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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
@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.
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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.