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New Contributor III

Plastic Packaging Solutions - Not So Easy

Interesting articles from the 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?

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New Contributor II

Re: Plastic Packaging Solutions - Not So Easy

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!

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New Contributor III

Re: Plastic Packaging Solutions - Not So Easy

It's worth mentioning the recycling system used in Switzerland:

  1. To my knowledge, they only allow a single consumer plastic, which simplifies the recycling process.
  2. That plastic is polyethylene terphthalate, which is relatively easy to recycle.
  3. Only small "official" garbage bags may be st out on the curb, Those bags are VERY expensive.
  4. There are collection containers for sorting and recycling which are within 1-2 blocks of apartments.
  5. If anyone tries to dump plastic in an illegal plastic bag, then the Swiss cops will open the bag, determine their identity and issue a fine.
  6. Probably, there are no plastic manufacturer in the country, hence no lobbyists in Parliament.
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