Recycle plastic bottles, is it really green? Things are not as simple, unfortunately..
That we threw it, or we recycle it, the impact of a plastic bottle will be bad on the environment. Obviously, recycling is preferable, but the best is still to not producing it. In the case of bottle of water, the best alternative, from an environmental point of view, is clearly to prefer tap water or reusable bottles. Want a proof.. Follow me..
Since the 80s, most bottles of water are made of plastic PET (Polyethylene terephthalate). This plastic has the advantage of being extremely moldable, lightweight compared to glass and PVC used previously. In general, that bottles will be produced in bottling plant, or rather blown into their final form from pre-forms. These pre-forms come from plants specialized in plastic production, which produce from ball of plastic (pellets). These plants are often found near the fossil energy sources (natural gas), such as the Middle East or Asia.
The plastic PET is produced from oil and natural gas, both non-renewable fossil fuels. The two basic materials that enter into the composition of this type of plastic are terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG), two toxic chemicals derived from petroleum, which the extraction itself is polluting. As discussed below, the rate from recycled resin in the manufacture of new bottles is either zero or very low. Each year, we therefore need an incredible amount of new resin for the production of bottles (several tens of billion bottles per year). The Pacific Institute has calculated that to produce plastic for this bottle of water consumed in the United States in 2006, it took 1 million metric tons of PET and 17 million barrels of oil.
In addition, the production and refining of the resin thus require a lot of energy but also generate significant toxic emissions. In fact, to produce a PET bottle 16oz., it generates, 100 times more toxic emissions into the air and water, compared to the production of a bottle of the same size in glass.
Beyond the amount already used for the production of plastic bottles, it's at the time of recycling, that their impact is even more important, especially when we realize the huge number of these bottles, even if, in reality, only a small percentage of bottles consumed will be recycled. In the United States, an estimated of 86% of plastic bottles are thrown, and therefore buried, incinerated, or found almost everywhere in the environment, on land and in water. On 10 bottles sold, 8-9 end up in landfills. Of the 29 billion bottles sold in 2007, this equates to 22 billion, or 20 million bottles a day!
Therefore, a majority of plastic bottles end up in landfill. The plastic decomposes very slowly, and it's estimated that it will take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to be deteriorated. Meanwhile, the chemical components that escape pollute groundwater, which are used especially for capturing water bottling. We also found that many of the bottles that are found in the environment eventually reach the sea, and will grow huge pile of plastic waste, such as the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean. Bottles floating in the water photo-degrade into tiny pieces that are eaten by fish and birds and eventually, fill their stomachs, causing their death. The use, therefore of recycled bottles in the industry, unfortunately will also affect the lives of the poor animals that die in atrocious conditions..
Well, well! What happens to plastic bottles that are still recovered and recycled? In fact, they rarely return in the production of new bottles. The main reason is that plastic, unlike glass and metal, are not recycled endlessly. In fact, the plastic is a material which becomes brittle and loses its structure when heated rapidly. The plastic bottles cannot therefore simply not contain a large percentage of recycled resin.
This recovered plastic (as well as paper) is often not recycled in our country, but sent to Asia. Thanks to cheaper labor and enormous needs for packaging, the price per tonne offered by Asia is higher than that obtained here. Local bottlers who want to include recycled resin in their containers will have to look for very far. These transports therefore incur extra energy costs and generate gas emissions greenhouse.
If the rising price of oil and gas has made more attractive the recycled resin compared to the use of virgin resin, the financial and economic crisis has had the effect of greatly undermined the value of recycled materials. This requires that we avoid to think that recycling is the miracle solution. Collection, landfill, sorting, recycling, all these operations require energy and emit greenhouse gas emissions. If recycling is the least 'bad' way to reduce the use of our non-renewable resources, the industry continues to focus on growing the single-use bottles, making the plastic bottles occupy an increasing share of more growing volume of waste to be treated.
The only solution is the reduction and multiple re-filling. Everything else can only lead to a dead end..
Batteries don't need to be bad for the environment. A team at the University of Maryland thinks a safer wood battery could be the future.
Jacques Macaire's insight:
The most common rechargeable batteries today are based on lithium-ion technology. In these cells, lithium ions carry the current by moving from the negative to positive electrode. That discharges the stored power and your cell phone or Tesla Roadster gets the necessary juice. The concept is the same with the wood-based battery designed by Hongli Zhu’s group. However, it relies on sodium instead of lithium....
Despite the severe budget cuts facing many middle-class programs, the five biggest oil companies continue to rake in tens of billions of dollars in profits, while still receiving unnecessary and wasteful tax breaks.
Given the sordid environmental history of oil and gas development that has already occurred across the U.S., NRDC is extremely concerned about the additional harmful environmental, health and safety impacts that oil and gas development of this magnitude will bring in the future. Since it has been reported that more than ninety percent of oil and gas wells are fracked, there is a lot of new fracking slated for our future—tens of millions of acres of new fracking. Clean air, clean water, healthy communities, wildlands and wildlife habitat are all threatened.
Four years ago, Marcus Fairs of Dezeen wrote a book on Green design in which he started with a very good definition : Green design can loosely be defined in terms of a set of objectives: to reduce the use of nonrenewable resources, both in the manufacturing process and in the finished object or building itself; to enhance the lives not just of users but also of everyone in the supply chain; and to minimize the environmental impact of the product or building during and after its useful life...
Privacy is on everyones' minds in the U.S. since revelations about the NSA exploded. You can't talk on the phone about some casual pot smoking anymore without your friend making the, "Hi NSA!" joke. And apparently for good reason.
Coke, Pepsi and Nestle each gave more than $1 million to the Grocery Manufacturers Association to fund the campaign against I-522, the Washington initiative to mandate labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms.
Island teen’s flashlight a bright idea, powering her into final at global science fair
Jacques Macaire's insight:
Ann Makosinski, a high school junior in Victoria, British Columbia, was trying to think of a way of harvesting untapped energy when she was inspired to make the flashlight. She realized that the warmth generated by the human body was an overlooked energy source. Iits' like this that a 15-year-old girl in Canada has invented a flashlight that only needs the warmth of the hand to turn on...
SHELL and GOLDMAN SACHS, have elected worst companies of the year, for their human rights violations and their serious environmental crimes. Indeed, the deregulation of global markets has significantly expanded the range of transnational corporations. And this change came so rapidly that national laws don't have time, for now, to react properly. The restraint or social/environmental commitment promised by companies is often only print on glossy reports. It is more important than ever to remind companies of their social and environmental responsibilities, and seek legal framework at the international level, to force them to have responsible practices.
I grew up in a world where my future seemed to be happier than my parents, but now I fear that our dreams of a better world are in the process of disappearing, in favor of a political, social and ecological regression. Worse. The predators who organized this tragedy have the cynicism to present this sad result as the new face of progress. And too happy to receive anything that will remove our stress, we persuade ourselves that we have improved our lives. Voluntary servitude, destruction of the planet, obscene greed of a system that destroys our lives. Wherever we look, we can only say that we take the opposite direction of what we previously called "progress."
A new report by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme – the Government Defence Anti-corruption Index – assesses what countries do, and fail to do, to counter corruption in their defence sectors. Corruption in the defence industry corrodes national security, good governance, and responsible budgeting. But countries can put in place proper protocols to mitigate, if not wholly prevent, the scourge of corruption.
An explosion in extreme wealth and income is exacerbating inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, Oxfam warned today in a briefing published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.
Best-selling French writer, veteran diplomat and concentration camp survivor Stephane Hessel, whose work inspired protest movements worldwide, has died aged 95. He said that we should always hope.. Always hope, even when there is nothing to believe.. The author of "TIME FOR OUTRAGE" has left us, but I'm sure he would have liked that we remember him, as one who has been able to show you, the need to change and to learn from the devastating mistakes of the power of money. In any case, I'm sure he will not stop, and will continue to push others to change on their clouds..
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