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Plastic Doesn't Pollute Ė People Do

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Tim
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Responsibility
Tim   5/17/2012 6:39:35 AM
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There is a shared responsibility between manufacturers and consumers to produce product that will is good quality and not damaging to the environment.  If a manufacturer can make a product with less of a carbon footprint, they should do it.  On the other side, a consumer does have a responsibility of placing a plastic bottle in the correct container for recycling.

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Responsibility
Beth Stackpole   5/17/2012 8:11:27 AM
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@Tim. Couldn't have said it any better. It sickens me that in today's day and age, people think nothing of leaving plastic bottles around or hucking their fast-food trash out the window and leaving it roadside. I absolutely agree that the vendors have a responsibility to push for more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes. But no matter how much they innovate in this area, if people don't do what's right, all that material innovation is for naught.

GlennA
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Gold
Reality or Pessimism ?
GlennA   5/17/2012 10:00:03 AM
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"Do what's Right";  So how do you encourage responsibility ?  How about a deposit (tax) on plastic bottles to encourage recycling ?  What about a city having a recycling program ?  Actually you can't have a deposit system because that is a Government Regulation interfering with the Free Market System.  And Recycling Programs are bad because the is a wasteful Government Program.  When raw materials are cheaper than recycling, recycling doesn't happen (without Government intervention / encouragement).  And any school program that educates (indoctrinates) students about recycling is bad.  There is a significant segment of the American population that believes that the Earth was given to Man by God to use / consume.  And that only God, not Man nor Man's activities, can harm or destroy the Earth.

Jon Titus
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Blogger
Vendors share responsibility for recycling
Jon Titus   5/17/2012 12:31:18 PM
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About once a week my wife and I have lunch at a fast-food "restaurant" that serves a great salad in a plastic container. The restaurant has no separate recycling bins for this type of plastic or for cup lids, straws, etc.  What's the alternative, take the plastic home and recycle it?  Some people do that.  I'd like to see recycle bins available at places that sell consumables in recyclable packages.  We do have curb-side pick up of paper, plastics, metals, etc.  Sadly we do not have recycling (yet) for grass clippings and other materials that could go into a composting facility.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Reality or Pessimism ?
Ann R. Thryft   5/17/2012 1:56:28 PM
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It's true that consumer pressure is what's driven the plastics industry to find more ecologically friendly, sustainable alternative materials, such as bioplastics and recycled plastics, as well as processes for turning plastics into fuels, as DN has covered:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=240409
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=239662
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=239645
My upcoming May feature article will detail creating fuels from recycled plastics.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Reality or Pessimism ?
Rob Spiegel   5/17/2012 4:02:50 PM
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Sounds like plastic is getting cleaner. A lot of the legacy materials and systems are fighting to keep up with the new materials and systems. It's good to see. We're seeing stronger, lighter steel. Internal combustion engines that get great gas mileage, and plastic that breaks down quickly. Good developments.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Responsibility
Charles Murray   5/17/2012 5:07:02 PM
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I agree, Tim. Sure, there's a responsbility on the part of the consumer, but in many cases the consumer can't do it alone. As you so accurately point out, there's a shared responsibility.

ChasChas
User Rank
Gold
Re: Responsibility
ChasChas   5/18/2012 11:39:43 AM
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A lot of things that the family used to teach the children must now be taught in school because of the breakdown of the family structure. There should be graded courses to teach this pollution prevention stuff - it is every bit as important as math, reading etc.

Pollution stems from ignorance - once anyone truly understands - they are a convert, I don't care who it is.

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Plastic Polution
warren@fourward.com   5/18/2012 8:27:52 PM
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I have heard the siren call of the I-Hate-Plastic crowd for a while.  They have a foothold in San Francisco and some other places.  But I have often wondered why we haven't  changed plastic for a modern world?" They changed packaging peanuts to a corn-based substance.  Why not plastic bags, bottles, etc.?

It looks like this movement IS alive, at least in Italy.  I'm no fan of environmental Nazis, but I do think common sense can prevail.  Why not make the common items biodegradable, or at least re-convertible to energy?  It there a lack of engineering knowledge, affordable methods (back to an engineering problem), or is the change too expensive to make in this disaster of an economy?

Perhaps, like in most cases, where there is a problem, there is an opportunity.  Engineers search for opportunities.  That's how we get things done!

Sylvie Barak
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Blogger
Re: Plastic Polution
Sylvie Barak   5/18/2012 8:36:16 PM
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The problem gets even worse when it comes to so-called "bio-plastics" because then people think it's ok to just throw plastic wherever they please. Not all bio-plastics are fully bio-degradable. It's an education problem. People have to learn to not be gross.

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