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Banning plastics ‘could cause more damage to planet’

December 1, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

Hey-ho!

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An outright ban on plastics could lead to greater environmental damage, according to a group of academics.

Campaigners have called for reductions or bans in some areas, with recent programmes such as the BBC’s Blue Planet highlighting the impact of plastics on the world’s oceans.

A group of 40 academics from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh said they support the need to prevent potentially harmful environmental effects of plastics but arguments surrounding a reduction or ban are “often shortsighted and not based on facts”.

The group, which draws expertise from engineering, science, economics and social science, said there needs to be a “circular economy” for plastic usage.

They said replacing plastics with other available packaging, such as glass or metal, could lead to a doubling of global energy consumption and a tripling of greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor David Bucknall, chairman in materials chemistry from the university’s Institute of Chemical Sciences, said: “Almost everything we touch or interact with on a daily basis is made of or contains a plastic of some description.

“Banning or reducing their use would have a massive impact on the way we live.

“For instance, replacing plastics with alternative materials such as glass and metals would cost more to manufacture due to the energy consumed and resources – including water – required to process them.

“Furthermore, because plastics are lightweight, transportation of consumer goods in plastic packaging means fewer vehicles are required for transportation of those goods, therefore burning less fuel and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“So whilst some people may wish for plastics to be reduced or banned altogether, we need to ensure we are replacing them with materials that are better for the planet.

“In many cases there is no credible alternative to using a plastic so we need to move towards a ‘circular economy’ for plastics, rather than the largely ‘make-use-dispose’ model we currently adopt.”

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/banning-plastics-could-cause-more-000100980.html

 

Once again we are given a choice between a genuine environmental problem and the faux one of CO2 emissions.

We have had the diesel fiasco, the scandal of biofuels, polluting biogas projects, the lunacy of burning wooden pellets for electricity, all of the environmental problems associated with wind and solar farms, cobalt mining and goodness knows what else.

Whether plastics are a real environmental problem or not, reducing emissions of GHGs should not be a factor in decision making.

We might just as well all go back to living in the Middle Ages!

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8 Comments
  1. Sam Duncan permalink
    December 1, 2018 3:17 pm

    “For instance, replacing plastics with alternative materials such as glass and metals would cost more to manufacture due to the energy consumed and resources – including water – required to process them.”

    Gosh, it’s almost as if billions of individuals, basing their decisions on economic incentives, can come up with more efficient solutions that smartarse schemes dreamt up by scientists and bureaucrats, isn’t it? Indeed, it’s almost as if free-market capitalism were all about doing more with less.

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 1, 2018 3:30 pm

    The other big idea that will have the unintended consequence of halting recycling of plastic is that of developing a bio-degradable plastic. When that happens, plastics manufacturers will not want to use recycled plastics in their processes in case the finished items end up having unpredictable failures caused by structural degrading.

  3. Dave Ward permalink
    December 1, 2018 3:38 pm

    “We might just as well all go back to living in the Middle Ages!”

    Just what the Greens want – so long as THEY aren’t affected…

  4. December 1, 2018 3:39 pm

    Plastics are a miracle material. Without them we would all be living like the peasants of 200 years ago. Even the BBC agrees:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0978d4d

    • saparonia permalink
      December 1, 2018 6:36 pm

      Please define “peasants”

  5. saparonia permalink
    December 1, 2018 6:34 pm

    When I was a kid my mother used to go to the green grocers with a basket and nothing was wrapped, it was all fresh. There were farmers in those days, who raised livestock and butchers who sold fresh local meat and it was wrapped in paper. Fish and chips had a sheet of white paper and then several pages of newspaper, the best use for those that there has ever been. Of course we had fish then and fishermen who sailed in boats, we dont make boats anymore and have given all our fishing waters away.

  6. sixlittlerabbits permalink
    December 2, 2018 12:33 am

    What does the Middle Ages have to do with this. Wouldn’t there have been less pollution then?

  7. December 3, 2018 4:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Science is distorted by progressive philosophy.

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