The scam of “Recycling organized by Local Governments”, part 2: Recycling Plastics

The scam of “Recycling organized by local governments”, part 2: Recycling Plastics.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No. 3xx).

Greenies promotes recycling of plastic objects but that is only wishful thinking.

#recycling plastic,

1. Requirements for successful recycling of plastic objects.

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There are two types of plastics: thermoplastic can be melted into other shapes and thermoset plastics that have molecular cross links and cannot be melted again.

Most used thermo plastic are assigned recycling type numbers:

1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) …
2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) …
3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) …
4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) …
5 – PP (Polypropylene) …
6 – PS (Polystyrene)
7 – Other types of plastics including acrylic, polycarbonate, nylon,…

([2a]. https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/) gives an overview of various uses of these different types of thermoplastics.

Type 2 is safe and can be recycled but only 20% of it has been. Type 3 may have problems with toxicity.

2. Requirements for successful recycling of plastic objects.

Domestic bins for recyclable plastic objects currently accept only food and drink containers.

Plastic food or drink containers should have no food residue.

Plastic containers should have their paper labels removed.

Each type of plastic should be separated from others and sent to its appropriate re-cycle rs.

The problem is that the triangular symbol showing the material type for each container is very small and the container usually weights only 5g. How sorting can be carried out if spoil food remains in some containers and the whole lot of containers have become smelly and the surrounding air unhealthy? How can any sorting plant do its jobs? Will there be some scanners reading the recycling codes? Can the code still be read if the container had been squashed? What is the risk of having wrong labeling placed on imported containers?

By now it is seen that cleaning and sorting plastic containers are neither easy nor cheap and recycling operation is limited to food containers.

3. Requirements for successful marketing objects made from recycled plastics.

-Quality of products.

The problems of recycled materials include the variability of properties, that makes them unsuitable for demanding or high-precision applications. Even for daily applications with simple demands (e.g. park benches should not break under the weight of users, bags and strings should be tough), their applicability is also in question.

-Toxicity of products.

Even for space filling purpose like filling foundation of pavements and buildings, no toxic chemical should leach out of the product. This is a tough requirement as plastic items for recycling come from various countries with various manufacturing processes using various catalysts and additives.

-Insurance of makers.

In the litigious culture of English speaking countries, product liability insurance would be outrageously expensive for items made from recycled plastics.

Currently some products have been actually produced from recycled plastic and have been marketed [3].

4. Who benefit from the “recycling plastic” catch phrase.

-First beneficiaries would be the greenies pushing their political agendas.

-Next would be the empire building local governments and their elected representatives. Many treacherous “elected representatives” only use the catch phrase to give themselves wasteful oversea junkets (study trips). The studies if ever needed should be carried out by permanent council employees in charge of rubbish removal, not by transient elected representatives.

-The largest beneficiaries would be plastic manufacturers. They can externalize the cost of disposal of their product with that simple catch phrase. So they go on and produce even more unnecessary plastic products (bottles for “bottled water”, container boxes for onions, garlic bulbs, plastic knives, forks, plates, utensils, …)

-the worst sufferers would be the environment and and the people.

The only sorting plant ([4]. http://www.skmrecycling.com/) for the whole of City of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) has gone bankrupt [5,6,7]. This shows that it is impossible to achieve high grade waste separation at low cost as promised by greenies.

5. Conclusion.

“Recycling plastics” is only a catch phrase to benefit greenies, “elected local representatives” and the plastic manufacturing industry. The industry externalizes the cost of disposal of its products with that simple catch phrase.

The “representatives of local governments” have been using the catch phrase to engage in oversea junkets (study trips) with no visible solution to recycling in the horizon [8,9,10,11]. Local governments should have used the unproductive money to perfect the recycling system which existed prior to the “Recycling organized by local governments”.

References:

[1]. The scam of “Recycling organized by local governments”.

[2]. https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/

[3]. https://www.onyalife.com/recycled-plastic-products/

[4]. http://www.skmrecycling.com/

[5]. https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-02/skm-recycling-declared-insolvent-by-supreme-court-of-victoria/11377446?pfmredir=sm

[6]. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/china-has-stopped-accepting-our-trash/584131/

[7]. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/what-a-load-of-rubbish-is-piling-up-in-asia/news-story/d9f12c4896930cd3a4b5643524804468

[8]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/dandenong-councillor-slammed-plans-for-a-council-delegation-to-china-but-goes-on-the-trip/news-story/732d86b69232ab3d2cd0331df37ef43a

[9]. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/doyle-gets-a-kick-out-of-chinese-20111013-1lmyf.html

[10]. https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/holiday-junket-its-just-another-5287187

[11]. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1525692/Defra-officials-join-three-day-waste-disposal-junket-in-Germany.html

Added after 2019 Aug 08:

[12]. https://martalivesinchina.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/reducing-plastic-waste-ii-more-ideas/

[13]. https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-17/recycling-piles-up-as-tasmanian-councils-look-for-solution/11424258?pfmredir=sm

[14]. http://paulmarkillie.com/2019/07/26/on-the-plastic-highway/

[15]. https://m.stonington-ct.gov/special-acts-and-local-ordinances/pages/recycling

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