Plastics Related Stories in the Media
I wondered if there could be a thread for recording links to plastics related stories in the general media (newspapers, TV channels, podcasts). It could be stories about the plastics industry, or about plastic polution, or existing methods of dealing with waste, etc.
I’ll start off with this story from The Guardian in December 2017:
Colossal funding in manufacturing plants by fossil fuel companies will increase plastic production by 40%, risking permanent pollution of the earth
Hundreds of tonnes of plastic washed up on beaches of remote islands in the Indian ocean. Includes nearly a million shoes and over a third of a million toothbrushes.
Study shows that much more plastic debris is buried beneath the sand than is on the surface of the beach – which means we are still drastically underestimating the amount of plastic crap in the oceans.
Arena at Glastonbury to be made entirely from recycled plastic
Humans produce 300 million tons of new plastic each year — yet, despite our best efforts, less than 10 percent of it ends up being recycled. Is there a better way to deal with all this waste? Microbiologist Morgan Vague studies bacteria that, through some creative adaptations, have evolved the unexpected ability to eat plastic — and could help us solve our growing pollution problem.
I suspect it was the bad scripts, wooden acting, and wobbly scenery that left me scarred…
Malaysia sending thousands of tons of rubbish back to the countries it came from.
And other southeast Asia countries are doing the same.
Now this is only indirect linked to plastic but please check the alerts of MIT. Might be an amazing exercise to get the PP network active 🙂
Story in this weekend’s Observer newspaper:
How melting plastic waste could heat homes.
The story is about a type of pyrolysis plant that takes the process further to produce hydrogen. The story doesn’t actually use the word pyrolysis, and by talking about clean hydrogen energy it taps into the current “hydrogen economy” rhetoric that is being used by some people.
The information appears to come from the University of Chester website. But there isn’t much extra there either. To me, it sounds like they may just be using a variant of the old coal syngas process – which requires steam and a carbon source to reduce water to H2 & CO. In this case they are using mixed plastics instead of coal, and may also get CH4, amongst other gases.
They are talking about collecting the H2, for sale, and burning the rest of the off-gases to make electricty. As such, this is basically an EFW (energy from waste) plant, that collects hydrogen as a byproduct. It looks like the combustion products (including CO2) will still enter the atmosphere – so, arguably, like all EFW plants it is just displacing an equal amount of fossil fuel use.
At least it will consume a lot of plastic – preventing it entering the oceans – even if it does pump out CO2.
well researched and interesting article about ‘How the Plastics Industry Is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World‘. I ordered the book, ‘THE USE AND ABUSE OF AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL IMAGES‘; looks like legit homework 🙂 . There is also a quote :
“They’re trying to create the perception that there’s a viable way to recycle most plastic waste into new products, and that’s simply not true.” ; say hello PP
Argentina could become ‘sacrificial country’ for plastic waste, say activists
Argentina has changed its definition of waste in a move that could allow it to import millions of tonnes of plastic waste discarded in the US.
The country’s president, Mauricio Macri, signed a decree in August reclassifying some materials destined for recycling as commodities instead of waste, allowing looser oversight of mixed and contaminated plastic scraps that are difficult to process, and are often dumped or incinerated.
Western plastics ‘poisoning Indonesian food chain’
Revealed: microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers
The plastic polluters won 2019 – and we’re running out of time to stop them
Hi @s2019 – good question.
This story suggest not a lot is being recycled.
There are not nearly enough recycling facilities to process their own domestic plastic waste – so it seems the extra imported waste is mostly being burned or dumped.
This item in Wikipedia tells a similar tale:
The report warned that there were regulation violations in the disposal of imported plastic waste to the country (plastic is burned on roadsides in the open-air, dumped in unregulated or poorly regulated dump sites close to bodies of water, discarded in abandoned buildings or just left to degrade and rot in the open) thus contributing to environmental pollution and harmful health impact for Malaysians.
Thanks, I think that part of the story needs to get some solid numbers behind it and push governments to stop the exports and deal with their own mess. In the US there is an attempt to push distracting, feel-good laws like banning hotel shampoo bottles in the hopes that people forget that we are exporting millions of tons each year that are mislabeled as recycling.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.