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Discussion Starter #1
I was in central London today and I looked up at some banners hanging from the lampposts on Holborn. “stop plastic micro beads!” They read. and other anti plastic slogans!
Very bold and strident messages on several posts.
What were they made of? Plastic!
This industry for raising charity money and producing banners etc is crazy and hardly a very good example. Waitrose however is quietly getting rid of non recyclable packaging. Maybe they should have diesel powered poster trucks driving around telling everybody!
 

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Possibly bio-degradable plastic made from starch perhaps. Or otherwise recyclable. Problem is that plastics are a very good for very many applications and whilst at one time to label anything as being 'plastic' was a derogatory term, as it was considered as only a substitute for the real thing, finding a substitute for plastic now is difficult. Nevertheless there has been an inordinate use of plastics in single use, and then discard, in unnecessary ways. That is one issue that does need addressing, amongst others.
 

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I imagine the plastic would have been marked as recyclable as that’d be in keeping with the message. It’s highly likely they were but it seemed ironic. It will have been thermoplastic but some of them can only be reused once due to additives. Let’s hope they are reused at least once.
I saw an ad saying a certain car came with mats made from recycled drinks bottles as if was something new and remarkable. Fleece fabric and mats have used PET recycling for some time now. Telling people their mats which sell for £60 just reinforces the markup!
 

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The problem with "the environment", "recycling" etc is that it isn't so straight forward.

Supermarkets settled on plastic shopping bags because that is the cheapest way to mass produce a plastic bag which can be used once or used a few times. It takes almost a thousand times as much energy to make one cotton shopping bag as one plastic shopping bag. So until you've used your cotton shopping bag a thousand times, there is more CO2 in the atmosphere than there would have been had you stuck to plastic ones.

CO2 isn't the only cost though. The big problem with plastics is they don't biodegrade. So if they end up in the sea its bad news (all that plastic we've been "recycling" for twenty years which has just been baled, sent to Africa or Asia and either burned or dumped in the rivers is biting back now). If we'd dug a big hole in the UK and dumped it in there, it would be back in the ground where it came from, not biodegrading and not polluting the local environment. If they're burned in a modern power generator they can generate a lot of electricity and the harmful stuff can be filtered out. If they're burned in Africa though, it all goes into the sky and eventually gets everywhere.
 

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Mircoplastics are probably the worst problem we have to contend with, they need outright banning. They will be the next asbestos in terms of human health.
 

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Particulate matter (PM) will soon overtake Micro Beads as the most despised form of pollution. PMs, especially the ultra fine stuff has been blamed for the increase of asthma in children and in town can be a real problem. The problem is that a large proportion is generated by vehicle tyres and exhaust, diesel particulate filters cannot remove the fine particles.

PMs are solid and liquid particles suspended in air many of which are hazardous and include organic and inorganic particles, such as dust, pollen, soot, smoke and liquid droplets as well as emissions from incineration, although the majority are captured by filtration.
 

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I was in central London today and I looked up at some banners hanging from the lampposts on Holborn. “stop plastic micro beads!” They read. and other anti plastic slogans! What were they made of? Plastic!
lol, irony.

On this topic my workplace has been trying to 'encourage' people not to use single-use plastic, but the problem with humans is that it's very difficult to shift well established behaviours (and in some cases laziness). Especially if what you're being asked to do is optional. A bright spark came along and arranged for single use plastic cups to be removed from the coffee machine area, placed a tin of metal cutlery and spare mugs there instead and sent out a bulletin stating this. The inevitable grumbles were muttered but six months later, you've changed people's behaviours and now people use and wash non-disposable cutlery as though it's something they've always done. Whilst not all that popular, rather than banning things, simply removing their availability appears to be the most effective solution. Now that I think about it the polystyrene take-away trays have gone too. :thumbs:

Anyone remember back before plastic was a thing when the pop man used to deliver crates of fizzy drinks in glass bottles...? Ah, nostalgia...
 

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There was a "climate strike" in Penrith today of all places, where a group of pensioners by the look of them, all stood under the clocktower holding up banners saying things such as "don't burn fossil fuels". I actually watched them closing up for the day, and that sign in particular went into the boot of a Fiat Panda :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Perhaps they’d prefer to have an alternative to what they travelled in?

Probably not.
 

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Pensioners are inherently eco-friendly; once done, they get recycled into new people. : - )
 

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Thom Yorke of Radiohead has declared himself a hypocrite: he campaigns for action on climate change, but flies all over the world performing. He says it needs governments and the UN to take the action.

As so often, his words make sense (except when you try listening to them without a copy of the lyrics). Any individual is going to feel hopeless tackling climate change by giving up a car or a holiday; what difference does it make? We need to demand our governments impose drastic change.

A growing sport seems to be ignoring the words of the people who speak out, and to accuse them of hypocricy instead. It'll always be an easy charge to make. Why are you campaigning with clothes on? They use up finite resources and their manufacture produces pollution.

(For clarity: I do realise this thread was started as no more than a quizzical question).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was at a Frieze evening of talks on sustainability and one of the speakers was from Julie’s Bike organisation which has been working with artists concerned about their carbon footprint etc. He needs to discuss it with them.https://www.juliesbicycle.com/
I had a good chat at the event with fashion designer Katherine Hamnett who seems pretty aware of automotive stuff, preferring Hydrogen to electric propulsion. She’s visited GM , Toyota and Hyundaimto discuss ecological things. She was impressed that I was wearing one of her “ Cleanup or die “ t-shirts. An original from ‘89 not her current re-release.https://katharinehamnett.com/gbp/clean-up-or-die-black-organic-cotton-long-sleeves-t-shirt
 
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