OT China stopping plastic waste imports.

S'obvious what the next move's gonna be. They're gonna demand (more) money to take our plastic waste. And have the option of refusing it if it's contaminated.
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I would have thought that if they were really recycling it for making stuff they would carry on. More likely is that whatever they were doin with it was not very ecologically friendly, so perhaps, in the long run its a good thing and might prompt somebody to figure out some energy efficient scheme to reuse it or repurpose it which is not energy guzzling or prone to pollution.
Brian
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On 02/01/2018 08:53, Brian Gaff wrote:

How do they recycle plastic efficiently as there are lots of different kinds of plastic? (I mean "efficient" as in turning it back into something useful, rather than just some kind of low grade packing material. I would have thought that only thermoplastics like polyethylene could be turned back into useful stuff.)
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On Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:01:20 UTC, Max Demian wrote:

They have near slave labour. It's sorted manually.
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On Tue, 2 Jan 2018 00:19:10 -0800 (PST), harry

There's a big fuss ATM about plastics getting into the oceans and harming sea life, from plankton to whales. People in the UK are talking about reducing use of plastics in packaging etc. and some places are even rejoicing in declaring themselves 'plastic free', or whatever. How silly is all that? Apart from the fact that plastics, especially plastic packaging, is an extremely useful and hygienic way of presenting food etc, I read that 90% of the plastic waste in our oceans comes from rivers in the Far East. http://bit.ly/2lC2qGR
AIUI, in the UK, plastic waste is either recycled, incinerated or sent to landfill. How much of it actually ends up in the sea? I've no idea but not much, I wouldn't think. So it seems to me that these campaigns to reduce plastic packaging in the UK are typically misguided, emotional, not thought through and probably 'green' ideas.
What I don't know is what happens to the plastic waste that gets recycled. Clearly, from recent headlines about China not taking any more of the stuff, a lot was actually exported and not recycled in the UK. Which raises the question 'what happens to the exported stuff?' Is a lot of it just dumped in the sea in the Far East, in which case there is cause for concern, but it just means we should up our game when it comes to recycling here in the UK, not blindly run campaigns to reduce the use of plastics all together.
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Not at a silly if you’re at all aware just how much of out plastic waste ends up all over our countryside and on our beaches.

That is the crux of the problem. It’s incredibly useful and good at doing that.

Whilst that may be true for much of what is floating out in the open ocean I fill a large carrier bag every day with plastic litter from our local beach. I can assure you that it’s not stuff from the Far East.

Given that plastics don’t just “go away” once they reach the ocean I think anything we can do to reduce plastic waste has got to be a good idea. Over 90% of the plastic I pick up off our beach is convenience food/drink packaging. I.e. stuff we don’t actually *need*.

I would agree absolutely with improving UK recycling. I think the move by the Chinese is a good thing and will help to concentrate minds. I do think that we should try whenever possible to reduce our use of plastics though.
Tim
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How much, then, in terms of tons, or percentage of what we throw away? Unsightly, yes, but I doubt it's actually a very significant proportion of the total.

In the far SW, and indeed on the UK west coast in general, a lot of the waste (not just plastic) that ends up on the beaches, comes from across the Atlantic, carried on the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift. I have found nuts on our local beach that washed over from South America, and fish boxes with East Coast USA addresses on them.

But how much is of UK origin, and is it a significant proportion of what we throw away in total? Numbers please.

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You also live in area which is still relatively unpopulated compared to some parts of the UK, where the population is denser almost any watercourse now has a collection of plastic bobbing away which unless it is physically caught and removed will eventually be washed in to the sea during periods of heavy rainfall that move all the bottles, parking cones etc onwards. I took a walk on Bude beach on Boxing day and although some of the plastic was anonymous there were R Whites lemonade and Bulmers cider and other branded containers piled up on the tide line unlikely to have have come from abroad. They could have come from anywhere that has water courses that eventually feed into the Severn and then the Bristol Channel and that is a lot of sizable places such as Bristol, Cardiff ,Worcester, Stratford upon Avon and hundreds more. Its no wonder that places like Watch et Clovelley , Marsland Mouth, Crackington Haven and the rest no longer have the tide mark delineated by sea weed and the odd cork float or natural fibre rope but now have a thick detritus of plastic containers and lost plastic fishing gear and ships ropes.made from synthetic materials.
I could be cheeky and say you have selective vision as to what gets chucked in the sea as your former industry chucked enough rubbish in the sea that it turned the streams white for decades.. Your pension may well be heathier because of the costs saved. Occasionally standards still slip http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/8140783.stm
At least once stopped the effects largely stop as well, plastic pollution last a lot longer.
G.Harman
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On Tue, 02 Jan 2018 11:22:57 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Centuries, more like! But it was inert mineral waste and didn't travel very far and didn't pose a long-term threat to the wildlife, not that that's any excuse of course. The beach at Pentewan consisted almost entirely of china clay waste, fed by the appropriately-named White River*. When waste was no longer disposed of in that way, the beach started to disappear, much to the owner's dismay, and he threatened the company with legal action IIRC!

When dealing with millions of gallons per day of abrasive slurry, pipes do occasionally wear through and burst. The big conical tips did occasionally 'slip', but after Aberfan they were seriously redesigned and properly engineered, so fortunately, both problems are rare these days.

I'm no more in favour of polluting the oceans than anyone. What I object to is emotive campaigns that aren't fact-based and won't make much difference to the problem anyway. As I asked earlier, just what proportion of the UK's plastic waste actually gets into the sea?
* there was a Red River that drained the mining area around Camborne into St. Ives Bay at Gwithian, coloured mostly by red iron oxide, also now clean. Both are a consequence of Cornwall being a historic mining area, going back centuries.
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On Tue, 02 Jan 2018 12:26:30 +0000, Chris Hogg wrote:

It's where Redditch, Worcs. also gets its name from.
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I have no numbers but what I know for sure is that a lot is "local" rubbish as every time we get heavy rain, a fresh load of bottles, cans and other packaging materials end up on our beaches.
In the same way that stones and pebbles get "swept" by traffic to the sides of the roads, so does litter blowing around our countryside and blown off of landfills end up in our streams and rivers. From there it ends up on our beaches.
Tim
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On 02/01/2018 09:30, Tim+ wrote:

Well done you! I'll pick up the occasional bit of litter and stick it in a nearby bin, but I don't have the gumption to bring a bag along and pick up large quantities.
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My wife and I bring a large reusable shopping bag each and litter pickers and use them whilst we’re walking the dog.
In the big scheme of things it maybe isn’t making a huge difference but it makes us feel happier about using the beach. We seem to have stimulated a few “copy cats” by our actions.
Tim
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On 02/01/2018 12:43, Tim+ wrote:

Won't be long before the council issues you with a stop order, for not following their rules for collecting waste.
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On 02/01/2018 09:11, Chris Hogg wrote:

I was under the impression that the biggest problem was mixed packing where a food may be placed in a plastic tray which can be recycled but then a film which cannot be recycled is bonded to the tray thus "contaminating" it. Cardboard boxes with unnecessary plastic see-through windows is another example.
Reducing packaging on many products seems to me a sensible idea. I'm not advocating banning the sensible use of suitable packaging but I've seen food from on brand that is in 3 layers of packing whereas the equivalent from another supplier is in 1 layer of packaging.

There was a lot of concern about plastic micro-beads entering the food chain but I now read that a bigger concern is the use of washing machines. Washing synthetic materials in a washing machine results in microscopic particles of the material being shed and being flushed down the drain in the rinse cycle. These act in the same way as the now banned micro-beads that were added to certain products (such as toothpaste) and enter the food chain at the lowest level.

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On 02/01/2018 09:41, alan_m wrote:

I used to tear off the plastic window from takeaway sandwiches so that the paper/card could be recycled but now they seem to have switched to a paper/card/polythene film laminate just like the Starbucks cups.
So can only be recycled in one place the in the UK.
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Sure, but surely most of that doesn’t end up in the ocean.
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On 02/01/2018 09:41, alan_m wrote:

What do the greenies expect us to do? Go back to cotton and linen shirts and sheets? Or homespun woollen smocks?
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I already only use cotton shirts and sheets.
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On Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:07:47 UTC, Max Demian wrote:

There's no alternative.
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