Scientists Recommend Classifying Certain Plastic Waste As Toxic Trash

PLASTIC WORLD 3

An international group of scientists think it is time to consider categorizing some plastic waste as toxic according to a recent LA Times article. Considering the damage to the environment and the health hazards posed by plastic debris and plastic pollution, many believe this is about time.

The throwaway mentality of all things plastic including single-use plastic bags and bottles has burgeoned into an ecological disaster of monstrous proportions in the last 30 years. The tide of plastic debris that has spread throughout the world’s oceans and across every continent poses health hazards to wildlife, marine life and the world’s populace.

It isn’t just the plague of plastic choking the seas as far as the Artic, or the enormous costs of cleaning up our coastlines reaching $500 million annually on the west coast alone. It is having to deal with the unintended consequences of mindlessly tossing vast quantities into the environment without recycling.

Scientists, researchers and marine biologists have found:

  1. Mutant fish with toxins stored in their fats thought to be caused by two General Electric manufacturing plants along the Hudson River that produced PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) from 1947 to 1976.
  2. One third of the fish caught in the English Channel have plastic contamination.Researchers estimate that fish living at intermediate depths in the North Pacific swallow as much as 24,000 tons of plastic debris a year.
  3. Science Daily found BPA, or Bisphenol A,(used as a hardener in polycarbonate plastics and as the lining in food and beverage containers) has been linked to childhood obesity, along with adverse effects on the heart and kidneys of adolescents.
  4. The National Academy of Sciences just published a study conducted by Washington State University and recently reported on Fox News . The study found compelling evidence that Bisphenol A may negatively impact women’s reproductive systems, cause chromosome damage, birth defects and miscarriages.

Plastics do not biodegrade; they photodegrade, breaking down into smaller particles and microscopic bits in the oceans. These plastic bits and their chemical compounds find their way into the food chain as they are ingested by over 180 known marine species.

Degrading plastics leach toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A into the seas. Smaller fish and crustaceans mistake the plastic debris for food are then eaten by larger and larger species. Estimates are there are six times as much photodegraded plastic is in the oceans than is plankton!

Scientists are now calling for a similar approach to fighting plastic debris and pollution as has been used in the past to fight fluorocarbons and refrigerants worldwide. In particular, they want to classify PVC, polystyrene, polyurethane and polycarbonate as the most hazardous/toxic plastics.

The U.S. could take lessons from many countries when it comes to managing plastic trash, especially Japan where 77% of its plastic waste was recycled in 2010.

It should also be noted that Canada, the European Union, and China have banned BPA in some uses. The World Health Organization calls Bisphenol A a particularly dangerous chemical also linking it to cancer and birth defects.

A complete report on the damage done to the environment, entitled Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans, has been put together by Greenpeace. The 44 page report details the scale of contamination along with workable solutions.

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The Day Santa Wept; Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings

On the morning of December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza, woke up and killed his mother with one of the five guns she legally owned. After killing his mother,the troubled 20-year-old (described as a loner, a gamer with a personality disorder) took his mother’s…

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Poll: Is There a Plastic Bag Ban Coming to a City Near You?

Cities across the country are resorting to bans as a way to reduce the impact and harmful effects of single-use plastic bag. Los Angeles joins San Francisco, Toronto, Westport, Connecticut and the State of Hawaii, all with single-use bans in place.

In May 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve the banning of single-use plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines. The ban will be phased in over the next 16 months. Shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each.

Cities that have instituted these bans have seen a dramatic decrease in the damage single-use plastic bags cause our environment. How do you feel?


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More & More Reasons to Say No to Plastics

There are more and more reasons to Say No to Plastics. Most single-use plastic bags are used an average of 12 minutes by U.S. consumers, yet their real life span, unless recycled, is many hundreds of years. The plastic trash building up in our oceans is a ticking time bomb.

The statistics below are from a recent Huff Post Green article which asks, “Did you just eat a plastic bag?” For a more complete look view it here.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports the following data on plastic products in the American municipal waste stream for 2008 alone:

1. Plastic Plates and Cups: 780,000 tons were produced, and all 780,000 tons were discarded.
2. Plastic Trash Bags: 930,000 tons were produced, and all 930,000 were discarded.
3. Plastic Bags, Sacks and Wraps: 3,960,000 tons were produced. 9.8% was recovered (390,000). 3,570,000 tons were discarded.
4. “Other” non-durable goods including plastic disposable diapers, footwear and clothing: amounted to 4,810,000 tons produced with all 4,810,000 tons discarded.
5. PET Bottles and Jars: 2,680,000 tons were produced, 27.2 % were recovered (730,000 tons) and 1,950,000 tons were discarded.
6. HDPE (white translucent homopolymer bottles): 750,000 tons were produced, and 29.3 % (220,000 tons) were recovered. 530,000 tons were discarded.
7. “Other Plastic Packaging” including coatings, closures, lids, caps, clam shells, egg cartons, produce baskets, trays, shapes, and loose fill: 3,720,000 tons were produced. 3% (110,000 tons) were recovered, and 3 Million 610 Thousand Tons were discarded.

 

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Why Are the Feds Turning Off All TV & Radio Communications on November 9th?

On November 9, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, televisions and radios across the nation will broadcast a series of beeps followed by the message, “This is a test.”   will mark the first time that the federal government conducts a nationwide, “top-to-bottom”…

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Eleven Years After 9/11, What Really Happened to WTC Building 7?

This was written one year ago. Little as changed except the MSM continues to become less and less reliable as a source of news.  There simply is no reason to believe anything the MSM puts out there as factual. The media can no longer…

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FEDS RAID GIBSON USA; INTIMIDATION OF REPUBLICAN OWNED COMPANY BY OBAMA’S INJUSTICE DEPARTMENT

In the current case, the government said even if India says Gibson is not violating their laws, our government has interpreted it as a violation of their laws.     The Obama Administration’s recent raid on Gibson USA on August 24th may have…

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Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, He’s a Jerk!

One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, or so says former Vice President Al Gore, flame thrower and global warming terrorist. I can’t believe I once voted for this guy, defended him on occasion when I thought…

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HOW TO SWITCH FROM PLASTIC BAGS TO REUSABLES

Earth Day 2012 is a great time to step back and finally stop using those plastic bags you know are so harmful to our environment. Convenience is no longer a reason to justify using a product that essentially lives forever, never biodegrading.

Plastic manufacturers estimate that the average person in this country uses 500 plastic grocery bags per year! This is a stunning number to say the least considering the amount of time each bag is used to carry something.

Now that you’ve made the decision to stop using plastic bags you will need to determine how many reusable bags are right for your family. A minimum of 4 or 5 reusable bags per household vehicle is a good starting point.

Most grocery, drug, and big box stores sell them for 99 cents apiece, a small investment that brings exceptional benefits for the environment.

Consider a small foldable reusable bag to take with you in your purse. It will come in handy for quick trips to the store.

The hardest part of switching from plastic to reusable bags is remembering to bring your bags when you shop! It may take several weeks for you in integrate this new habit into your shopping routine and life style.

Purchasing a Bagnesia steering wheel wrap to trigger your memory to bring those bags with you before you shop will make the switch infinitely easier. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. We all forget.

Here’s a great tip. Make sure you put your reusable bags back in your car as soon as your groceries are put away. Trust me, the likelihood you will remember to take your bags with you (the ones you left in the kitchen on a table or on a chair), is remote.

Once you start using reusable bags you will find yourself wanting to do more. You will need to establish new routine for handling all that plastic you bring home with you from the grocery store. All those plastic bottles, egg cartons, plastic wrap from food stuffs, packaging surrounding batteries and other hard goods need to be collected and recycled.

I keep a separate bin for collecting the plastic trash that comes into my home every time I shop. I have a plan in place for recycling the plastic trash and keeping it separate from the trash collected by the city.

The last part of your new program concerns recycling all that plastic trash you and your family will collect every week. If your city or town has a separate collection program for plastic in all its forms, great. If not, consideration will have to be given to bringing back the plastic for collection at a recycling point.

Publix has plastic collection bins in front of their stores, but only for certain kinds of plastic.  Harry’s (Whole Foods) has the best plastic collection program allowing for all types of plastics including plastic bottles.

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