1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Plastic - What's The Problem?

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by nPeace, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    Plastic Pollution: How Humans are Turning the World into Plastic


    Rethinking the future of plastics
    Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean – which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. Estimates suggest that plastic packaging represents the major share of this leakage. The best research currently available estimates that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastics in the ocean today. In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).


    Plastics can remain in the ocean for hundreds of years in their original form and even longer in small particles, which means that the amount of plastic in the ocean cumulates over time.

    Why Are Microplastics dangerous?
    ...the biggest problems are microplastic. They are mistaken for food by marine animals and ingested. They block the digestive system of animals and result in low levels of oxygen and consequently result in reduced energy levels. Some plastics are so tiny that they embed in the animal tissues. They are passed across the food chain, and some find their way to humans. Microplastics find their way to humans through ingestion or respiration. Today, the sources of microplastics are so essential to humans that we cannot live without them. The best alternative to controlling microplastic remains proper handling of plastic and thorough treatment of wastewater.

    The massive problem of microplastics
    Microplastics are particularly problematic, and as the life cycle comes full circle, it is feared that they could bring adverse impacts for humans too.

    Although previous studies have calculated that Europeans could ingest as many as 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic a year, through consuming seafood or accidentally eating bits of packaging, it has never been proven until now.

    Microplastics found in human stools for the first time
    Study suggests the tiny particles may be widespread in the human food chain
    Pressure for action is growing. Earlier this year the European parliament voted for an EU-wide ban on microplastics in cosmetics. The European commission has also proposed a ban on single-use plastic products such as cotton buds and plastic straws and urged member countries to put the onus of cleaning up waste on producers in an effort to clean up oceans. By 2025, European nations are supposed to collect 90% of single-use plastic drink bottles.

    Several nations have banned plastic bags completely, and a growing number of cities, including many in the US, are discussing moves to ban straws and other single-use items.
    Following this lead, the British government on Monday announced a consultation on proposals to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds, which can turn into microplastics as they break down. The ban is expected to come into force by October 2020.

    Critics, however, say such measures are late and inadequate to deal with a problem that has reached epic proportions.


    We Know Plastic Is Harming Marine Life. What About Us?
    All over the world, researchers like Magadini are staring through microscopes at tiny pieces of plastic — fibers, fragments, or microbeads — that have made their way into marine and freshwater species, both wild caught and farmed. Scientists have found microplastics in 114 aquatic species, and more than half of those end up on our dinner plates. Now they are trying to determine what that means for human health.
    .....
    Experiments show that microplastics damage aquatic creatures, as well as turtles and birds: They block digestive tracts, diminish the urge to eat, and alter feeding behavior, all of which reduce growth and reproductive output. Their stomachs stuffed with plastic, some species starve and die.
    In addition to mechanical effects, microplastics have chemical impacts, because free-floating pollutants that wash off the land and into our seas — such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals — tend to adhere to their surfaces.


    Chelsea Rochman, a professor of ecology at the University of Toronto, soaked ground-up polyethylene, which is used to make some types of plastic bags, in San Diego Bay for three months. She then offered this contaminated plastic, along with a laboratory diet, to Japanese medakas, small fish commonly used for research, for two months. The fish that had ingested the treated plastic suffered more liver damage than those that had consumed virgin plastic. (Fish with compromised livers are less able to metabolize drugs, pesticides, and other pollutants.) Another experiment demonstrated that oysters exposed to tiny pieces of polystyrene — the stuff of take-out food containers — produce fewer eggs and less motile sperm.
    The list of freshwater and marine organisms that are harmed by plastics stretches to hundreds of species.
    .........
    Studying the impacts of marine microplastics on human health is challenging because people can’t be asked to eat plastics for experiments, because plastics and their additives act differently depending on physical and chemical contexts, and because their characteristics may change as creatures along the food chain consume, metabolize, or excrete them. We know virtually nothing about how food processing or cooking affects the toxicity of plastics in aquatic organisms or what level of contamination might hurt us.
    The good news is that most microplastics studied by scientists seem to remain in the guts of fish and do not move into muscle tissue, which is what we eat. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in a thick report on this subject, concludes that people likely consume only negligible amounts of microplastics — even those who eat a lot of mussels and oysters, which are eaten whole. The agency reminds us, also, that eating fish is good for us: It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and fish contain high levels of nutrients uncommon in other foods.

    That said, scientists remain concerned about the human-health impacts of marine plastics because, again, they are ubiquitous and they eventually will degrade and fragment into nanoplastics, which measure less than 100 billionths of a meter—in other words, they are invisible. Alarmingly these tiny plastics can penetrate cells and move into tissues and organs. But because researchers lack analytical methods to identify nanoplastics in food, they don’t have any data on their occurrence or absorption by humans.

    Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals
    Exclusive: Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted
    The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.


    Bottled water may not provide a microplastic-free alternative to tapwater, as the they were also found in a few samples of commercial bottled water tested in the US for Orb.

    New test results: Bottled water is LESS healthy than tap water
    You could be doing more harm than good by choosing “pure and natural” bottled water over tap water, as new figures reveal some bottled water contain dangerous levels of acid.

    SCIENTIST RECENTLY FOUND 24,520 HORMONE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS IN BOTTLED WATER.
    German researchers have just published a study in the respected journal PLoS One finding nearly 25,000 chemicals in bottled water. And some of those chemicals act like potent pharmaceuticals in your body.

    Researchers identify endocrine-disrupting chemical in bottled water
    Identification of Putative Steroid Receptor Antagonists in Bottled Water: Combining Bioassays and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry

    Can man solve the problem...?

    Can plastic roads help save the planet? BBC News


    Zero Mass' solar panels turn air into drinking water

    Clean, Perfected Water for Petros Primary School

    Lesson: Oh, be careful little hands what you do. [​IMG]
    Act wisely, and be safe all. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    7,166
    Ratings:
    +5,762
    Religion:
    Humanist
    What really annoys me is the excess packaging.

    You buy 4 apples they are in a polystyrene tray and wrapped in plastic. !!!! What is wrong with them being loose and you put them in paper bags?

    Even worse you buy a 4 pack of (say) baked beans and they are shrink wrapped in plastic.

    Why are the likes of cucumbers wrapped in plastic - they come with a built in packaging.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    It's sad that not many people or countries even care. It's not like they personally have to deal with it, it's always someone else's problem.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    19,489
    Ratings:
    +12,347
    Religion:
    Druidry
    You posted this in religious debates. Was that intentional? I'm not seeing a religious debates angle presented in the OP.
     
  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Not banned yet.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    144,428
    Ratings:
    +39,650
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    Plastics are a wonderful engineering material.
    But I loathe throwing it away.
    When I shop, I bring my own containers so that I don't use the free plastic bags.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    Good points.
    Why is our food wrapped in poison?
    I remember the good old days when Paper Bag was not a bad word.
    But guess what? They are now bringing back the Paper Bag.
     
  7. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    Eventually it becomes everybody's problem. Even the filthy rich suffer the consequences.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    Sorry. I'm not sure where is appropriate. Could you move it to the appropriate forum please. Thanks.
     
  9. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    Cardboard boxes?
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Not banned yet.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    144,428
    Ratings:
    +39,650
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    I like those.
    - Reuse them.
    - Burn them for heat.
    - Give them to my customers.
    - Recycle them.
    - Make houses for my cats.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity What Does the Fox Say?
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    24,411
    Ratings:
    +7,385
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian almost quaker
    We're sitting beneath a piano suspended over our heads, but we are also standing on a trap door. There enormous volumes of toxic gases beneath the crust of the Earth. Consider all of the oil under the seafloor which could be released by a natural disaster and kill every thing. Life is fragile. We need systems in place to manage if it there is a geological disaster, and pollution is only one possible trigger. Let the pollution crisis be the warning that gets us ready for the worse ones that are on the way.

    We need systems in place -- rapid mechanical systems, chemical agents and biomanufacturing facilities that can clean things up quickly if something goes wrong. We also need trained AI robotic systems (ooh scary) that can pick through soil, garbage, sand and seawater and take out everything that doesn't belong.
     
  12. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    12,546
    Ratings:
    +8,530
    Religion:
    None
    I won't buy anything pre wrapped in plastic. when selecting food i place it in paper bags*. Once checked out its packed into wicker and hessian shopping bags.

    And i am not alone, i have noticed the trend increasing. Supermarkets, shops, market stall holders are dumping plastic bags in favour of paper*. The government has banned single use plastic bags, but still the heavy duty plastic 'bag for life' is available.

    Small steps and a long way to go but at last in france progress is being made.

    * Except for fresh fish, the stallholder must seal it in a leak proof bag which no other packaging is available.
     
  13. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
    That's a lot of steps, and a looooooooooooooooong way to go... but it's a start, I suppose.
    Apparently the plastic bags are a fraction of the problem.
    Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world. In 2015, Americans purchased about 346 bottles per person - 111 billion plastic beverage bottles in all.

    Then there are the cheap threads.

    [​IMG]
    A magnified image of clothing microfibres from washing machine effluent. One study found that a fleece jacket can shed as many as 250,000 fibres per wash. Photograph: Courtesy of Rozalia Project

    [​IMG]
    This planktonic arrow worm, Sagitta setosa, has eaten a blue plastic fibre about 3mm long. Plankton support the entire marine food chain. Photograph: Richard Kirby/Courtesy of Orb Media
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15,053
    Ratings:
    +7,454
    Religion:
    Atheist
    We just got rid of the free plastic bags here. Took a while, and (weirdly) the amount of packaging around basic food stuffs like apples has not raised much of an eyebrow yet.
     
  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15,053
    Ratings:
    +7,454
    Religion:
    Atheist
    This is a pretty interesting little series for anyone who wants to see both the reality of the problems and some of the potential solutions...or improvements...that are already possible, and being practically done in some locations...

    Our Focus: War on Waste - ABC
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Not banned yet.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    144,428
    Ratings:
    +39,650
    Religion:
    Bokononism
  17. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Messages:
    3,717
    Ratings:
    +1,015
    Religion:
    Follower of Christ
  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Not banned yet.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    144,428
    Ratings:
    +39,650
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    Experts are allowed to guess too.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
Loading...