Should plastic be banned?

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  • Plastic straws and cotton buds could be banned in England as part of the government's bid to cut plastic waste.

    Announcing a consultation on a possible ban ministers said 8.5bn plastic straws were thrown away in the UK every year.

    The prime minister said plastic waste was "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world".

    Ever since the powerful images were broadcast of plastic waste in our oceans, the issue of plastic has risen to the top of the political agenda.


    I use cotton buds, so I don't personally want to see them banned, but like much plastic waste, the obvious ones being condoms and tampons, these get flushed down our toilets and end up in our rivers and then out into the sea.


    Is it time we say enough is enough and ban plastic for good?

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  • Is it time we say enough is enough and ban plastic for good?

    Can't unless you want to ban all things electrical and electronic. But ban unecessary plastic, like bottled water and wrapped vegetables, especially when suitable alternatives are available, yes. Any necessary plastic should be able to be recycled or at least burnt for energy.


    Cotton buds could easily be made with bamboo sticks, like tooth picks, instead of plastic ones. They would then be totally bio-degradable.


    Much of the plastics involved in electrical and electronic goods is already recyled as the precious and non-ferrus metals are retrieved. I know of a plant over in Brighton where they recycle copper cables and the PVC that they are insulated with. Since only one kind of plastic and a thermo-plastic (meltable) as well is involved.


    Thermo-setting plastics, such as GRP used in printed circuits and epoxy for ecapsulating electronic components, is more problematic though

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Heero, I agree with you about the packaging for food and especially bottled water - a totally American import. Our water is excellent, no need for anyone in the country to go and buy bottles of it.


    But I found your bit about cotton buds most interesting. I do use cotton buds a lot, but I've never heard of bamboo ones before, I do hope this comes about.


    Didn't know about the plastic that surrounds wires could be recycled either, very interesting too. You're clearly very well versed on this subject.:thumbup::thumbup:

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  • Wet wipes, used for sticky fingers and removing eye make-up, as well as on other parts of the anatomy, could themselves be wiped out over the next couple of decades.

    The government says its plan to eliminate plastic waste "includes single use products like wet wipes".

    The wipes contain non-biodegradable plastic.

    So manufacturers will either have to develop plastic-free wipes or consumers will have to go without.

    Good news! But rather than waiting a couple of decades, why not get rid of wet wipes now?


    Does anyone here use wet wipes?


    I don't see the point of them myself.. Either you use a tissue, or if you need to clean your hands, use a flannel and if going out, put a wet flannel in a bad - preferably not a plastic one!


    Our addition to plastic needs to end.

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  • To be honest, I didn't realise wet wipes were plastic! I never use them anyway.


    There are lots of alternatives, but they require a little more effort, which is a no-no with the current requirement for instant gratification.


    Personally, I think plastic is now vital in certain circumstances, especially where food is concerned to prevent cross contamination, but why can't it be recyclable? I am one of those old fashioned women who has lots of 'click-it' plastic containers of various sizes (they are one up on tupperware) and they are washed and re-used. They keep food fresh and therefore reduce waste.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • I think the age of plastic is coming to a end, apart from certain circumstances as highlighted by Heero earlier in the thread and it's all down to the plastic waste in our oceans. (I'll do a separate thread about that.)


    I think most people have accepted the concept of reusing plastic bags for shopping, especially when you have to pay for them and alternatives can be found for wet wipes too.


    I think plastic packaging for food is going to be the biggest fight, as most supermarkets like to have plastic windows to show the food to customers even when the rest of the packaging is cardboard. I can think of a packet of custard tarts I got from Tesco recently, as but one example of this.


    Hygiene, is another reason as you say Fidget, for plastic packaging on food. As any man who has been to the toilet in the supermarket knows, not every man washes their hands.., so we need to be careful before we totally get rid of all plastic packaging from fruit and veg, but the current situation is not sustainable.


    On containers, there was a recent programme on the BBC, I think, which showed a shop where most food was contained in large pots or glass jars and every customer had to bring their own containers to fill them with the food, like shops how they used to be. One advantage is you can have exactly the quantity of food you want, rather than everything all be wrapped up in packages which causes a lot of unnecessary food waste as well as the plastic waste.


    Gove's plastic scheme is going ahead and a thread about that is here. That's a good idea.


    Things need to change.

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  • I think plastic packaging for food is going to be the biggest fight, as most supermarkets like to have plastic windows to show the food to customers even when the rest of the packaging is cardboard. I can think of a packet of custard tarts I got from Tesco recently, as but one example of this.

    Remember that Cellophane was the transparent film of choice before true plastics were available. It's made from wood and is bio-degradable. Hopefully we see a resurgance of this product to help eliminate oil derived plastic film.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • Star post of the day, there Heero.:)


    I do remember cellophane and I assumed that's what a lot of the discussion was about. I did not know it wasn't plastic. Fascinating. Why do we stop using it?? That will solve a lot of problems as regards food packaging.

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  • Coffee cups about to get taxed??

    There is high public support for using the tax system to reduce waste from single-use plastics, the Treasury says.

    Ministers are poised to slap a ‘latte levy’ on throwaway coffee cups after overwhelming public backing for radical action on waste.

    Taxes could also be introduced on other single-use items as part of the war on plastic pollution.

    A record 162,000 Britons responded to a Treasury consultation on how to deal with problem packaging and the vast majority supported action on disposable coffee cups and takeaway trays.

    The BBC article has a good video about how some plastics could be replaced, but I think Heero's earlier post a few months ago about cellophane was most interesting. Clearly, not every solution to the plastic problem has to be some new fangled expensive creation, but ideas from the past.


    I think we're at a turning point with plastic waste now and there is a deluge of stories on the subject every day, well, at least on the beeb.


    Would you be happy to pay more for your Starbucks coffee if a levy was placed on their cups? Or, how about an extra 20p on your kebab?

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  • We don't buy takeaways or expensive high street coffee so any levy is fine with us. There should be a swingeing tax on bottled water as this is a total luxury item, environmentally destructive in it's production and distribution and not needed in this country where a tap provides a perfectly good alternative.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

    If my post is in this colour  it is moderation. Take note.

  • We don't buy takeaways either other than the occasional fish & chips, although Mr Fidget occasionally buys a ready meal from the supermarket.


    We had a look around our local Aldi yesterday and noticed some of their ready meals are now in (what appeared to be) greaseproof card containers. I didn't look at the instructions so not sure if they have to transferred to a dish before cooking.


    Any containers that are non-recyclable should be banned, except maybe in health services, but even then, why can't containers be sterilised and re-used? No good just increasing the tax on them as they will still be used by those who don't care, when the eventual aim is to get rid of non-recyclable plastic altogether (I hope).

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • What a surprise , TAX is the answer , Jezza couldn't of done it any better , meals in black containers that the technology in recycling plants cannot see , plastic straws that are used once , I agree with plastic bottles up to a point , if in hot weather I have used up my bottle of squash I would rather buy water than carbonated syrup to refresh me but this tax will be wisely spent on what exactly?

  • We don't buy takeaways or expensive high street coffee so any levy is fine with us. There should be a swingeing tax on bottled water as this is a total luxury item, environmentally destructive in it's production and distribution and not needed in this country where a tap provides a perfectly good alternative.

    Fully agree.


    Sorry to make this purely political, but as this is a political topic....:) its interesting that the liberals and greenies alway go on about the environment, yet they're the ones more l;krely to use expensive branded bottled water or drive chelsea tractors.

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  • Plastic bag fee 'to double to 10p' and include every shop

    The 5p fee for plastic carrier bags in England will be doubled to 10p, and extended to all shops, under plans set out by the environment secretary.

    The change is contained in a government consultation aimed at further reducing the plastic used by consumers and could come into effect in January 2020.

    Smaller retailers, who are exempt from the current levy, supply an estimated 3.6 billion single-use bags annually.

    Slowly, but surely our plastic use is being reduced, but with our oceans filled with the stuff, is it anywhere near enough to protect our environment?

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  • Plastic or paper: Which bag is greener?

    The supermarket chain Morrisons is raising the price of its reusable plastic bags from 10p to 15p as a trial and introducing a 20p paper version. The paper bags will be available in eight stores as part of a two-month trial. The supermarket chain said reducing plastic was their customers' top environmental concern.

    Paper bags remain popular in the US, but they fell out of use in UK supermarkets in the 1970s as plastic was seen as a more durable material.

    But are paper bags more environmentally friendly than plastic ones?

    The idea of paper bags sounds like a good idea until that is they get wet.


    Who here would replace plastic bags in favour of paper ones? On this occasion and for supermarket shopping, it'll be a no from me.


    Morrison's 20p charge for their paper bags is ridiculous.

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  • Any containers that are non-recyclable should be banned, except maybe in health services, but even then, why can't containers be sterilised and re-used? No good just increasing the tax on them as they will still be used by those who don't care, when the eventual aim is to get rid of non-recyclable plastic altogether (I hope).

    Just coming back to your point from last year, but as milk bottled delivery is on the increase again and those bottles are sterilised and reused, why couldn't your idea be extended to other forms of food containers? I think that's a really good idea.


    I'm sure I caught a snippet of a story from a few days ago, which mentioned that a supermarket might try reusable drinks containers, or something like that. If I find the article, I'll post it here.


    Everything goes full circle.:)

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