Monday, 20 June 2011
What a waste!
Having worked in the plastics industry for many years, I have often wondered why plastic is viewed in such a negative way. Our highways agency are known as ‘plastic policemen’, ‘plastic people’ are phoney and disingenuous, and cars are rejected because of a ‘plasticy’ dashboard. So where did our extreme negativity towards plastics come from? Answer: the usual source of intolerance, anger and bigotry - a lack of understanding.
We often hear that plastics take ‘thousands of years to break down in landfill’. To solve this challenging problem you would have to ask an innocent five year old who would say: ‘Don’t put it in landfill then’.
A brilliant and simple solution! Why didn’t we realise that burying a reusable, versatile, critical raw material in the earth was not as good as reusing it and making it into something new that can be recycled again and again?
The fact is that plastic is an amazing material. It can be moulded into thousands of different and useful products and then, when we don’t want them anymore, it can be melted down and moulded again......and again, and again, and again.
It’s strong and water resistant; it can be flexible, rigid, soft, hard, coloured, textured or smooth. It clothes us, transports us, gives us shelter, and packages our food and drink. It is probably one of man’s greatest innovations.
Nevertheless, in Yorkshire alone, we put 90,000 tonnes of rigid plastic into landfill in 2007.
So why do we bury it in the earth? Shall we ask that five year old?
Posted by Iplas at 10:42