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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What type of bin liner is best for waste heading to landfill?

I found myself recently needing to purchase something to line my waste/landfill bins with. Up until now, I've been relying on a tub of single-use plastic bags that I've collected over the years, but ...
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When did plastics become regarded as bad for the environment?

When did plastics become regarded as bad for the environment? I would like to have some valid references.
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Why does color matter for PET recycling but not for HDPE recycling?

Why does color matter for PET recycling but not for HDPE recycling? I'm not sure about other countries, but in the place I live in the recycling plant that receives PET from recycling bins I use only ...
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How is recycling of plastics beneficial to the climate?

How is recycling of plastics beneficial to the climate? Using PET flakes, for example, reduces your indirect demand for oil extraction, it's good. But if you break them down to monomers during ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the impact of ongoing research of turning plastic into proteins?

I found this story regarding ongoing research of using bacteria to turn plastic into protein: The team demonstrated that once the plastic is broken down by heat and a reactor, it can be fed to the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Environmental impact of using an extra bag to separate out plastic vs not separating

Recently I am facing a dilemma: I am living in The Netherlands and in this area it is encouraged to separate out plastic trash for recycling. Usually my plastic trash consists of food packages and ...
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Could synthetic fibers be environmentally-friendly, can you deal with the issue of microfibers?

Synthetic fibers make up the largest share of total apparel production and are expected to become even more common. They also, it seems, contribute to microplastic pollution more than anything else. ...
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Can plastic be sustainable?

After all those scary stories about microplastics (I think you don't need references on that one), I was surprised to discover plastic solutions being suggested, even promoted you can say, in ...
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Is UHT better for the environment even if the Tetra Paks aren't recycled

UHT is well known to be better for the environment, see e.g. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27898-so-many-milks-but-do-their-health-claims-really-stack-up/ However, our local council does not ...
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Why not outlaw low density plastics that cause ocean pollution?

I know it costs. But we got rid of chlorofluorocarbons and are preparing to eliminate stuff like coal! This in between. Proposal: By international agreement get rid of floatable PE, HDPE and PP and ...
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Does plastic really degrade in a landfill?

There seems to be a lot of debate about whether, and how, plastic degrades in a landfill. There are many different types of plastic, from polypropylene to polystyrene. With this variety, it seems ...
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How effective are shrink plastic insulation kits for residential windows?

I live in an older home with windows that build up frost in the winter, which indicates they aren't insulated very well. I am thinking of installing kits like these over the windows: However, before ...
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What alternatives exist for bean bag filler?

One of my kids has asked for a bean bag for their room. I'm hesitant, mainly because of the styrofoam/plastic filler beans which (I assume) are generally terrible for the environment when they ...
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Is there a neutral LCA comparing wood to composite materials?

I have seen competing information about whether it's a more sound environmental choice to choose real wood or composite decking materials. Different conclusions are drawn depending on whether the ...
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1 answer
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Biodegradable Food Packging

I am trying to figure out an application for a biodegradable packaging material a found out about. It is made from old or used potatoes or corn starch. I was thinking of using it in Pizza boxes to ...
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2 answers
340 views

Is Marine Plywood better than plastic for the environment?

I work for a brewery and we have recently started using 3mm thick 140x90mm Pump Clips on our taps instead of 2mm thick PVC Pump clips. These are the little plaques we see when we order a beer at the ...
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What plastics are safe/useful to melt?

I have seen a number of videos that talk about melting down HDPE and/or LDPE for craft projects. Some say these types of plastic are safer to some extent. I would like to do some crafts as well that ...
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4 answers
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Is there a solution for flattening/reducing the volume of plastic recyclables in the home?

I've been having issues with my indoors storage solution for plastics. Loose wrappers and containers from food products tend to take an unnecessarily large amount of space and without a way to ...
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358 views

Should I purchase new tins or plastic refills for chocolate powder?

A few brands of chocolate milk mix come in re-sealable tins like this: It is also possible (and slightly cheaper) to buy 'refill packs', in order to reuse the tin. However, these refill packs are ...
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Are American census bags recyclable?

Yesterday, I received my census questionnaire. So have many millions of other Americans, recently. These bags are not labeled for recycling, but are they recyclable? Can I put them in the deposits at ...
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Is there a recycled ABS that can be used for injection moulded parts?

Also if there is how is it recoloured and does it have any properties that are not as desirable as virgin ABS ? This would be better for the environment and more sustainable because it reuses plastic ...
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Solution to zero-waste take-away cup containers?

The most common sustainable solution for soup takeaway (to-go) containers are those compostable cup and lid sets - made from plant-based plastic (PLA) lid and a paper/PLA cup. These are basically non-...
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Is it worth buying compostable dog poop bags instead of plastic if I'm going to throw them in regular trash bins? [duplicate]

I walk my dogs twice a day, pick up their poop with small disposable bags, and throw the bags in the first municipal trash bin I come across. They will presumably end up in a landfill. I previously ...
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Are single-use PurPod coffee pods from Ethical Bean made with PLA?

I'm purchasing "compostable" K-cup coffee pods from Ethical Bean (see attached photo) that work in Keurig single-serve coffee machines. According to their FAQ, these compostable pods are OK for the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Paper packaging once a day or plastic every second day?

I buy a lot of cottage cheese. There are two kinds of packagings available: paper wrappings, which I buy one piece a day plastic bag, of which one pack is enough for two days Assuming that I can't ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Distinguishing between polyethylene and polypropylene plastic food packaging for recycling

I want to recycle as much food packaging plastic films as possible (I'm willing to clean and dry them). As far as I know, food packaging films are only made from 3 types of plastic: polyethylene (PE), ...
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5 votes
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What is the most sustainable packaging for milk?

When buying milk, there are three forms of available packaging: plastic containers, TetraPak, and glass bottles. None of these forms of packaging are optimal - plastic containers are single-use, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Should I use a plastic trash bag for my recycling bin at home or not?

I want to have a recycling bin at home in addition to a trash bin. Should I line my recycling bin with a trash bag and bag it up when it's full to toss in the dumpster's recycling bin? Or should I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Non-plastic straws in Germany?

I want to find non-plastic straws. Are there are any in Germany, that you can physically buy? I live in Bavaria. I have a big Edeka, Rewe, Lidl and Rossmann nearby, but I am ready to travel "great" ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Recycling : paper, plastic or aluminum, which one to choose, if only one?

Supposing I can focus only on one type of material to recycle, choosing from paper (card board etc), aluminum (can etc) or plastic (water bottle etc), then which choice of material will help the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Plastic incineration vs discarding considerations

Firstly, let me say, I am not pro-either. I just hear about people trying to save the environment (and putting an end to bad municipal 'dump site' behaviour) by rather burning their trash. This is ...
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3 answers
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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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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Is there any Pellet molder alternative? [closed]

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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4 votes
1 answer
672 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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3 votes
3 answers
160 views

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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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3 votes
0 answers
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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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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3 votes
1 answer
2k 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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1 answer
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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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8 votes
1 answer
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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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6 votes
0 answers
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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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4 votes
4 answers
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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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15 votes
1 answer
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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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11 votes
2 answers
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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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