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Thread: Recycling of plastic bottles and cans

  1. #11
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    All types of plastic could be recyclable in theory. Plastics that can be melted down and turned into new products are more readily recyclable that types that can't. But even the latter type (thermosetting) can be broken up into granules and incorporated into materials for bulking, as long as they don't later separate out and end up in the oceans as micro granules. It's true not many people are going to be interested in recovering plastic from used nappies or saving the cling-film off a 3-week old pork pie, but those are exceptions. All through the history of technology there has been sub-plot of people who said: 'can't be done' or 'won't work'. People were saying that about renewable energy a few years ago, indeed some are still saying that. In the 1960's there were plenty of doubters on North Sea Gas . . . "You mean you're going to drill into the seabed to let out the gas? And let's suppose you do that, how would you capture it and get it back to land?"
    I dahn do non-judgement'aw. ... and put ya blinkin' shirt on mate, wiwya!

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperduck Quack Quack View Post
    All types of plastic could be recyclable in theory. Plastics that can be melted down and turned into new products are more readily recyclable that types that can't. But even the latter type (thermosetting) can be broken up into granules and incorporated into materials for bulking, as long as they don't later separate out and end up in the oceans as micro granules. It's true not many people are going to be interested in recovering plastic from used nappies or saving the cling-film off a 3-week old pork pie, but those are exceptions. All through the history of technology there has been sub-plot of people who said: 'can't be done' or 'won't work'. People were saying that about renewable energy a few years ago, indeed some are still saying that. In the 1960's there were plenty of doubters on North Sea Gas . . . "You mean you're going to drill into the seabed to let out the gas? And let's suppose you do that, how would you capture it and get it back to land?"
    Perhaps I should have said "currently not economically recyclable" . My point, which I thought reasonably clear, was that it would make matters easier if there was systematic design of containers that permitted economic recycling. It isn't just soiled items that are just unpleasant to recycle, many drinks cartons, for example, use laminates of paper, plastic and foil which, as is easy to imagine, are not at all easy to recycle. And the cost of separating the various types of containers using differing materials must ultimately be added to the costs we all have to pay one way or another. Many of the designs, if not all, food containers are driven as much by the need to make the product look distinctive and attractive as well as to aid the quality, life, ease of use etc. At present more weight is given to this than making the products eco-friendly as at present this does not impact the manufacturer. IMO this needs to change and making the manufactured cost of the item include the cost of recycling the resulting waste materials seems a fair way to do this.

    Technological sorting methods can involve disntinguishing material by their density (a sort of macro-mass spectrometer) but these do not work for composites or highly jumbled materials. Sorting is done manually and is not a pleasant job. The first pass by consumers is not wholly reliable.

    Speaking of ease of use, it is amazing how some containers that may look nice are almost impossible to open without destroying the contents (e.g. some biscuits). Meat products sometimes have labels such that opening the product tears up the cooking instructions (not that these are designed to look nice but rather it's just simple incompetence).

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    Perhaps I should have said "currently not economically recyclable" . My point, which I thought reasonably clear, was that it would make matters easier if there was systematic design of containers that permitted economic recycling. It isn't just soiled items that are just unpleasant to recycle, many drinks cartons, for example, use laminates of paper, plastic and foil which, as is easy to imagine, are not at all easy to recycle. And the cost of separating the various types of containers using differing materials must ultimately be added to the costs we all have to pay one way or another. Many of the designs, if not all, food containers are driven as much by the need to make the product look distinctive and attractive as well as to aid the quality, life, ease of use etc. At present more weight is given to this than making the products eco-friendly as at present this does not impact the manufacturer. IMO this needs to change and making the manufactured cost of the item include the cost of recycling the resulting waste materials seems a fair way to do this.

    Technological sorting methods can involve disntinguishing material by their density (a sort of macro-mass spectrometer) but these do not work for composites or highly jumbled materials. Sorting is done manually and is not a pleasant job. The first pass by consumers is not wholly reliable.

    Speaking of ease of use, it is amazing how some containers that may look nice are almost impossible to open without destroying the contents (e.g. some biscuits). Meat products sometimes have labels such that opening the product tears up the cooking instructions (not that these are designed to look nice but rather it's just simple incompetence).
    Excellent post Grumzed,and I sympathise,why does some packaging need the equivalent force of three to open? And the point about soiled items being recycled,isn't us washing them before putting them in the bin a waste of another resource?
    ( though why they think water a precious resource in Manchester it's always bloody raining)
    I saw some years ago where an inventor had developed a process using old tyres in road surfacing don't know what happened to that but we sure as hell need to do something.
    When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.

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    The throw away society,might have a made a few people very wealthy,but it seems now the plebs must pay the price.
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