Global plastic recycling problems – you can run but you can’t hide

Global plastic recycling problems emerged when China severely restricted imports of plastic and other kinds of waste in January 2018. As a result, plastic waste imports are down by 99%. So even less of your plastic waste may actually be recycled and plastic waste is piling up, or going to places with lower standards.

However, this does create opportunities for alternative recycling processes nearer to the point of use, where we create the waste. Another reminder that we should cut down on single-use plastics.

Global plastic recycling problems - plastic bottles on dry lake bed

Climate change versus plastic pollution – environmental priorities

Climate change: obsession with plastic pollution distracts attention from bigger environmental challenges.

This article from The Conversation suggests that our reusable coffee cups may not quite be enough to save the planet – “We must reform the way we live rather than tweak the choices we make.”

Includes an infographic which attractively presents various priority issues – however the content is not so attractive, unless the situation has improved dramatically since 2009

Paper or plastic bags – which is really the better option?

Paper or plastic bags – which should you choose, in terms of their total impact on the environment?

Morrisons are trialling the use of paper bags instead of plastic bags, which seems like a good idea, provided the overall impact isn’t increased – the trade-off between the environmental (e.g. energy) cost of producing the paper bags versus the plastic waste from the existing ones seems to have been addressed to some extent.

Previous environmental concerns about this plan focussed on energy, although on closer inspection, the Environment Agency source material for these concerns wasn’t exactly recent.