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Microplastics

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On 15 Mar 2018 at 12:42pm Scientific advances wrote:
Is it only me that is concerned about how something like Microplastics can sneak up on society (it almost seems too late to avoid a catastrophe), where was science and why didn't it warn us, or government (or EU) regulations to protect us?
It's now been found in most sources, including tap water, almost all bottled water, refreshing beverages, alcoholic drinks, food, rivers, oceans.
How can multinationals have used so many microplastics that they've taken over the world without any of us ever hearing about them (until recently)?
What else are they shoving in without us knowing?
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 12:53pm Chaz wrote:
Agreed. Very concerning. Time for industry to take action and, even better, governments to legislate. France has managed to ban single use plastic cups, plates and cutlery, why can't we follow suit?
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 2:17pm Local Resident wrote:
'Microplastics' are not necessarily a particular type or size of plastic as such, it is a broad term used to describe any very small particles of plastic, including those that form when plastics start to break up - though of course, until recently the cosmetics industry has intentionally used small plastic beadlets in bodyscrubs etc, with no thought for the fact that even if used properly, those tiny plastic beadlets might find their way through sewage processing plant filters and out into the wider environment,.
So, as no one knew, until recently, that plastics could break up and produce such small particles that would spread through the water system/environment (I guess most people thought waste plastic items would remain intact for ever) then no-one (not even the Mighty EU regulators) saw any need to 'protect' us, or the wider environment, from them.
Now we have the situation that, having found micro-particles of plastic can exist, the world is trying to work out 1. whether they pose any great risk to human life or the wider ecosystem, and 2. whether there is any way to reduce them, remove them, and/or stop any more entering the eco-system.
The problem is that the developed world has simply become reliant on single use plastics, largely as a consequence of our lazy, 'throw away' life style. Toiletries are packaged in plastics because plastic is cheaper per item than glass, and weighs less for a similar size bottle/jar. Far too many of us like our take-away coffees in cups that won't leak or go soggy, we like to grab pre-bagged articles in the supermarkets as we are in a hurry etc. We wanted our milk etc in plastic bottles once we started buying them from the shops rather than have 'Ernie' deliver glass bottles to our doorsteps, as heavy glass bottles jars added to the weight we had to carry. Ditto soft drinks etc. We decided pre-measured bags of tea were so much easier to use than loose-leaf tea, we were all too lazy to take our own shopping bags to the shops, so until the bag levy was introduced a few years ago we relied on the free supply of carrier bags etc.
Just think how different our lifestyle, and plastics use, is compared to our great-grandparents. I bet the goods they purchased/used came in paper, card or glass packaging, and few if any of them ever walked down the street drinking trendy bottled water in a plastic bottle, nor carrying a single use coffee cup when they were our ages.
As consumers it is ultimately our own fault for wanting an easy/convenient/cheap lifestyle - the use of plastics simply allowed manufacturers and retailers to more easily provide us with what we said we wanted. Now we are all starting to understand that such 'convenience' comes with a higher price than we originally thought - microplastics.
So, I suspect we will see a return to paper bags and glass jars, which seem so much 'greener', until, of course, you factor in all the energy that is needed to collect, recycle and reprocess them into their second or third uses.
So much for progress.
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 2:39pm SJT boy wrote:
Scary indeed. But as kids, when thirsty we would drink the river water, or from the Pells pond or the brooks, bugs 'n all. God know what that contained, but we're still here.
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 4:15pm KGB boy wrote:
We used to drink the snow, never yellow though.
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 5:09pm Bert wrote:
At least we know we can't actually rely on the EU to protect us then, Eh ? No surprise there then.
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On 15 Mar 2018 at 8:24pm Earl of Lewess wrote:
@Local Resident's reply is one of the occasions when this forum shines: interesting, thoughtful and informative.


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Webbo Penny

But credit where credit is due. I should highlight where you truly are an expert TP. You raised the topic yourself: Arrogance.... more
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