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  1. #1
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    The Problem with Plastic

    This issue is something I've been reading and researching a lot lately. Feel free to add your own articles or opinions on the issue. No flaming I see at the top of the page (beware Cyrille).

    I posted a video in the thread I started in the Asian news about a green turtle that was trying to nest in a bed of plastic on the beach of Christmas Island between Australia and Indonesia. There has been a lot of current research and and insight into the damage that plastic in our oceans can do to animals, coral reefs and to humans.

    This was a recent Study done in the Journal of Science, of the impact that plastic can have on damaging coral reefs.

    Abstract:

    Corals wrapped in plastic

    Coral reefs provide vital fisheries and coastal defense, and they urgently need protection from the damaging effects of plastic waste. Lamb et al. surveyed 159 coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. Billions of plastic items were entangled in the reefs. The more spikey the coral species, the more likely they were to snag plastic. Disease likelihood increased 20-fold once a coral was draped in plastic. Plastic debris stresses coral through light deprivation, toxin release, and anoxia, giving pathogens a foothold for invasion.
    Science, this issue p. 460

    Abstract

    Plastic waste can promote microbial colonization by pathogens implicated in outbreaks of disease in the ocean. We assessed the influence of plastic waste on disease risk in 124,000 reef-building corals from 159 reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. The likelihood of disease increases from 4% to 89% when corals are in contact with plastic. Structurally complex corals are eight times more likely to be affected by plastic, suggesting that microhabitats for reef-associated organisms and valuable fisheries will be disproportionately affected. Plastic levels on coral reefs correspond to estimates of terrestrial mismanaged plastic waste entering the ocean. We estimate that 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific and project this number to increase 40% by 2025. Plastic waste management is critical for reducing diseases that threaten ecosystem health and human livelihoods.

    Read full study here
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/460.full

    Plastic in oceans causing coral reefs to get sick, study says | News | DW | 25.01.2018


    --
    If you haven't already seen this documentary, 'A Plastic Ocean' (2016), have a look at the full docu here.
    This documentary looks at how plastics once they enter the ocean break into small particles that enter the food chain and store toxins in our seafood which we consume.

    Watch A Plastic Ocean Online | Watch Full HD A Plastic Ocean (2016) Online For Free PutLockers




    What is wrong with people to pollute our precious oceans with garbage? I don't understand in the least. I'm trying to wrap my head around it, but all I can think of is ignorance.






















  2. #2
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    How can we keep plastics out of our oceans?

    A total mindshift..where plastic packaging never becomes waste.. aha! That can be part of it.




    A third of our coral reefs are being 'entangled in plastic'.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42821004
    Last edited by Thailandbound; 27-01-2018 at 03:54 PM.

  3. #3
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thailandbound View Post
    A total mindshift..where plastic packaging never becomes waste.. aha! That can be part of it.
    :wince:

  4. #4
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    Nature is preparing the next evolutionary step: turtles building nests with plastic waste.

  5. #5
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    If you buying 10 items in Big C, you come home with 20 plastic bags.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thailandbound View Post
    How can we keep plastics out of our oceans?
    Education particularly in third world communities.

    Manufacturers, particularly of plastic bags must become legally bound to become actively involved in the re-cycling education of the communities that use these bags.

    Cradle to grave laws now govern the producers of such products must firstly recover used packaging and re-cycle the same which in fact is a commercially viable practice.

    Once end users know where they can deposit their plastic waste and receive a refund while doing so, the pollution of our oceans and waterways will improve.

    All these new chemical additives being developed at present such as bio-degradable and U.V accelerators to break down the physical state of the packaging is a waste of time and money.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thailandbound View Post
    but all I can think of is ignorance.
    It's ignorance but also "I don't care". In Thai it's the mak gnai attitude.
    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    If you buying 10 items in Big C, you come home with 20 plastic bags.
    No. I only have my meat products in a plastic bag (because of leakages). I always take my cotton shopping bag.

    I've been semi-seriously researching into the feasiblity of this machine (following). I'm a tad dubious that if I had the machine I'd get enough raw material from Thias wanting only to save the planet and not expect too much money for their effort.

    What I like about it (aside from the bricks being great insulators) is that it uses ALL plastics.

    http://www.byfusion.com/

    It's an attitude thing. Save the planet for our kids is not at the moment a Thai thing. especialyy if they see the company making money.

  8. #8
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    ^^Great ideas, Loy Toy. I think even some small steps can help. I know at least in many countries, you have to pay for your plastic bags now. I usually just bring my own re-usable bag to get groceries.

    Some other ideas..from this great article.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ave-ocean.html


    Guide to banishing plastic

    The Treasury is considering a tax on single-use plastic – to be announced in tomorrow’s budget. Typically these are plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, plastic bottles and most food packaging – items used once then thrown away.

    Some are very difficult to recycle – facilities do not exist to turn them back into a useable raw material.
    Others are tricky to recycle because they comprise a variety of different materials joined together.
    Plastic can find its way into the sea after being dropped in litter, or blown off a beach or landfill site.
    Here’s what you can do:

    USE PAPER STRAWS
    Despite only being used for the time it takes to finish a drink, plastic straws do not degrade for hundreds of years. Some chains such as JD Wetherspoon have replaced plastic straws with paper ones which can be recycled.

    DON’T FLUSH AWAY WIPES
    Single-use cloth wipes clog sewers – and help create ‘fatbergs’ that can grow to the size of double decker buses. Most contain plastic fibres that can end up polluting waterways.

    BUY A REUSABLE BOTTLE
    Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the tap. You’ll not only save a fortune – you will avoid having to dispose of plastic bottles in public waste bins – many of which go straight to landfill. If you work in an office, ask your building manager to supply paper cups.

    COFFEE CUP SAVINGS
    Buy at coffee shop chains where paper cups are starting to be recycled such as Costa. Or carry a reusable cup – you will save 25p at Pret a Manger.

    BAG ONE FOR LIFE
    Take your own reusable cloth bag or ‘bag for life’ to the supermarket. You will also save on the 5p charge.

    DITCH COTTON BUDS
    Don’t buy cotton buds with plastic stems – buy card-based ones instead. Cotton buds are one of the main pieces of single-use plastic on beaches.

    CUT BACK ON TREATS
    Cut down on chocolate bars and crisps – all have plastic wrappers. Earlier this year a Walkers crisp bag and a Dime bar wrapper were found in a dead whale.

    TABLE MANNERS
    Avoid disposable cutlery.

    GIVE UP THE GUM
    Chewing gum is a sticky form of plastic that is not recyclable, contaminates paper recycling and costs millions to remove from pavements.






  9. #9
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    The Green turtles trying to nest on Christmas Island.


  10. #10
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    ^ more than that is the plastic micro beads in shampoos and soaps/body washes.
    Astronomical amounts end up in the sea.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    It's an attitude thing. Save the planet for our kids is not at the moment a Thai thing. especialyy if they see the company making money.
    Yes, I believe many people and kids don't know about the harm that plastics in our oceans can cause. Certainly it should be more in the open. I know we teach a unit of inquiry at our school about recycling and our impact on the environment.

  12. #12
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Manufacturers, particularly of plastic bags must become legally bound to become actively involved in the re-cycling education of the communities that use these bags.
    It isn't just bags, of course.

    Fishing nets, buckets...all sorts of stuff.


    I agree that people involved in producing such items should be forced to take a lead.

    Especially if they are based in coastal areas.

    Not doing so is totally irresponsible.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    I've been semi-seriously researching into the feasiblity of this machine (following). I'm a tad dubious that if I had the machine I'd get enough raw material from Thias wanting only to save the planet and not expect too much money for their effort.


    Perhaps it does not need a Hi-Tech sophisticated machinery. Everything in Thailand can be made, sometimes astonishing machines made by a mechanic shop around the corner.

    First, a plastic shredder, it's not so difficult. Then, a screw press with a heater around, something like many factories here do for charcoal, e.g.:


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    ^ more than that is the plastic micro beads in shampoos and soaps/body washes.
    Astronomical amounts end up in the sea.
    Wow! I was looking into laws for dumping plastic, and there was a law passed in the 80's, MARPOOL, which restricts big vessels in the U.S and internationally from dumping plastic into the oceans. Other than that, I don't know of any other laws in effect?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    It isn't just bags, of course.
    Take for instance the packaging all the Ipads, IPhones are sold in, x-times larger than it needs. Not all these kinds of paper box are recyclable, the beautiful promotion booklets either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Take for instance the packaging all the Ipads, IPhones are sold in, x-times larger than it needs. Not all these kinds of paper box are recyclable, the beautiful promotion booklets either.
    As part of a team I am working on a new manufacturing process whereby we hopefully can produce rigid plastic packaging 35% lighter then existing packaging without sacrificing the dynamic performance of the product.
    35% lighter means less raw material, less waste and a commercially cheaper packaging to the end user. If we are successful a win win for everyone including the environment.

    We will then target cardboard packaging using our process as a means to replace paper with a plastic moulded alternative.

  17. #17
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    We will then target cardboard packaging using our process as a means to replace paper with a plastic moulded alternative.
    So you're looking at ways to replace recycled paper with plastic?

    Err...

  18. #18
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Take for instance the packaging all the Ipads, IPhones are sold in, x-times larger than it needs. Not all these kinds of paper box are recyclable, the beautiful promotion booklets either.
    Fair point K...though lots of people keep that stuff either for its supposed cachet or because they might re-sell the I-pad. You can even buy them for something ridiculous like $20 on e-bay.

    Yes...that's for the empty box.

  19. #19
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    As part of a team I am working on a new manufacturing process whereby we hopefully can produce rigid plastic packaging 35% lighter then existing packaging without sacrificing the dynamic performance of the product.
    Having much success?

  20. #20
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    So you're looking at ways to replace recycled paper with plastic?

    Err...
    Normal logic for a company in thailand

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    It will only get worse, where do you dump one of these?


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    So you're looking at ways to replace recycled paper with plastic?
    Yes. If we can produce a plastic product at the correct weight our commercial research shows that we will be very competitive when compared to cardboard packaging.

    Not only that the plastic packaging may be returned and used multiple times before recycling is necessary.

    Fingers crossed but our prototype testing is showing positive results.

    Still a long way to go.

    Oh, and by the way the other team members are not Thai.

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    That's great, Loy Toy that you are working on alternatives. I hope it works out.

    ^^Those plastic dolls seem to be popular for the males.... yes, more plastic to deal with.. shame.





    Other countries like Korea and Japan also use plastic a lot to cover every little cookie or cracker.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Yes. If we can produce a plastic product at the correct weight our commercial research shows that we will be very competitive when compared to cardboard packaging.

    Not only that the plastic packaging may be returned and used multiple times before recycling is necessary.
    How are you helping if you're replacing often recycled paper with plastic that almost everyone in Thailand will throw away?

    If your non-Thai collapeagues also focussed on building recycling plants I can see the benefits, but you make no mention of that.

    You seem to be potentially worsening the problem rather than help solve it, and the only thing that's really getting you excited is $$$

  25. #25
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    As for the plastics the San Francisco bay area has actively banned the use of plastic bags starting in 2012, they also charge a fee for paper bags so now 80 percent of customers bring a reusable cloth bag, Most stores make their own with enough purchase you get one free or just buy it cheaply. Trader Joes a great supermarket started this. These laws have now spread throughout most of California. You can see the difference.

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