Getting rid of plastics after usage (which is usually a very short term) is notoriously difficult. One option is dumping in ever increasing landfill sites, but most plastics will not biodegrade and once underground, will remain intact almost indefinitely. The second alternative is burning the waste plastic, but here there is the possibility of toxic emissions which could be highly poisonous. Neither method is at all satisfactory.
The myth of biodegradability.
Biodegradable plastic takes a very long time to break down and prevents the plastic from being recycled. It is environmentally unfriendly because it does not biodegrade into something useful - resources are still being lost. So biodegradability is no longer the appropriate answer and is currently sourcing a polyethylene plastic bag that can be recycled - again and again and again. Recycling is the way forward.
It makes far more sense to reduce our consumption and overcome problems associated with recycling, especially as plastic is made from oil which is a non-renewable resource. A major obstacle here is the wide variety of plastics which cannot be mixed and recycled successfully: collecting, sorting and reprocessing various types is very costly. But the technology does exist and the variety of uses for recycled plastics is growing all the time. And, of course, the energy and raw material required is only minimal compared with production using fresh raw materials.
Plastics recycling is a subject which concerns the European Commission. It will be introducing measures to force a dramatic increase in waste plastics recycling and industrialists believe it will aim to reduce the volume of plastics going to landfill by about 80%. Draft legislation is expected shortly, promoting and enforcing plastics recycling. In the meantime, lobby your local MP, protest at packaging, write to manufacturers, and make your voice heard - it's about time!
l. Plastic is safe, hygienic, cheap, compatible with our products and requires minimum packaging during transportation.
1. The world without plastics. People are misinformed about the current situation.
2. Plastic can be reused. No alternative to plastic.
2. The current uses for recycled plastic are few - plastic park benches, fence posts.
3. Reuse should be our first priority, recycling comes second and discard is the last resort.
3. There are currently no large plastic recycling schemes available to most people in this country.
4. The technology does exist and the variety of uses for recycled plastics is growing all the time.
4. The waste plastic cannot be burnt for fear of toxic fumes. Plastic should be used as little as possible as a disposable packaging material.
5. Providing the refill service is one of the most important procedures we carry out environmentally. Every time you refill a bottle, you are conserving resources.
5. There are items we cannot refill: those in tubs and tubes, for example.
Did you know:Every year around two million sea birds die after eating or being tangled up in thrown away plastic! Comment on the fact.
Dramatize a dialogue, in which you and your partners have to discuss the problems of waste disposal. Provide as much information as possible. You may use the following ideas.
• We are all throwing away far too much rubbish. Most of it ends up being buried or piled up in big heaps. It doesn't look nice and it isn't good for the planet.
• The way we treat the world around us can have huge effects on animals and wildlife. Everything from smoke from factory chimneys to the things we throw away can be a danger to animals and birds.
Here is a text for you to render and then to comment on. Use the given words and word combinations below: