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14 votes

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

The cheapest reusable bags round here are made of the same plastic as disposable bags. In this case the number of uses required is simply the ratio of the weights. Without getting the scales out I ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
10 votes

Should we leave all fossil fuels in the ground and not use them?

Yes, we should leave the larger part of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Scientists have calculated that if we want to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees C (which was agreed ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Pure Plastic vs Biodegradable Plastic

It doesn't appear that there are any specific studies comparing the environmental impact of dog waste disposed of in biodegradable vs non-biodegradable bags, however there's quite a bit of work that's ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
8 votes
Accepted

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

Unless the plastic bags are labelled with a recycling symbol, there is no easy way to know if the plastic is even recyclable. Good biodegradable plastic bags are made from decomposable materials, ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 5,994
8 votes

How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

There are many ways how plastic waste ends up in the sea. A non-complete list would include the following: Micro-plastics from our washing processes, they are in almost everything like shampoo, ...
Salt's user avatar
  • 929
8 votes
Accepted

Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

tl;dr: No, shipping plastic waste to China for recycling does not offset the benefits, as it reduces the net energy savings by 3% or less. Polyethylene, The most common plastic According to ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
8 votes

What is the most sustainable packaging for milk?

Depends a lot on where you live, but if you have the possibility to refill your own glass bottle, then I would call that the most sustainable option. In this part of Europe (Hungary/Romania) there are ...
Akabelle's user avatar
  • 261
7 votes
Accepted

How does bioplastic recyclability compare with petrochemical-based plastic recyclability?

Conventional plastics All conventional plastics marked with the 1 to 6 resin identification codes are recyclable. Some types are more easy to recycle than others, for example recycling PVC is more ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
7 votes

Would it be possible to recycle all plastic into bricks and use them for building or insulation?

It's definitely possible to recycle plastic and create LEGO-like building blocks. In fact several houses have already been built this way! In 2010 a Colombian architect called Oscar Mendez had the ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
Accepted

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

From what I've read the bacteria can completely degrade PET-film in 6 weeks via two enzymes that turn PET into terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. Both substances are both environmentally benign. ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes

How bad are nylon and polyester clothing for the environment?

Summary: Nylon, acrylic and especially polyester clothing release lots of microplastics during laundry. For polyester a study found between 6 and 17,7 million microfibers per 5kg wash Microplastics ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Can plastic with only the Japanese recycling symbol be recycled in the US?

Jumping into this late but I couldn't help it because this is what I do for a living (guide major corporations on recycling). The mark you have simply means that the bag is plastic (it's not ...
user4034's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

Carelessness, wind and rain. Humans are careless, so leave all manner of plastic outside in their yards. A gust of wind catches the plastic and blows it onto a nearby road. It rains, and the ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
6 votes

Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards?

Before doing anything make sure your credit cards are not usable/active anymore. You don't want anyone to misuse them! Reuse Reuse is almost always preferred over recycling because that usually doesn'...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes
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What's the impact of throwing plastic in the bin?

The problem with burying plastic in landfills is that plastic takes ~500 years to decompose, and burying large amounts of waste leads to groundwater pollution in the surrounding areas, which is ...
Jnanesh Anand's user avatar
5 votes
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Plastic incineration vs discarding considerations

Burning trash in an uncontrolled fire is very polluting, with high levels of carbon monoxide, particulates, and dioxin/furan. These are released at ground level where they are easily breathed in by ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 333
5 votes

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

Ocean-bound plastic refers to all plastic on land within a 50 kilometer (30 mile) distance of the ocean. The term was popularized by Jenna Jambeck PhD, a professor at the University of Georgia, who ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

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

Polar fleece cloth is Polyethylene terephthalate (C10H8O4) sometimes brand named Dacron. It is the same synthetic organic used to make plastic soda bottles, but it isn't generally recycled in its ...
Douglas Daseeco's user avatar
4 votes

How many times can plastic be recycled?

HDPE plastic is usually shredded, melted and then pelletized where the pellets are then used to create new HDPE products. It can theoretically be recycled indefinitely except that usually ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
4 votes

Organic or packaging free food?

It's all a matter of how you do the counting! If you take into account how much diversity you destroy, non-organic food is worse than "too much" cardboard packaging. But how do you count this? Life ...
J. Chomel's user avatar
  • 1,417
4 votes
Accepted

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

Summary: According to this independent study if you look at global warming potential, for a sturdy LDPE bag you need to use it at least 4 times, for an even sturdier non-woven PP bag with inserts it's ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

What is the most sustainable packaging for milk?

You forgot about a fourth option: The tube. Originally it looked like this: It was a bit flimsy and is easier punctured than the TetraPaks, so it isn't produced anymore (at least not in Germany, at ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 587
4 votes

Paper packaging once a day or plastic every second day?

TLDR: the packaging makes next to no difference; even a small reduction in your cheese consumption will greatly outweigh the impact of the packaging (see the table further down) Let's estimate the ...
aucuparia's user avatar
  • 1,072
4 votes
Accepted

Are single-use PurPod coffee pods from Ethical Bean made with PLA?

The picture says 'made from coffee chaff & plant-based material', so there is something else in the pod besides just coffee chaff. After some digging I finally found this blog where it says that: ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

Is there a solution for flattening/reducing the volume of plastic recyclables in the home?

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best: Step on plastics to crush them - Crude, but efficient, and good for stuff like takeaway food containers, PET bottles (with lids removed), plastic cups, ...
Robotnik's user avatar
  • 1,306
4 votes
Accepted

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

New plastic bags (if you can still find them in your local shops -- I can't anymore) are best for purchasing once and then using maybe 10 times. In contrast to recycled plastic bags that generally ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes

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

I suspect anything made from plastic could be damaged, but true glass lenses should be fine. Borosilicate glass, used in optics, has a glass transition temperature of 500 degrees Celsius. Because the ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes
Accepted

Homescale designs for plastic incinerators?

It's a good question, but not a good idea by a long shot! Burning plastic at home is probably one of the nastiest things you can do to both the general environment and your own, personal, local ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 425
3 votes

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

So you want to know what plastic you can use to melt into your mold right? The hard ones are recommended: plastic containers and bottle caps. You will shred them into small pieces and them melt them. ...
Maira Teixeira de Melo's user avatar

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