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Questions tagged [plastic]

A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, but many are partially natural.

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Any succesful initiatives for packaging material reuse?

I find that we are having more and more things delivered as opposed to buying in stores. This winter a few cardboard boxes with 10kg of oranges, several books, and just this week a fridge. I was ...
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How to sell shredded plastic in the UK?

I would like to purchase a shredding machine in order to shred plastic myself, I was wondering if there were any standards I'd need to watch out for and where I could find businesses willing to ...
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Plastic VS carton VS glass VS tin— harm to environment

There are some liquid food products (say juice or soda), that can come in packing made of different materials (plastic, carton, glass, tin), while the content is identical. These differ in monetary ...
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In the UK, is it ok to recycle plastic food packaging along with carrier bags?

I live in the UK and do most of my groceries shopping online. At the same time I collect my order I can also hand back to the driver all carrier bags from my previous order (which is great). Some ...
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What actually happens to LDPE Type 4 plastic when it is recycled?

When LDPE Type 4 plastic used in plastic wrapping is recycled, what is it used for?
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What percentage of LDPE Type 4 plastic that you hand in to be recycled is in fact recycled?

What percentage of LDPE Type 4 plastic that you hand in to be recycled is in fact recycled into something useful? I ask this because I read that China stopped accepting plastic to be recycled ...
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Is there any Pellet molder alternative?

Our groupmates have a research topic that includes making a plastic pellet. We have to think of an alternative way to produce plastic pellets out of melted HDPE plastic bags since we're still students ...
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61 views

Nike water bottle breakdown?

So many know that single use plastic water bottles break down with repeated use. Well the other day, I decided to buy a reusable water bottle. I am on a budget and picked up a Nike Hyperfuel 32oz. Its ...
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What's the impact of throwing plastic in the bin?

There's a lot of fuss about reducing plastic usage, and one of the main reasons seems to be that otherwise it will end up in the environment, particularly the ocean. But if I dispose of the plastic ...
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Ongoing source of distilled/filtered water for humidifiers

My family has several table-top humidifiers (the cool-mist/nebulizer kind) in the house that we use a lot during the winter. Distilled water is recommended for using in humidifiers because the ...
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Is burning PVC with municipal waste 'acceptable' nowadays?

I started to write a comment under the question Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards? about the dangers of burning PVC, because this can lead to dangerous chlorine compounds in the ...
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Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards?

I have about 10 credit cards which I ended up not using for various reasons and I feel bad for having to throw them away in the trash, this is the case for many other things, but seems quite ...
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Can garbage trucks crush empty but closed plastic bottles?

Empty plastic bottles are often dumped carelessly without being flattened but the cap on. I assume no human can flatten such a 1.5l bottle (see example image), but can a garbage truck? I want to ...
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What ecofriendly well paying jobs in deep learning are there?

I'm currently learning how to train and use neural networks, as I've heard getting into this field would be worthwhile from the people at https://80000hours.org/ Is there any application of this ...
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214 views

What are crisp packets made from?

What are crisp packets made from, specifically Tyrrells or Walkers. I am doing a school project on single use plastic crisp packets. I am finding it difficult to find information online.
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Is Polyacrylamide a material used to make microbeads?

I found a face scrub that states Polyacrylamide as an ingredient. Should I avoid it because Polyacrylamide is used to make the microbeads?
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Paper plates vs plastic plates in the landfill

I avoid using disposable plates as much as possible, but there are situations where that's not an option, such as at company events. And in those situations, I'm sometimes faced with deciding between ...
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Freezing Ice Pops Sustainably

When storing ice pops for retail customers, I need to package them in a freezer-safe ,clear wrapping. I would like for it to be compostable, but apparently the compostable cellophane options are not ...
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4answers
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Alternatives to bottled water in the UK

I live in Devon, and tap water in my household does not taste consistently. When I moved in my current property, the neighbours warned me that they had been buying bottled water since 20 years, ...
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Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

Apparently China has been processing about half the world's waste until this year, and most of that waste is transported over the ocean in large container ships. Recycling plastic uses less energy and ...
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How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

There are many photos of the ocean, which in some parts is littered with all sorts of waste, often plastic bags, containers etc. I just wonder - how do such large amounts of plastic land in the ocean/...
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989 views

How many times can plastic be recycled?

This answer to another question brought up the point that "recycling" of plastic is often more accurately "downcycling." From Wikipedia: Downcycling, also referred to as cascading, describes the ...
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1answer
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Non-Biodegradable Glitter

How can I dispose of a box full of non-biodegradable glitter in an ecologically friendly way? Everything i read about melting or burning plastic gives me conflicting information about toxins and i don'...
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Which is more sustainable for eyewear/spectacles : Glass lenses or Fiber-plastic lenses?

I am about to get my first pair of spectacles. From where I am, glass lenses need a frame. Fiber-plastic lenses can be frameless. It's well known Fiber lenses are much more durable and longlasting. ...
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141 views

Is it worth washing a plastic bag to reuse it?

As I ask myself the question and start thinking about it, I realise it might be obvious that it is worth it. But I thought I'd ask anyway as someone might have a nice analysis to share. The other day,...
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Are biscuit wrappers (the shiny looking ones) recyclable ? Can I dump them in regular dry waste collecting containers? [duplicate]

Recurring waste has been a recurring theme in my questions about waste management. Want to ensure recyclability or reduce waste in everyday use. Are these biscuit wrappers recyclable ? A ...
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Are talcum powder tins more sustainable than the ones that come in plastic boxes?

I was shopping and as a trial, I bought a talcum powder in a tin container instead of the usual ones that comes packaged in a plastic box. The material looks like a tin, although one cannot tell from ...
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260 views

Best type of recyclable plastic to melt into a clay mold to produce a small figurine

What would be the best type of plastic to melt into a clay mold, to produce a small figurine, something that a person would have normally, already in their household - such as soda bottles, milk ...
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What is the real impact of the new Adidas collection made with recycled plastic bottles?

Adidas has a new collection made with recycled plastic bottles recovered from the oceans. I have been trying to find the real environmental impact of this collection but it has been difficult to ...
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482 views

Pure Plastic vs Biodegradable Plastic

I've been reading around (here, here, here and here) and I can't really find an answer to this question: is it better to throw, for example, dog poop, inside a pure plastic bag or use biodegradable ...
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1answer
106 views

Organic or packaging free food?

If I face the choice of organic, packaged food and non-organic non-packaged food - which is more sustainable? http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/ tells me the negative impact of packaging is twice as big in ...
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2answers
854 views

How many times do you need to use a cheap re-usable bag to offset its impact?

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argues that many re-usable grocery bags are made using more oil than old-fashioned "single-use" plastic grocery bags. This makes sense, as quite a bit more ...
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96 views

Melting of plastics in absence of air [closed]

Kindly advice me whether melting of plastic in absence of air produce harmful fumes or other chemicals? Whether it is a safer practice compared to normal melting?
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1answer
472 views

Is fleece clothing a cheap and sustainable alternative to conventional cotton?

I was wondering whether fleece clothing is a good, cheap and above all sustainable alternative to conventional cotton, which uses a lot of pesticides and takes a lot of water to grow. The other ...
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1answer
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Should we leave all fossil fuels in the ground and not use them?

I get the feeling that there is such a strong backlash against fossil fuels that there is an irrational movement to purge them completely. Maybe because people are transferring their worries about ...
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Why can't black plastic be recycled?

My local council now takes most types of plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays in the recycling bin. But they specifically exclude black plastic containers. Is there a reason for this? Why can't ...
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1answer
141 views

How to recycle disintegrated plastic bags, without negatively impacting the environment?

We've just gotten some old books out of the loft, and it appears the plastic bags they were in have disintegrated/biodegraded. What is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of them?
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1answer
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How does bioplastic recyclability compare with petrochemical-based plastic recyclability?

I am curious to know how recyclable bioplastics are. For example, how recyclable would a polylactic acid (PLA) cup be when compared to a conventional PET cup? Can the material go through a comparable ...
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3answers
501 views

What will be the effect of PET-eating bacteria in society?

In a very recent paper scientists talk about the discovery of a bacterium ("Ideonella sakaiensis") which can "eat" PET, one of the most common types of plastic. I was wondering what effect this ...
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2answers
521 views

Store drop-off vs curbside recycling plastic bags

The curbside recycling service in my town accepts plastic bags. I wonder whether there is any difference in the recycling process (thus there is any environmental benefit) between this and taking them ...
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1answer
178 views

Is plastic food packaging 100% reusable?

There is the prominent argument that we should buy food without plastic packaging because plastic is made of oil and thus bad. I'm wondering, however, what if the plastic packaging remains in the ...
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1answer
841 views

Is there a shaving razor that is an alternative to, say, Gillette Mach 3, and does not use plastic ?

I believe in adopting sustainable practices in our daily or recurring maintenance activities. Recently, I measured the amount of water I spend at the sink and shifted to mug-based shaving (rinsing the ...
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1answer
1k views

How bad are nylon and polyester clothing for the environment?

A few weeks ago I heard a news story about new research that found that polyester clothing is more of an environmental concern than previously thought. The reason for this is that each time you wash ...
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1answer
510 views

Does polyethylene film (plastic bags) breakdown chemically?

I'm researching the degradation of polyethylene (PE) plastic films such as in plastic bags, and am trying to figure if they degrade chemically. If so: under what conditions, and into what byproducts. ...
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1answer
204 views

Removing agricultural plastic film waste after 10+ years degradation

[reposted from Earth Science since more relevant here] I am at a farm where previous tenants left a non-biodegradable plastic film roughly 10-15 years ago. It is inconsistently spread over a few ...
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1answer
188 views

Why is hybrid packaging so frequently used to package bread?

With hybrid packaging I refer to the combined packaging of plastic and paper. They are often offered by supermarkets for consumers to put inside fresh bread and buns. The reasons I can imagine for ...
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1answer
758 views

What are the five most widely used consumer products made of recycled plastic?

By most widely used I mean in terms of sales annually (worldwide). With consumer products I follow the definition found on the BusinessDictionary, referring to merchandise or other item of common or ...
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3answers
244 views

Recycling plastic food tubs that have no resin identification code?

In my local council (I live in the UK), one category of confirmed recyclables is "plastic bottles, pots, tubs & trays". But surely not all plastic tubs can be recycled? Some of the plastic tubs I ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a way to melt down plastic lenses used for eyewear?

I'm looking to recycle used eyewear plastic lenses for a sculpture. I want to try to manipulate the plastic to give it a more organic look. I'm also concerned about toxic fumes, so I want to find the ...
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1answer
183 views

What chemicals are used to replace BPA in plastics?

And is there any reason to think that the replacement is any better than Bisphenol A (BPA) itself?