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  1. #71
    Senior Member RangeBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1917 Enfield View Post
    when it comes to plastic bottles in the Atlantic, the culprit appears to be Chinese merchant vessels that are dumping their garbage and plastic recycling waste overboard.
    Hmm. I would have thought Pacific, because China is closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic.



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  2. #72
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangeBob View Post
    Hmm. I would have thought Pacific, because China is closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic.



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    Don't worry, there is still lots washing up in the Pacific too but this study focused on a remote Island in the south Atlantic ocean.

    They also maybe expect lots of land dumped plastic recycling waste to end up on Pacific islands and that makes the dumping at sea point harder to prove!
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  3. #73
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    M1917 Enfield wrote:
    So in the end it matters little who is doing it but the fact remains a huge amount of our recycling waste is (or was until very recently) being sent overseas (which you said in your above post mostly does not happen).
    I linked a CBC Marketplace test of recycling and GPS tracking, which demonstrated for their sample pallets the recycled waste is mostly being put into landfill here or incinerated.

    China is refusing the stuff now, as well as some other places. Everyone is searching for the golden recycling dump "over there" and the demand exceeds the capabilities, so now we have garbage rather than recycling for many of the categories.

  4. #74
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    I will think that we might as well burn all this plastic in efficient power plants to generate power and save some taxes. The way that I see it, we seem to be “recycling” at great cost, with little success at reusing the materials, all to give us good conscience and feel that we are doing our part...

  5. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By Cheb

    M1917 Enfield (11-30-2020), stevebc (11-30-2020)

  6. #75
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labradort View Post
    M1917 Enfield wrote:


    I linked a CBC Marketplace test of recycling and GPS tracking, which demonstrated for their sample pallets the recycled waste is mostly being put into landfill here or incinerated.

    China is refusing the stuff now, as well as some other places. Everyone is searching for the golden recycling dump "over there" and the demand exceeds the capabilities, so now we have garbage rather than recycling for many of the categories.
    But the Philippines, Malaysia and a number of other countries are currently filling the void China created when the stopped allowing recycling waste from western nations (they have way more than enough of their own).


    How our waste winds up in places like Malaysia and the Philippines

    The line from your blue bin to a container in a distant port

    Stephanie Hogan · CBC News · Posted: May 29, 2019

    For the second time in five weeks, an angry government in Asia is demanding Canada take back unwanted waste.

    First it was the Philippines — now Malaysia.

    Many Canadians have been surprised — and unhappy — to learn that Canada sends vast amounts of its recyclable waste overseas.

    They've been dutifully putting their plastic, glass and paper into the blue bin, believing they are doing the right thing for the environment. But the recycling process can be complicated, and the outcome isn't always as green as we might think.

    What happens to what I put in the blue bin?

    According to Myra Hird of the School of Environmental Studies at Queen's University, we don't really know.

    "People think that when they put something in their recycling bin, it's actually going to be recycled. But this is not the case."

    She said the waste might be recycled, but everything depends on market value. (More on that later.)

    You may be tossing your recyclables into a blue bin supplied by a municipal recycling program, but the municipal government's responsibility ends once the blue bin contents are sold to a recycling company. Waste and recycling is for the most part handled by private industry in Canada.

    Canadian recycling companies take the material from municipal programs and sort it, clean it and compress it into smaller cubes. Those cubes are then put up for auction.

    "[Municipalities] are only responsible for that first contract," said Hird. They need to know where the recycling and the waste first goes. After that, they're not responsible for knowing the rest of that chain."

    Who buys it?

    It might be bought by a Canadian company that will further process it into pellets that are sold to the plastics industry to be used in new products — such as pipes or plastic bags.

    But it could also be bought by a recycling broker who will sell it again — often to companies overseas who seek to make a profit from it. All perfectly legal. But, said Hird, hard to follow.

    G7 countries eye waste-to-energy incineration as part of plastic pollution solution

    "These brokers mean that these contracts can change hands several times between the source and the destination." And, she said, there is no accountability.

    For years, China was a huge market for the developed world's plastic waste, taking in about 45 per cent of the world's plastics waste since 1992. But last year, China announced it no longer wants it. Canada, and other countries, needed to find new markets.

    How is Canadian plastic waste ending up in Asian countries?

    "We don't like to keep our waste around," said Hird, "so we move it between regions. We transport recycling waste to the United States, to South Korea, to obviously, Malaysia, the Philippines and elsewhere."

    And while companies in those countries may be willing to buy it, governments in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam started to crack down late last year — imposing bans and stricter regulations.

    Companies buy recyclable waste, because they can make money on it. This is where market value comes in. But recycling, said Hird, is not a stable industry.

    "Something that we put in the recycling bin in January … that may get recycled if there's value in it, if there's a market in it." But if there's no market, she said, then by November or December, that same material might be put in landfill because there's no longer a significant profit to be made. Sometime companies get financial credits from governments for taking recycling waste.

    What's more, said Martin Vogt, president of Ontario-based company EFS-plastics, overseas companies do not always recycle all of what we send. "They're picking out the few good plastics, and that plastic will be recycled. But most of it ends up in the oceans, in landfills … and sometimes it's burned."

    How much does Canada recycle itself?

    Much less than you might think.

    "Canada recycles only nine per cent of the plastic that we use here in this country," according to Keith Brooks of Environment Defence.

    And Hird cautions that Canadians are not made aware of the costs of recycling. "Recycling means changing that material, which often involves significant transportation."

    She uses an example of polystyrene — a standard, versatile foam plastic used to make everything from food containers to protective packaging — that is collected in Kingston.

    "[It] gets shipped to northern Ontario using trucks that use non-renewable fossil fuels. It's then liquefied and made smaller, more compact, and then it's put on more trucks which are then taken to Montreal, which then are put on ships that go to the United States and go to South Korea. All of this for one more use for that polystyrene."

    Most styrofoam isn't recycled.

    So is recycling in Canada working?

    According to Brooks, not really.

    "We need to reduce the amount of plastic that we use. That means banning some plastic [by] the government. We need to hold producers responsible for this plastic ultimately — that's a really important thing. And we need government to take action to do that.

    In British Columbia, legislation shifted the onus of handling recycling onto the businesses that create the waste, something known as "extended producer responsibility." Recycle B.C, a non-profit, took responsibility for the province's waste recycling about five years ago. It works to keep contamination levels low, so its recycled products are usually higher quality, making them easier to sell.

    And Recycle B.C. spokesperson David Lefebvre told CBC News in April,"all of the plastic that's collected here in the province ends up here in B.C."

    Is there a solution?

    Vogt agrees the solution requires government involvement, but had a different take than Brooks.

    He said governments need to, "come out and say we need to have recycled content in our products in order to create the circle economy and basically get the industry going."

    But Brooks and Hird both say the real solution lies in reducing all waste, not relying on recycling.
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  7. #76
    Pirate King Edward Teach's Avatar
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    These 10 Rivers Likely the Source of Millions of Tons of Ocean Plastic


    Research reveals that rivers deliver up to 4 million metric tons of plastic debris to the sea every year, with up to 95% coming from just 10 of them.

    We are drowning the sea in plastic. The numbers are staggering and predictions dire: We dump the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute, plastic that has a life expectancy of thousands of years in the ocean. Some 700 species of marine wildlife are estimated to have ingested plastic; plastic will be found in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050. The encyclopedia of horrors centered around ocean plastic is epic.

    Questions about the source and amounts of ocean plastic have been vexing conservationists for years, and maybe even more so is the question of how to stem the prodigious flow. But now a new study may offer some clues.

    The researchers found that just 10 rivers may be responsible for dumping almost four million metric tons of plastic into the ocean every year. And thus, targeting those rivers could have a dramatic impact on reducing marine pollution.
    The research – conducted by scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Science – brings to light the importance of better management of upstream systems to reduce the significant proportion of plastic transferred via rivers, notes Tim Wallace at Cosmos Magazine.

    Previous research concluded that 1.15 to 2.41 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the ocean by way of rivers for a global total of 67 percent coming from 20 polluting rivers. By using a larger data set and separating particles by size, the new study found that rivers contribute even more: Between 410,000 and 4 million metric tons of ocean plastic a year, with 88 to 95 percent coming from only 10 polluting rivers.
    The ten rivers are:

    In East Asia:
    Yangtze
    Yellow
    Hai He
    Pearl
    Amur
    Mekong

    In South Asia:
    Indus
    Ganges Delta

    In Africa:
    Niger
    Nile

    And while this may all seem like rather dismal news, the (relative) bright side is tangible. Given that so much of the pollution is coming from just a few sources, managing that waste could have a big impact. The authors conclude: “Reducing plastic loads by 50% in the 10 top-ranked rivers would reduce the total river-based load to the sea by 45%.” Which would prove challenging in and of itself, but at least knowing where to aim some effort is a good start.

    https://www.treehugger.com/these-riv...lastic-4856305
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  8. #77
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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  9. #78
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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  10. #79
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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