, say one for Auckland putting the energy back into the grid? Not sure how clean they have proven to be.


Plastic bags are a smokescreen for the real issue: waste.

We deal with our waste in the worst possible way here in NZ. We pretend we are clean and green by hiding our waste in a landfill. Just because we can't see it doesn't mean the problem goes away. The methane emitted from landfills is 63 times worse as a greenhouse gas by volume than CO2.

Firstly Recycle, reduce and reuse, then: the real solution is to recover all the energy from the waste stream. Most other countries have got their act together, NZ is just starting to wake up.

Here's a scheme we should all get behind:

https://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/102002162/west-coast-wastetoenergy-scheme-not-reliant-on-government-funding

MikeB4
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  #2048300 3-Jul-2018 13:30
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Hutt City has an electricity plant powered by the methane from the landfill


Geektastic
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  #2048305 3-Jul-2018 13:38
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MikeB4:

 

Geektastic:

 

There is a way to make things like park benches, bus stop benches and bike racks from recycled plastic - I have seen them in cities around the world. We could do that here and export what we do not need.

 

There is even a way to use sewage to build houses...see here

 

 

Our homes are already crappy we shouldn't worsen them tongue-out

 

 

 

 

ROFLMAO! wink






Rikkitic
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  #2048306 3-Jul-2018 13:38
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I think big business has always had things far too much its own way in this country. Those who want to wrap everything in plastic should be made to pay the true cost of it, including the cost of waste recovery, pollution control, wildlife restoration and fishing it out of the sea if necessary. If they can make  it, they can bloody well take it back.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


Geektastic
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  #2048308 3-Jul-2018 13:42
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I don't drink much alcohol but I do quite like fizzy water.

 

We bought a Soda Stream. Refilled CO2 bottles and reused plastic bottles (good for 3 years or so) cut the number of plastic bottles from just that one thing by 300 a year.

 

 

 

On a related note, Kiwis must drink a lot of Coke type drinks - our local supermarket has virtually the whole of one side of an aisle filled with big plastic bottles of that stuff. So not only is it terrible for your health, it's terrible for the planet as well.






J32

J32
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  #2048440 3-Jul-2018 17:05
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The plastic bags we got from the supermarket were never single use. We reused them as rubbish bin liners in our kitchen, bathroom etc. However we have started to go shopping with reusable bags. I also have a box in my car that I can put all my groceries in should I forget to bring reusable bags. Our local New World offers paper bags for veges and fruit now, so we use those instead of the plastic ones. We often reuse the larger 3 liter juice bottles in the garden by cutting the bottom off. They are great to protect seedlings planted directly in the garden bed. We reuse yogurt and ice cream containers as well for all kinds of things around the house.

Not much else we can do as most food comes packed in plastic already. My suggestion would be for the supermarkets to collect packaging and send it back to the manufacturer and let them sort it out. They would rethink their packaging real quick. Of course it is wishful thinking and probably not viable for supermarkets.


MikeAqua

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  #2048449 3-Jul-2018 17:14
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J32:

 

My suggestion would be for the supermarkets to collect packaging and send it back to the manufacturer and let them sort it out. They would rethink their packaging real quick. Of course it is wishful thinking and probably not viable for supermarkets.

 

 

A lot of them do now have soft plastic recycling bins.  But at the moment, with a limited international recycling market, I'm ambivalent about recycling and trying to minimise plastic altogether.  But I agree there are a lot of catergories where you simply can't avoid it.





Mike


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