..submitted to another forum, on this same subject
I just wrote a paper on this....you mentioned turtles, but I think most people are as of yet unaware how tragic the problem really is among turtles as well as other oceanic species
For instance twenty five or thirty years ago there were somewhere between120 and 150 million green sea turtles swimming in the gulf of Mexico. Today the estimated population is less than 30 thousand. It was thought they died as incidental catch and accidental boat strikes...turns out this is not the case, they mostly choked to death on plastic bags. We accidentally killed upwards of 150 million adults and an estimated 400 million Juvenal's with plastic bags
Just for fun, I'll include my latest paper on plastics. It's not done as I haven't gotten the references boiled down to the actual papers cited, nor has it seen the editor. But you may find it interesting.
Glass Vs Plastic
Daniel J Robertson
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, M.I.T., C.U. Boulder Co.
In regards to plastics use in manufacturing when a glass alternative is available. Compare the manufacturing processes, disposal practices, recycling potential and toxic effects of both glass and plastic and there effects on our environment. Hypothesis, that the preponderance of plastic fragments and molecular plastic, plastic leachates, binders, bio-toxins, bio-toxin accumulators carcinogens and tarterogens hormone disruptors, endocrine disruptors, plastic by products and consequential post and preproduction waste in the environment and there harmful consequence are sufficient to offset any advantages over glass. All conclusions are substantiated in the body and noted. Conclusions Glass
Both glass and glass waste are non toxic and stable in the environment giving off no harmful byproducts. Manufacturing of glass produces pollutants at the source of manufacturing and during materials acquisition, these pollutants can be controlled economically: various network modifiers used in the production of glass appear to play no significant pollution role. Chemically tempered glass is also inert. Lead used in the manufacture of decorative glass falls under the guidelines of EPCRA Section 313 and is exempt being stable with in the glass matrix. There has been a steady decline in pollutants produced pr ton of glass, mainly co2 , noX, soX . Glass is 100% recyclable Conclusions Plastic
Plastic, plastic components, the production of plastic and plastic waste are mildly to extremely toxic all are environmentally detrimental , with results ranging from the release of strong carcinogens and tarterogens to the existence of bio-toxin accumulators and endocrine disruptors. five of the six most toxic and abundant chemical pollutants found in the environment are commonly associated with the production of plastics. Plastic photo-degrades releasing persistent toxins like Bisphenol A and Phthalates over extended periods of time. Plastic is non biodegradable and both the long chain and short chain plastic molecule appears to be permanent in the environment. Pollutants consisting of nurdles, leachates, fragmentary or hole plastic waste cannot be economically controlled. There has been an exponential rise in molecular plastic found throughout the worlds oceans. Animal deaths based on plastic ingestion number in the hundreds of millions with some extinction events and trophic cascades noted. Pollution pr ton of plastic produced appears to be increasing. Most plastic is non recyclable.
This article is presently under development and will be edited upon its completion (so dont come at me with spelling issues)
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
This research project has been Anonymously funded, the benefactor having no role in study design, data collections and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript
Body Environmental concerns over glass
Glass is made up of a few naturally abundant minerals, mostly silicate, and breaks down into natural, harmless components(3,6). Waste glass is environmentally neutral(3). The vast majority of pollution caused by the manufacturing of glass is source point and can be managed economically. Waste glass prepared for reuse, called Cullet is also inert and its increasing use as an aggregate means that it can be economically reused without the need for remanufacture (36). When remanufacturing is advantageous cullet reduces the level of emissions from the process by up to 40% (3,37) and the level of energy by as much as 30% (9,32,35). glass has an Embodied Energy of between 25.0 MJ/kg and 12.7 MJ/kg (1,4,30). and a density of 2470 kg/m3 (1). Glass is 100% recyclable (32). The U.S. glass recycling rate in 2003 was 19% (9) in 2001, for Australia 83%, Sweden: 84%, Germany: 87%, Belgium and Norway: 88%, Finland: 91% and Switzerland: 92% (9). Recycling one ton of glass saves nine to ten gallons of oil (9,32) Environmental concerns over plastics
Plastic is made up of numerous petroleum based compounds, to produce 1 kg of Acrylic (PMMA, Polymethyl methacrylate) (23) 2 kg of petroleum is needed and up to 5 kg of toxic waist is generated (2,3). Plastic never breaks down but instead photo-degrades into some of the most hazardous petrochemical substances known to man (3,6,7,38). PMMA has an embodied energy of about 131.0MJ/kg with a density of 1180 kg/m3 (1,3,30). Although it is difficult to determine the exact production level of plastics per yr. 2007 estimates range from 100,000,000 to 205,000,000 tons (28,45) with an anual increase of 9.5% (45)
100,000,000,000 plastic bags are used each year in the u.s. alone (10)
the U.S recovery (recycling) rate for all plastics in 2005 was 1% (3,5,8,10)
In 2007 World wide, less than 3% is recovered (3,5,8).
In an EPA ranking of the twenty chemicals whose production generates the most total hazardous waste, five of the top six are chemicals commonly used by the plastic industry. (10)
recycling one ton of plastic saves 1000 gallons of oil (10,32)
Plastic as it photo-degrades releases binders like Phthalates, Bisphenol A, Nonyphenols and PBDEs along with countless other known carcinogens and teratogens (3,16,21,25,32). Once the binders are released, plastic remains as a large molecule(3,17). Dioxins are created both during production and incineration (2,3,16,17,31,32,46) dioxins are the strongest carcinogen known to man (3,5,6.7,31,38), The number of harmful chemicals associated with the production of plastic are to numerous to mention in this comparison, however; just one a primary component of acrylics ( mainly polycarbonates ) is bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disrupter, that releases into food and liquid at room temperature(3,16,17,21,), it is considered a teratogen along with thalidomide and is known to cause embryonic malformations (3.8.16). Phthalates have been shown to cause genital malformations
In 1999 Plastic waste had outweighed plankton in our oceans 6 to 1, by 2002 the number had risen to 10/1 (3,10,11,16,17). The north pacific gyre alone, has a density of 14.8 million visible pieces of floating plastic per square mile, over an area twice the size of texas (3,11). Thats 1.9 pieces of plastic such as, bottles, bottle caps, lighters, beach palls, plastic packaging or plastic aquariums for every square foot of ocean surface spanning an area of 537,202square miles (3,11). This is only one of six mid ocean gyre systems polluted to this extent (39). These areas of floating plastic range in size from twice the size of Texas to the size of Africa (3,11).
Plastic appears to have a half life longer than most radioactive compounds (3) with its use being required by the epa as containment packaging for low grade nuclear waist disposal (33,43). Polyethylene has been approved for the long term disposal of liquid radioactive waist (3,40,41,42) ( of course they also approved glass, tar and concrete ). The long chain plastic molecule is so durable that its half life is still being researched.
Plastic virtually never breaks down in the environment beyond the molecular level (3,7,11). We are stuck with every piece of plastic ever created (11). Unless collected and incinerated there is no getting rid of it. Remanufacture is not effective in halting plastics from leaching contaminates into there surroundings. There is little debate over the adverse effects of plastics to the marine environment (ref-all not one dissenting opinion as to plastics harmful effect on the marine ecosystem ), Various forms of marine life, eat so much plastic, mistaking plastic fragments for plankton that it has decimated our ocean communities (10,11,15,16,17,44). Filter feeders unable to distinguish between plastic molecules and plankton, ingest and include millions of tons of plastics into the food chain (3,7,10,11,16,17,32,44), leading to the contamination and eventual starvation of countless organisms (3,10,11,16,17,32,44). Additional Comments
The cost of collecting, destroying or remanufacturing Plastic (as most plastic is uneconomical to remanufacture) “must” be endured no mater how high because of plastics highly toxic and enduring nature; were as the recycling of glass can be safely limited to its economic viability with out adverse environmental effects, as long as source point gaseous emissions are controlled. The embodied energy of acrylic is over ten times that of glass, making it both an economically and environmentally unsound alternative (3,5,14,32). The environmental impact of glass is minimal (3,6,32,36,). References
1 ) Materials, geometry, and net energy ratio of tubular ...
2 ) http://www.mindfully.org/Berkeley/Be...Task-Force.htm
3 ) www.mindfully.org/Plastic/
4 ) measure of sustainability embodied energy
5 ) http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Bes...le-Plastic.htm
6 ) http://www.lotuslive.org/products/fi...ontainer01.pdf
7 ) http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/synth...ranscript.html
8 ) www.ecologycenter.org
9 ) Metro: Waste reduction fast facts: Glass
10 ) Metro: Waste reduction fast facts: Plastic
11 ) www.acfnewsource.org/environment/
12 ) www.fragmentsfromfloyd.com/
13 ) NRC: Radioactive Waste
14 ) BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Warning on plastic's toxic threat
15 ) Keeping our ocean clean : Bradley Beach Today
16 ) Untitled Document
17 ) http://www.mountainfilm.org/download...lastic_Sea.pdf
18 ) http://www.visiongroup.co.uk/go.jsp?...oup_uk.compare
comparison of glass and plastic
comparison of glass and acrylic
21 ) http://archive.greenpeace.org/toxics...abase/bad.html
22 ) http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/f_acrlac.txt
23 ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymethyl_methacrylate
24 ) http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5998554.html
25 ) http://www.npi.gov.au/database/subst...rofiles/6.html
26 ) http://goalgreen.com/2007/06/25/plas...eps-on-giving/
27 ) http://www.chemsoc.org/exemplarchem/...head/facts.htm
28 ) http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resour...s/Plastics.htm
29 ) www.level.org.nz
30 ) www.grisb.org/publications/pub33.htm
- 24k -
31 ) http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/publications/
32 ) GLASS vs. PLASTIC
33 ) RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES FOR DUKE UNIVERSITY ...
35 ) Fact Sheets - Glass
36 ) ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-...df/yrr_feb.pdf
37 ) Cullet Preheating: The Realistic Solution for All Glass Furnaces ...
38 ) Professional Environmental Solutions - Atlanta, Georgia
39 ) Patagonia Under Siege: The Plastic Killing Fields - Pacific Ocean ...
40 ) Composition and process for the encapsulation and stabilization of ...
41 ) APPENDIX D - Key Federal Laws and Regulations
42 ) Mixed-Waste Shipping & Transportation | Radiation Protection | US EPA
43 ) Low Level Radioactive Waste Information Page
44 ) DEP: Atlantic Green Sea Turtle Fact Sheet
45 ) Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Plastics and rubber have changed the world ...
46 ) Plastic Debris Washed Ashore
47 ) Bizarre Properties of Glass Revealed | LiveScience
48 ) Canada Likely to Label Plastic Ingredient ‘Toxic’ - New York Times
additional resources http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/ http://www.americanplasticscouncil.o...ID=1110&VID=86 http://www.mindfully.org/Berkeley-Pl...Task-Force.htm http://www.designboom.com/eng/educat...recycling.html http://americanplasticscouncil.org/s_apc/sec.asp http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/glass.htm