Discussion Forum
Why plastic?

From Kiwi N
Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Why plastics anyway? Iin my youth during 70s everything was glass and recycled ...with deposits on glass bottles reimbursed on return to the shop..

Why introduce plastic bottles when we had an ecologically sound, recycling system in the first place? We are cycling backwards..not forwards! This was before the age of recycling..... now we have plastic mountains and produced a whole new industry of plastic crap, which wasnt necessary in the first place!

And yes water was always out of the tap, purified and fluoridated!

Update: just to add a little more.... a visit to the supermarket entailed using all their used boxes to put the shopping in, or 'paper' bags, the rag bone man came around everything was recyclable... yes plastics means 'progress' or 'progress' means plastics...

From Susan Quick
Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Absolutely. Our rubbish mountains are a function of western civilisation. I lived in Africa for years. We didn't have dustbin men; we didn't have dustbins. There was nothing to throw away. We had to to buy old newspapers imported from Denmark to light the fire. A plastic bag cost a fortune and if you were indulgent enough to buy one you kept it for years.

Coming back to England was a serious shock to the system. Can we find our way back to a world in which everything has a use, in which there is no rubbish? What does it take? OK Hebden has become a town where plastic bags are unwelcome. But plastic still covers everything in supermarkets. It will take government legislation to ban the use of plastics. Will that happen? What serious clamity will provoke it?

From Ian M
Sunday, 18 October 2009

Can I just ask what the keyboard you typed your post on is made out of?

From Rev Tony Buglass
Sunday, 18 October 2009

I doubt there would ever be government legislation to ban plastic. It's everywhere, has been everywhere for a long time, and people expect that to continue.

It won't. Plastics (if my elementary chemistry is right) are essentially oil-based products. In a decade or two the oil will become increasingly short, and will eventually run out. All of the debates I've had in various web forums about this are with those of the Jeremy Clarkson School of Nonthought who argue that there will be something new to take its place - like hydrogen cells and battery cars and stuff. Fine, but that only addresses fuel substitutes. What about all the other products made from oil, from plastics to enamel paints and preservatives to certain medicinal compounds, etc?

Will there be plastic mines, digging into old landfill sites, to recycle that which was thrown out years before? Will it be as scarce as to be worth more than gold? Or will we simply return to a medieval technology, because we can't produce the raw materials to make the things we've all got used to taking for granted? I wonder.

From N Yorke
Tuesday, 20 October 2009

People have been Landfill mining for years


and making plastic from renewable biomass sources


From Kiwi N
Wednesday, 21 October 2009

In response to the material of my keyboard you know what the answer is but i never demanded that all my household products changeover from natural products - anything unplastic etc, it was forced on me!

And to add to this natural products do have a longevity, beauty, colour that add to our well being... longevity being the main option here... Observe new buildings,UPVC windows, cars etc the first thing you see is ugliness and then you think of the longevity.

Longevity reduces the need to splurge/plunge all our natural resources(oil) and reduces landfill and removes the problem of recycling.

Plastics is a symbol of our age - unnecessary consumption, waste, ugliness, disposability.

So no need to recycle in the first place - re-usable quality products more friendly option but the craftsmen of England made redundant in favour of plastic churning machines!

ps: plastic bags were entirely prohibited/banned in India due to the damage they caused during monsoons... blocking drains and increasing localised flooding!