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I don't know if blue planet II (BBC documentary in 2017) made it to the US, but it highlighted the growing problem of plastic pollution

 

Theres a plastic 'island' in the Pacific larger than Texas, studies suggest that almost all marine birds are eating plastic etc

 

Is there any appetite in the US for global (or any) legislation to try and tackle the problem? For example banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics (they're not necessary) if they haven't been already, or enforcing that all single use plastics are recyclable etc? 

 

In the UK plastics are awful to recycle because each authority collects different types of plastic and there are multiple types commonly found from weekly shops

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This isn't necessarily meant to start a debate, I'm just interested in viewpoints from people outside my 'bubble'

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I can try to dig out YouTube videos later if people aren't aware of the problem (the visuals can be more meaningful than descriptions lol)

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40 minutes ago, BFG said:

I don't know if blue planet II (BBC documentary in 2017) made it to the US, but it highlighted the growing problem of plastic pollution

I loved Blue Planet. Blue Planet II was very good but I don't think it topped the first one. I think they had more focus in the first one and the second one was trying to mimic it but be different at the same time. I would have preferred a Blue Planet 1.5 where the same topics, animals, and ecosystems were revisited with new a focus on what's been discovered since BP1.

 

40 minutes ago, BFG said:

Theres a plastic 'island' in the Pacific larger than Texas, studies suggest that almost all marine birds are eating plastic etc

IIRC the plastic island has been exaggerated. Not saying it isn't a thing but it might not be as big or bigger than Texas.

 

40 minutes ago, BFG said:

Is there any appetite in the US for global (or any) legislation to try and tackle the problem? For example banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics (they're not necessary) if they haven't been already, or enforcing that all single use plastics are recyclable etc? 

It is almost a non issue in the United States. 

 

40 minutes ago, BFG said:

In the UK plastics are awful to recycle because each authority collects different types of plastic and there are multiple types commonly found from weekly shops

That sounds confusing.

 

38 minutes ago, BFG said:

This isn't necessarily meant to start a debate, I'm just interested in viewpoints from people outside my 'bubble'

Well here's a viewpoint you wont hear from anyone else on this forum.

 

Plastic pollution is a problem. It's not a problem that the United States or the UK can fix. 

Laws against things like plastic straws or grocery bags are nothing more than an inconvenience to citizens and moral posturing/virtue signaling by a small group of guilt ridden and/or deluded people who think that they've somehow saved the planet because you have to ask for a straw now in Applebees.

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5 hours ago, BFG said:

I don't know if blue planet II (BBC documentary in 2017) made it to the US, but it highlighted the growing problem of plastic pollution

 

Theres a plastic 'island' in the Pacific larger than Texas, studies suggest that almost all marine birds are eating plastic etc

 

Is there any appetite in the US for global (or any) legislation to try and tackle the problem? For example banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics (they're not necessary) if they haven't been already, or enforcing that all single use plastics are recyclable etc? 

 

In the UK plastics are awful to recycle because each authority collects different types of plastic and there are multiple types commonly found from weekly shops

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbead

Microbeads are basically illegal. I want to say their might be a few applications where it's not... but don't quote me on that.

 

Re: Straws

I think a candy company can solve the straw issue.

GUEST_3b7d46af-143b-4d42-9a48-3e120b381dc3?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=webp

Recycling

We do have a pretty big recycling industry in America to deal with plastic.

Comes down to it, you can make money off of recycling plastic.

Often it's up to garbage dumps to catch up. 

 

Here's an anecdote for you.

 

When I rented an apartment, all I had to do was throw all my garbage into a garbage bag, and bring it outside to the bigger garbage box outside. I didn't have any reason to Recycle. No recycling containers outside. Barely any recycling drop-off areas in town that are easy to get to. So it all just goes into the same garbage.

 

Then I started renting a house, I still didn't have to pay for garbage, so most of it went into the garbage. 

On occasion we'd recycle to get rid of lots and lots of boxes.

 

Now that I'm a home owner, and have to pay for Garbage. There's now a real cost associated with garbage.

The fact that I can only get garbage pickup every other week here, requires me to figure out how to reduce the total garbage that goes into my garbage cart.

 

The solution? Sort all my recyclables into garbage bags, keep that crap in the garage, then drop it off at a recycling drop-off every now and again.

 

Now I fill garbage cart up in 2 weeks.

At the house? We were filling that up in 4 days.

 

At the apartment? That Big Garbage dump box was often heaping by end of the week. (Not from us)

 

Basically, I think if you want to get people to recycle more, offer recycling containers for renters, because until you pay for garbage collection out of pocket, or have to deal with bi-weekly pickup, you really don't know how many bags it cuts down on.... And every bag costs $$ to dispose of. (I can bring a white bag to the dump and it costs $2 each.)

 

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10 hours ago, BFG said:

I don't know if blue planet II (BBC documentary in 2017) made it to the US, but it highlighted the growing problem of plastic pollution

 

Theres a plastic 'island' in the Pacific larger than Texas, studies suggest that almost all marine birds are eating plastic etc

 

 If that's what you're saying I think it's retarded and entirely implausible but I can't definitively rule it out so it's a possibility. A very dumb and cynical possibility imo but a possibility nonetheless. Is this really what you're suggesting?For example banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics (they're not necessary) if they haven't been already, or enforcing that all single use plastics are recyclable etc? 

 

In the UK plastics are awful to recycle because each authority collects different types of plastic and there are multiple types commonly found from weekly shops

 

 

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"Basically, I think if you want to get people to recycle more, offer recycling containers for renters, because until you pay for garbage collection out of pocket, or have to deal with bi-weekly pickup, you really don't know how many bags it cuts down on.... And every bag costs $$ to dispose of. (I can bring a white bag to the dump and it costs $2 each.)"

 

That's really a local issue, In the cities and towns I have lived in over the last 25 years all required that everyone seperate recyclables from regular garbage. That includes renters in apartments house renters and house owners. The owners of the properties are subject to fines that can be quite hefty so that they provide recycling containers to their renters and in many cases their are clauses in the apartmenthouse leases that require the renters to recycle and makes them liable for any fines that the property owner receives on account of the renter inappropriately discrading recyclable materials. I do not know about out west but in Florida and New Jersey recyclables are picked up on a regular schedule by the trash hawlers and as I said the law requires that recyclabes be sperated from the rest of the garbage or the property owner faces being fined (which in both South Florida and New Jersey is a common occurance).

 

 

Of course one of the issues is that not all recyclabes are equal many indeed can be resold for a profit others however  (many types of plastics) are not normally purchased since the cost of recycling them can exceed the costs associatied with producing new plastics of that kind. In such cases the plastics ultimately end up in the landfills.

 

"Plastic pollution is a problem. It's not a problem that the United States or the UK can fix. 

Laws against things like plastic straws or grocery bags are nothing more than an inconvenience to citizens and moral posturing/virtue signaling by a small group of guilt ridden and/or deluded people who think that they've somehow saved the planet because you have to ask for a straw now in Applebees."

 

I think that this may be a slightly exaggerated view of what many people actually think, but in essance I think it's a view shared by many Americans that do not have a problem with such things as recycling but see many of the restrictions that are being imposed as the posturing of those who want to think they are doing something instead of well thought out strategies to actually address the problem.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Nolder said:

 

 

IIRC the plastic island has been exaggerated. Not saying it isn't a thing but it might not be as big or bigger than Texas.

 

The plastic islands size seems to depend on the density of plastic used as a cutoff, either way it's vast so I'm not particularly bothered by the actual size

 

11 hours ago, Nolder said:

 

It is almost a non issue in the United States. 

 

It wasn't here until blue planet and there hasn't been a big change since

11 hours ago, Nolder said:

 

That sounds confusing.

 

Yeah, recycling here is different to you guys (seemingly anyway) but if it's going to work on a large scale it needs to be easy and it isn't

 

11 hours ago, Nolder said:

 

Well here's a viewpoint you wont hear from anyone else on this forum.

 

Plastic pollution is a problem. It's not a problem that the United States or the UK can fix. 

Laws against things like plastic straws or grocery bags are nothing more than an inconvenience to citizens and moral posturing/virtue signaling by a small group of guilt ridden and/or deluded people who think that they've somehow saved the planet because you have to ask for a straw now in Applebees.

 

To an extent I agree that banning straws isn't going to change the plastic problem by itself, and the cynic in me thinks you're right on motives, but if as a side effect society can change social norms so that single use plastic becomes socially wrong (the way smoking is, or for the next generation drinking is becoming) then there's a benefit to it. Obviously it won't be soon, but over time maybe? 

 

At the moment the political will isn't there, our politicians give soundbites but nothing serious

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7 hours ago, SinisterDeath said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbead

Microbeads are basically illegal. I want to say their might be a few applications where it's not... but don't quote me on that.

 

Thanks, I was pretty sure they'd been banned here, but wasn't sure :)

 

7 hours ago, SinisterDeath said:

 

Re: Straws

I think a candy company can solve the straw issue.

GUEST_3b7d46af-143b-4d42-9a48-3e120b381dc3?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=webp

Recycling

We do have a pretty big recycling industry in America to deal with plastic.

Comes down to it, you can make money off of recycling plastic.

Often it's up to garbage dumps to catch up. 

 

Here's an anecdote for you.

 

When I rented an apartment, all I had to do was throw all my garbage into a garbage bag, and bring it outside to the bigger garbage box outside. I didn't have any reason to Recycle. No recycling containers outside. Barely any recycling drop-off areas in town that are easy to get to. So it all just goes into the same garbage.

 

Then I started renting a house, I still didn't have to pay for garbage, so most of it went into the garbage. 

On occasion we'd recycle to get rid of lots and lots of boxes.

 

Now that I'm a home owner, and have to pay for Garbage. There's now a real cost associated with garbage.

The fact that I can only get garbage pickup every other week here, requires me to figure out how to reduce the total garbage that goes into my garbage cart.

 

The solution? Sort all my recyclables into garbage bags, keep that crap in the garage, then drop it off at a recycling drop-off every now and again.

 

Now I fill garbage cart up in 2 weeks.

At the house? We were filling that up in 4 days.

 

At the apartment? That Big Garbage dump box was often heaping by end of the week. (Not from us)

 

Basically, I think if you want to get people to recycle more, offer recycling containers for renters, because until you pay for garbage collection out of pocket, or have to deal with bi-weekly pickup, you really don't know how many bags it cuts down on.... And every bag costs $$ to dispose of. (I can bring a white bag to the dump and it costs $2 each.)

 

 

Over here each household, whether owner or renter pays council tax which goes towards things like rubbish collections. But it's down to the local councils how that works. Our council has just shifted to a 4 week black bag (landfill) pickup from a wheelie bin. Standard recycling is every week, and (most) garden waste, small electricals and clothes are picked up fortnightly. 

Our council allows black plastic to be recycled, but my parents doesn't etc. 

Every time there's an increase in the time taken between black bag pickups, the amount recycled increases, so it does work, but as I said there's a huge variety of plastics commonly used that all say they can be recycled, but whether that's true depends on where you live...

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2 hours ago, CUBAREY said:

Of course one of the issues is that not all recyclabes are equal many indeed can be resold for a profit others however  (many types of plastics) are not normally purchased since the cost of recycling them can exceed the costs associatied with producing new plastics of that kind. In such cases the plastics ultimately end up in the landfills.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2017/02/18/environment/wasteland-tokyo-grows-trash/#.W8YtVWg3lhE

I think we could learn a thing or two from Japan.

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3 hours ago, CUBAREY said:

 

If that's what you're saying I think it's retarded and entirely implausible but I can't definitively rule it out so it's a possibility. A very dumb and cynical possibility imo but a possibility nonetheless. Is this really what you're suggesting?

@CUBAREY I'm not sure what you think is retarded or implausible

 

The plastic island exists, although the precise size is hard to gauge, as Nolder said. Or do you not think plastic disposal is an issue?

 

And no I'm not saying banning microbeads (or single use plastics by itself  etc etc etc) solves the problem by itself, microbeads are a separate issue, but is an example of government legislation etc

 

Edited by BFG

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14 hours ago, BFG said:

I don't know if blue planet II (BBC documentary in 2017) made it to the US, but it highlighted the growing problem of plastic pollution

 

Theres a plastic 'island' in the Pacific larger than Texas, studies suggest that almost all marine birds are eating plastic etc

 

Is there any appetite in the US for global (or any) legislation to try and tackle the problem? For example banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics (they're not necessary) if they haven't been already, or enforcing that all single use plastics are recyclable etc? 

 

In the UK plastics are awful to recycle because each authority collects different types of plastic and there are multiple types commonly found from weekly shops

 

Some cities are banning plastic bags/charging $.10 per paper bag, and plastic/single stream recycling is now the normal (at least in the north east), with some municipalities allowing for composting to be seperated as well.

 

On a societal level, no. There is no appatite for changing or reducing plastic consumption.

 

You have to remember, half of the country doesn't believe that climate change is real, that we can - or should do anything about it, and any effort to do so would risk personal/regional/national soverignty. 

 

Everyone was afraid in 1946 that the US would end the world with nuclear bombs, but it turns out the US is going to destroy the world with narcisistic short term self interest.

 

Sorry, I guess?

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8 hours ago, BFG said:

The plastic islands size seems to depend on the density of plastic used as a cutoff, either way it's vast so I'm not particularly bothered by the actual size

Fair enough. Again though this isn't something our two nations can really do much to effect.

 

8 hours ago, BFG said:

 

It wasn't here until blue planet and there hasn't been a big change since

What I meant was even if you straight up banned plastic in the United States it would only make a small dent in plastic pollution in the oceans. There are people here who care about the issue they are just very misinformed. My own state (California) has recently banned single use plastic grocery bags and we have to ask for plastic straws in restaurants now. It is an inconvenience and not one which helps the issue. 

 

Like, dude, if I thought I could save a sea turtle by not using a plastic straw I would.

I love those guys they're very cute and majestic. But that's not the case so I want my damn bags and my damn straws back.

 

8 hours ago, BFG said:

Yeah, recycling here is different to you guys (seemingly anyway) but if it's going to work on a large scale it needs to be easy and it isn't

Yeah here we just kind of dump all recyclables together and the waste management sorts it out for us.

Except for electronic stuff like batteries that is a separate thing.

 

8 hours ago, BFG said:

To an extent I agree that banning straws isn't going to change the plastic problem by itself, and the cynic in me thinks you're right on motives, but if as a side effect society can change social norms so that single use plastic becomes socially wrong (the way smoking is, or for the next generation drinking is becoming) then there's a benefit to it. Obviously it won't be soon, but over time maybe? 

Here's the thing, if there were alternatives I wouldn't be so upset.

Grocery stores here for example used to give paper bags for free along sides the plastic bags (also free).

When the law changed they were banned from giving out single use plastic bags and so they made these thicker (supposedly reusable but not really) plastic bags which you can buy for $0.10 each. The problem is they also charge for the paper bags now as well. I would USE the paper bags if they would provide them but they don't.

 

And there's more to it which goes into local politics and the grocery union and blah blah blah but the gist of it is they grocery stores could take the hit for the paper bags but instead they took the opportunity to screw their customers and make more money.

 

8 hours ago, BFG said:

At the moment the political will isn't there, our politicians give soundbites but nothing serious

Well this is true enough but there is also a lot of misinformation out there.

For example the new straw law here in California is based on a science project some kid in like 5th grade or whatever did. He just estimated how many straws were being used or whatever by calling the straw companies and then made stuff up from there and that was used as the basis for the law more or less.

 

I don't remember the details but I'm not making this up it's crazy. I can look up the info if you care. Politics in my state is bonkers.

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6 hours ago, Tyzack said:

 

Some cities are banning plastic bags/charging $.10 per paper bag, and plastic/single stream recycling is now the normal (at least in the north east), with some municipalities allowing for composting to be seperated as well.

 

On a societal level, no. There is no appatite for changing or reducing plastic consumption.

 

You have to remember, half of the country doesn't believe that climate change is real, that we can - or should do anything about it, and any effort to do so would risk personal/regional/national soverignty. 

 

Everyone was afraid in 1946 that the US would end the world with nuclear bombs, but it turns out the US is going to destroy the world with narcisistic short term self interest.

 

Sorry, I guess?

This has nothing to do with Climate Change. 

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By the way I just want to take a second to talk more about Blue Planet because if any of you haven't seen it before it's on Netflix and it's pretty amazing. The first thing they talk about is Blue Whales and how you can like swim through their veins because they're so big.

 

My favorite episode is #2 The Deep. I like to put it on as I'm going to bed and watch all the weird creatures down at the bottom of the ocean until I drift off. I've seen all the episodes many many times though. IIRC my least favorite is the polar seas episode. I just don't find that one as interesting idk.

 

The shots of all the fish and animals are amazing, the music is amazing...it gets a little too dramatic at times but it's also fitting, and of course David Attenborough narrates it. He's been described before as a treasure and that's exactly right. His style of narrating what you see on screen in nature documentaries is legendary.

 

Blue Planet 2, as BFG mentioned, is also out although I don't think it's on Netflix so you might have to find it elsewhere. Seriously if you haven't seen these go watch. Even if you don't normally like documentaries I promise they keep it entertaining enough.

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8 hours ago, BFG said:

@CUBAREY I'm not sure what you think is retarded or implausible

 

The plastic island exists, although the precise size is hard to gauge, as Nolder said. Or do you not think plastic disposal is an issue?

 

And no I'm not saying banning microbeads (or single use plastics by itself  etc etc etc) solves the problem by itself, microbeads are a separate issue, but is an example of government legislation etc

 

The quoted bot was from a post in another thread that somehow got into my post for this thread, disregard it as it has nothing to do with this topic.

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10 hours ago, Nolder said:

This has nothing to do with Climate Change. 

 

Pollution and Climate Change are inexorably linked.

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2 hours ago, Tyzack said:

 

Pollution and Climate Change are inexorably linked.

Only to the extent that we are talking about emissions caused by industrial processes. In the current conversation the pollution involves the discarding of plastic not the emissions that occur when it is burned.

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12 minutes ago, CUBAREY said:

Only to the extent that we are talking about emissions caused by industrial processes. In the current conversation the pollution involves the discarding of plastic not the emissions that occur when it is burned.

If you reduce/stop making plastics, what happens to said emissions from pollution? (Btw, Pollution is more than just garbage in the waste. It's also the term for the chemicals that go into the air/water/etc.)

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26 minutes ago, SinisterDeath said:

If you reduce/stop making plastics, what happens to said emissions from pollution? (Btw, Pollution is more than just garbage in the waste. It's also the term for the chemicals that go into the air/water/etc.)

First siad emissions have nothing to do with Climate change. Second true there are many components to pollution but the thread is about a specific type of pollution which mainly maifiests itself in uncontrollable clutter of plastic waste.

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6 minutes ago, CUBAREY said:

First siad emissions have nothing to do with Climate change. Second true there are many components to pollution but the thread is about a specific type of pollution which mainly maifiests itself in uncontrollable clutter of plastic waste.

Sure it does. That's why it's part of the climate debate. The fact that it's 2018 and you still deny any relationship between human emissions and climate change just goes to show how close minded you are to the scientific method, and only care about facts from your own bubble reality.


Yep, and that waste is multi-faceted. Microbeads were getting into our water supply, and I believe there is still water quality issues to this day in many municipalities because of it.

Clutter in the oceans is one effect.

Burning plastic waste has another.

Recycling plastic isn't free of issues, but better than going in dumps/oceans.

Edited by SinisterDeath

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52 minutes ago, CUBAREY said:

Only to the extent that we are talking about emissions caused by industrial processes. In the current conversation the pollution involves the discarding of plastic not the emissions that occur when it is burned.

 

Plastics are being put (left) behind in the environment, which is ... wait for it ... changing to climate!

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Tyzack said:

 

Plastics are being put (left) behind in the environment, which is ... wait for it ... changing to climate!

 

 

Actually the Pacific trash site is not "changing the climate". It's likely killing a lot of marine life and is both unsightly but a navagational hazard but its not "changing the climate".

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"Sure it does. That's why it's part of the climate debate. The fact that it's 2018 and you still deny any relationship between human emissions and climate change just goes to show how close minded you are to the scientific method, and only care about facts from your own bubble reality."

 

The emissions from producing/burning plastic are not the emissions that contribute to climate change. They are a problem and a serious one but they are not directly related to why the climate is supposedly changing.

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19 minutes ago, CUBAREY said:

The emissions from producing/burning plastic are not the emissions that contribute to climate change. They are a problem and a serious one but they are not directly related to why the climate is supposedly changing.

Plastics are often produced from... oil, and oil byproducts. :wink:

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