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From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Dazed & Confused
Date: September 11, 2020 10:11AM
I found this informative, perhaps you will too:

"We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic."

[www.npr.org]

Here is the PBS Frontline episode "Plastic Wars" mentioned in the above article:

[www.pbs.org]

D & C



A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
11:36 PM - 22 Feb 2015

-Leonard Nimoy
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 11, 2020 10:14AM
Our recycling center has put waste to energy on hold, too.

Our plastics are going to the landfill.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 11, 2020 10:40AM
Use less plastic is the only way out. Which is easy for me to say, sitting here literally surrounded by the stuff in my kitchen, my clothes, my desk, my furniture, my decor...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2020 10:41AM by Acer.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: September 11, 2020 10:46AM
....well, some have a wife with.....uhm plastic......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 11, 2020 10:49AM
We now have to pay $12/month to have our recyclables picked up, most of which goes to the landfill anyway.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: September 11, 2020 10:50AM
.....there is also the issue of plastic micro particles in the air......that we breathe in.....etc.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 11, 2020 10:55AM
I don't understand how someone could live with themselves knowing the implications of these decisions.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: jonny
Date: September 11, 2020 10:57AM
San Francisco is pulling it off somehow. [www.sfchronicle.com]
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 11, 2020 11:26AM
Microplastics is also in rain. It is picked up from storms in areas like the garbage patch and carried almost everywhere in the world. Many beverages in aluminum cans are coated inside with plastics. You can dissolve the aluminum and are left with the drink in a thin plastic tube/pouch.

Plastics will only be recycled when it is forced. "Compostable" plastics are a joke, it is a scam to sell more plastic.

I try to buy in bulk to minimize packaging. Even so, 70% to 90% of my weekly "garbage" end up being plastic wrappers/bags/containers. Because my garbage company requires garbage to be bagged, it adds about 5% to my weekly volume of plastic.

Anybody know of a source of 13 gallon paper bags? The 30 gallon leaf bags are massive overkill.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: September 11, 2020 11:40AM
Plastics can be recycled. Almost infinitely, but you need to end the 'disposable' product notion.

You can recycle plastic.
[www.youtube.com]



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MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: September 11, 2020 11:48AM
...and "Big Oil" had/has 500+ willing accomplices at 20515.



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 11, 2020 12:01PM
Quote
mikebw
I don't understand how someone could live with themselves knowing the implications of these decisions.

The reason is right there in the quote..."all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic."




__________________________________
There’s a guy wearing overalls with no shirt.
Which I think we all know is the International uniform for the last guy you’ll ever see.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2020 12:09PM by bazookaman.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 11, 2020 12:08PM
Perhaps for some, but I could not sell out (for? against?) the Earth.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 11, 2020 12:36PM
Quote
sekker
Our recycling center has put waste to energy on hold, too.

Our plastics are going to the landfill.

Yep, the Elk River plant closed awhile ago.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 11, 2020 01:02PM
Quote
ztirffritz
Plastics can be recycled. Almost infinitely, but you need to end the 'disposable' product notion.

You can recycle plastic.
[www.youtube.com]

Actually you can't. Each time the plastic is used, even the first time, it degrades a bit. In addition, plastic for various uses will have additives added such as plasticizers, UV stabilizers, and so on. They are not all the same, so mixes after recycling will be of lower quality. After just a few reuses the plastic is not good enough for many kinds of reuse.

Part of this is why some types of food packaging plastic have been targeted for recycling. Plastics meant for contact with food have to meet regulations on what can be added, so after recycling there is a smaller range of possible additives to cause issues in the new use.

As for the TED talk, it is from 9 years ago. There is quite a bit of handwaving once he gets to the actual processing. Yes, they end up with usable plastic pellets, but usable for what? And what percentage is still not reusable after this processing? In any case, if it was so inexpensive, etc. why did this type of technology not take off in the years since that talk.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: SteveO
Date: September 11, 2020 01:22PM
"Plastic makes it possible!"
-Early '90s plastics industry ad

My former FIL worked for a major manufacturer named in the NPR story. During the '90s, I used to sit around at the dinner table at their house, in the company's hometown headquarters, and spout off that line in sarcasm to the extended in-law family - my wife had four younger siblings ranging in age then from high school to young adulthood. The siblings always got a big laugh out of it; one time one of them even made reference to "Blinky the 3-eyed fish" after their dad returned from casting his line in the local river (near the chemical plant) and was eating what he caught. The parents? They did not much care for my humor. smiley-laughing001

I suspect they might feel differently today seeing as how the dad's position was later summarily eliminated in a "downsizing."
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: September 11, 2020 02:27PM
Actually, you can recycle plastics. The polymer chains do get truncated with each heat history, but you'd be surprised at how well they still work. I worked in a factory that produced about 30,000 lbs of PET products daily for the food industry. About 25,000lbs of it was recycled washed bottle flake from soda bottles. The problem that arises though is when it gets contaminated with other plastics. You can't mix plastics and expect it to produce a viable product. They all have different melt temperatures, some are translucent, others are opaque. That would be the equivalent of mixing steel and aluminum and expecting it to make a viable I-beam that's as strong as any other i-beam. The properties are different. Plastics are a fantastic product but we don't use them correctly or responsibly. We need to make the notion of "single use" anything abhorrent. How plastics came to be associated with single use unknown to me, but that is probably the worst version of that idea possible. The solution in my opinion is to require the company selling the plastic product to be responsible for recycling it. It would be a cultural shift for sure. Many older people would balk at the notion. Many REALLY older people would say, "oh, it's just like what we did when we were kids with bottles and jars and recycling cans for the war effort.etc." I think younger people would have no problem with sorting and recycling their waste stream, but you have to create, through legislation if necessary, an upstream market for it too. You need a push and pull system.

Quote
JoeH
Quote
ztirffritz
Plastics can be recycled. Almost infinitely, but you need to end the 'disposable' product notion.

You can recycle plastic.
[www.youtube.com]

Actually you can't. Each time the plastic is used, even the first time, it degrades a bit. In addition, plastic for various uses will have additives added such as plasticizers, UV stabilizers, and so on. They are not all the same, so mixes after recycling will be of lower quality. After just a few reuses the plastic is not good enough for many kinds of reuse.

Part of this is why some types of food packaging plastic have been targeted for recycling. Plastics meant for contact with food have to meet regulations on what can be added, so after recycling there is a smaller range of possible additives to cause issues in the new use.

As for the TED talk, it is from 9 years ago. There is quite a bit of handwaving once he gets to the actual processing. Yes, they end up with usable plastic pellets, but usable for what? And what percentage is still not reusable after this processing? In any case, if it was so inexpensive, etc. why did this type of technology not take off in the years since that talk.



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MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: September 11, 2020 02:58PM
Still sounds a bit problematic, as the reusability is limited to a number of cycles.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 11, 2020 03:02PM
Didn't say you can't recycle the plastics, but it is nowhere near "infinitely". More like less than 10-20 times depending on the type of plastic. Each reuse, especially where post-consumer recycled plastic is included, has a reduced quality and therefore limits on what it can be used for.

Talking with a ChemEngrg professor that I knew at the university a few years ago, he was telling me about research another professor there was doing into breaking down plastics back to their components. That would be used in place of oil based chemicals to create new plastic and avoid the degradation in quality. Worked fairly well with tests using a restricted supply of clean plastic, but were working out issues they ran into once their was mixtures or contaminated plastic included.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: modelamac
Date: September 11, 2020 05:13PM
Dazed,

There is a cure. Ship plastics back to Big Oil and force it to solve the problem in an environmentally friendly way.



Remember how when you were little
you could just rip off your diaper and
just run around naked and everyone
thought it was so cute and funny?


Anyway, I need bail money.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: September 11, 2020 06:43PM
An alternative for many uses seems like it could be corn or starch based plastics? The one example I remember was clear and rigid (like soda bottle or clear plastic packaging). It was based on using starch as the monomer, which was polymerized to form the plastic. That thing would biodegrade into carbon dioxide and water.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 11, 2020 07:10PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
An alternative for many uses seems like it could be corn or starch based plastics? The one example I remember was clear and rigid (like soda bottle or clear plastic packaging). It was based on using starch as the monomer, which was polymerized to form the plastic. That thing would biodegrade into carbon dioxide and water.

That would not be $$ in the hands of oil companies, however.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: September 11, 2020 07:50PM
Noooo doubt.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 11, 2020 08:34PM
As mentioned, with a little higher level chemical engineering, plastics can be remade. This does not contribute much to oil companies profits.

It reminds me of the cartoon of an oil company representative saying "solar power isn't feasible" when he realized they did not own all the patents on solar power to squelch research and development.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: Drew
Date: September 11, 2020 10:47PM
(From The Graduate)
"I just want to say to one word to you. Just one word."
"Yes sir."
"Are you listening?"
"Yes I am".

[www.youtube.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2020 07:34AM by Drew.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 12, 2020 11:22AM
if somebody started making sex toys out of recycled plastic, the problem would be eliminated in short order. boink smiley winking smiley
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 12, 2020 11:25AM
Quote
Carnos Jax
An alternative for many uses seems like it could be corn or starch based plastics? The one example I remember was clear and rigid (like soda bottle or clear plastic packaging). It was based on using starch as the monomer, which was polymerized to form the plastic. That thing would biodegrade into carbon dioxide and water.

There are several plastics made from starch whether sourced from corn or another source. The one most commonly seen is PLA - polylactic acid. It has good melting properties and is dimensionally stable, so is a common filament for 3D printing. Depending on the exact formulation, its strength is between polystyrene and PETE, but withstands a much lower temperature than PETE.

Other uses include "compostable" plastic utensils and other food service items. I put that in quotes because PLA will compost in commercial style processing, the low temperatures seen in most home composting will leave it untouched. Essentially there is no biodegradation at temperatures below 30-35 C, and it needs to be at least 35-40 C for it to happen in a reasonable time. The PLA also needs to be hydrolyzed first. Just tossed out into the environment it will last just like other plastics.

PLA also gets used for some medical implants. Over a period of 6 months to 2 years it will get absorbed as tissue grow to replace it.

PLA however is not currently recyclable. Its proponents push that it could be, but their is no infrastructure to collect and process PLA back into usable plastic. Worse is that it does get tossed in with other plastics and will contaminate batches. For instance a single PLA container can cause an entire batch of PETE flakes to be rejected and become landfill.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2020 11:28AM by JoeH.
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Re: From NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: September 12, 2020 04:53PM
Just saw this, which seems promising:

[i.imgur.com]



[www.zeemaps.com]
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