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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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3 votes
1 answer
49 views

If I rip and scrutinize a frozen food box, and it doesn't seem to have any thin plastic coating, can I recycle it?

Here in Toronto, the city categorically says that frozen food packaging is non-recyclable, and should go in the garbage. From what I've read, the problem with frozen food packaging is that it's "...
14 votes
1 answer
988 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
117 views

Homescale designs for plastic incinerators?

I'm under the impression that it's better to burn the plastic and maybe get a bit of energy from it than disposing it somewhere only for it to deteriorate into many microplastic particles. That said, ...
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

What material is more biodegradable than plastic bristles for a toothbrush?

What sturdy fibres are more biodegradable than plastic bristles? Assume the bacteria which eat the toothbrush bristles are a 95% or greater match in DNA comparison to bacteria which pre-date the year ...
0 votes
2 answers
58 views

What kind of lenses used for eyewear doesn’t melt in the oven?

Hello and sorry for my silly question! I want to create a pair of sunglasses made of Fimo (polymer clay). I know, maybe no one did something like this, but I'm ambitious when it comes to nonsense. To ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
671 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
39 views

Could microfiber shedding be slashed by using a proper detergent?

Is this a real thing or just greenwashing? This problem of microplastic seemed so huge it's hard to believe you could make such an enormous dent in it just using a right detergent Offering consumers ...
5 votes
1 answer
129 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
315 views

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), ...
2 votes
1 answer
41 views

Can we do without plastic film without an explosive growth of food waste?

The big plastic says we need plastic films to make fresh produce last longer. It seems a bit of a stretch: after all, retailers can just buy less, just as much as they can sell. However, the demand is ...
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Does banning plastic bags really help protect the environment? I always re-use them as rubbish bags anyway

According to Wikipedia, there has been a global trend of banning plastic bags. But does it really help protect the environment? In the past, I always re-used plastic bags as rubbish bags so I seldom ...
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
73 views

Guidance for amateur recyclers

I'm interested in finding ways to decrease the fraction of my household waste that goes to landfill. One strategy for achieving this objective - in part if not in whole - is to change my purchasing ...
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

Why can't plastic be used as a building material for cities?

There are a lot of items that require a lot of material. But this material should not be expensive. We can fill large items with recycled plastic. No complex processing technology is needed here, but ...
1 vote
4 answers
136 views

What are the cons of storing plastic waste

Sorry for a silly question, I'm sure it was asked many times in different forms but I wasn't able to find any concrete answer so here we go. So, I'm trying to understand what is the 'best' way of ...
12 votes
2 answers
7k views

How can I tell biodegradable plastic bags apart from non-biodegradable?

I keep a lot of my stuff organized in normal disposable plastic bags I have left after shopping at various markets. And it works fine, except after a couple years I often find a bag in shreds, simply ...
3 votes
0 answers
38 views

How can I get rid of old agricultural plastic?

The previous owners of my land laid down AG plastic, which has deteriorated over the years. Unable to roll and every time I mow I cut into it and goes everywhere, including my neighbor's (it is on the ...
4 votes
2 answers
106 views

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. ...
7 votes
6 answers
932 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
192 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
124 views

How is "recovered ocean bound plastic" any different from recycled plastic?

I've started to see this phrase on things like credit cards and plastic bags: "contains recovered ocean-bound plastic." At first, it sounds like something really positive -- this was made ...
7 votes
1 answer
150 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
116 views

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.
3 votes
0 answers
43 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
107 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
185 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
67 views

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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
462 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

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. ...
1 vote
0 answers
119 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
144 views

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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the downsides to so called greenware items?

Greenware is the brand name of a 100% corn based cups produced by Fabri-Kal. It is used to provide a plastic cup that can be composted. I'm wondering what externalities might exist for this product ...
7 votes
2 answers
681 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
547 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
51 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
29 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
75 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
91 views

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-...
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which compostable plastic types can be composted at home?

There often is confusion about compostable plastics (see for example this question on greenware items or this gardening question on plastic bags). 'Compostable' suggests that you can compost the ...