Interesting articles from the Guardian.co.uk on global plastic packaging challenges. Check out this article "Global hunger for plastic packaging leaves waste solution a long way off - Despite measures to incr... and related sidebar articles. Biobased plastic covers the front end, but not disposal. Biodegradable/cornstarch just breaks down into smaller plastic particles. Paper bags have a worse environmental footprint than plastic bags. Cloth bags get contaminated with bacteria. No packaging results in food waste and damaged goods = more waste. Burying plastic sequesters carbon. Burning plastic releases toxics, but provides high energy return. Enhancing the recycling infrastructure via collection, sorting, materials composition and product design has economic and cultural challenges.
It's not so simple.
What solutions can you contribute?
Surely the answer lies in a multipronged attack:?
1) The Lower Proterozoic approach - Turn the cloth shopping bag inside out, shake it out & wash it!
2) Nasty sanitary stuff, mixed lamineted plastics, styrofoam meat containers & "juice absorber" - Use domestic gasifier (syngas or producer gas electricity generator & hot water - sveral models available). Could add dry yard waste. Might have problems with halogens & NOX & SOX
3) The Devonian approach - use plant cuticle derivatives (polymeric nC16 & 18 di & trihydroxy acids) & lignins or cellulose acetate derivatives as natural plastic substitutes.
4) Chuck it out along with new year resolutions! Be as bad as possible!
It's worth mentioning the recycling system used in Switzerland: