The truth about plastic

HearthForYou Posts: 52 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Other News

My 22 year old son just turned me on to this episode about plastic. I knew recycling isn't really happening but the extent that the plastic manufacturer's went to is infuriating. I found this episode very insightful and I'm getting my sewing machine out to create my own shopping bags.


  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    I have read several articles stating that recycling is failing and more show than any thing else. Not that we shouldn't try where we can, but recycling is not working.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    We started recycling back in the very early 70's. At the time we could recycle a lot. Over time we did not teach our children how to recycle and now in our community I see cardboard added to the dumpsters when it is recycled here. Milk jugs are not recycled here (only every six months or so). Cardboard takes up a lot of room in our dumpster and there is no reason for it. I cannot believe that people do not know how to tear down boxes. Ridiculous! My hands are not liking it and they protest but I still do it.

  • HearthForYou
    HearthForYou Posts: 52 ✭✭✭

    What I found infuriating is that the whole notion of recycling plastic was a farce. The manufacturers knew they couldn't recycle plastic - it's cost prohibitive, but marketed it anyway. Apparently plastic has never been recyclable or been recycled. The triangle symbols gave people (us) the notion that plastic was being recycled so that we would feel ok about using it!

  • Granny Marie
    Granny Marie Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I'm not a big fan of plastic but since it isn't really recycled, it would be nice if it was made so it could be reused many times.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So true @HearthForYou. I saw a video years ago that explained how bottled water is not just expensive, it's also bad for the environment because they don't recycle the plastic. I decided to get a couple of nice thermoses to take my water with me and was amazed at how quickly they paid for themselves. Less than two months later, I had saved more by not having to buy bottled water than I paid for both of them, and the water tasted better and was healthier. Individually, we need to do our part and not expect Big Business to save the world or even try to.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,286 admin
    edited October 2020

    Okay... so honestly... recycling is often a 'greenwashing" scam. Local government keeps its taxpayers happy with child friendly, cartoons and recycling initiatives.

    Most of it goes to the landfills... and often into the ocean. Too often, it takes more pollution producing fuel/energy to run a recycling program than resources saved. Basically, it just makes people feel good... anything beyond that is politically motivated BS... and maybe one day folks will have the sense to see through it and stop being pacified with lies....

    "Captain Planet", "the Science Guy" and so much more, were just propaganda. They caused us to "look at the shiny object" and pacified us with virtue signaling.

    Where I live, they stopped accepting glass. Glass is actually recyclable - it starts as sand, and can be melted back down. So, what does that tell you?

    There are folks working on ways of dealing with plastic. They have found meal worms that eat Styrofoam. I think the most practical way of "recycling" plastic may well be to use it for fuel.... as a bio-energy guy said recently, "A hydrocarbon is a hydrocarbon." It all starts out as energy form the sun... it becomes plants and animals... it rots... becomes tar and oil and sludge and coal and all sorts of stored energy. It is refined into plastics, petroleum, etc. It can be broken back down.

    In fact, fungi is being used to clean up oil spills. Folks are working on fungi to break down plastics, according to Peter McCoy. All that is really exciting.. but traditional "recycling" is a cruel joke that dupes of us all.

    All that aside, I do my best not to use plastic at all. My goal is to produce no true trash - I want everything I use to end as something that rots. Right now, my main challenges are grocery bags (only plastic allowed since COVID) and shipping/packing materials. So, my answer is definitely not recycling it is just don't use it!

    You all know my philosophy... what does it matter if you believe in man-caused global warming or not, so long as you live in a way that would not contribute to it?... stop arguing and labeling everything, just live responsibly and tend to your own environment.

    I don't intend that for anyone on these forums - I get sick of people on 24/7 news screaming at each other and ginning up hate and division... follow the golden rule... just be a decent person! (ugh, dyslexia is acting up tonight due to lack of sleep....editing if I can catch the type-os)

  • HearthForYou
    HearthForYou Posts: 52 ✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 exactly about the whole recycling thing for plastic being a scam. Kudos to the reporter in the podcast I posted in this thread that dug around and discovered the companies knew they couldn't and wouldn't recycle plastic but eased buyers minds thinking that it was possible.

    I'll be interested to check out Peter McCoy's work on fungi breaking down plastics. That would be great - another way mushrooms can help save the world per Paul Stamets work of using them to transmute toxic waste and toxins.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Yes, I was sort of afraid that plastic isn't really recycled. I will be very happy when I can at least use my own shopping bags again. I notice that at least some of the stores that I shop at are using paper bags which I can use as mulch in my garden. Frequently if I have a small amount that I am buying, I'll just tell them not to bag it.