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Old 18th June 2019, 18:46   #51
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Could it possibly be that if these Fat Bergs and plastic waste dumped in our oceans had a value as a resource - would that be a bigger spur to retrieve the stuff than the ineffective notion that “We really should not be doing this”?
There has been some work into bacteria to try and turn plastic waste into fuel. Very much early days though.
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:02   #52
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Yes, the biggest problem is cost... when packers are cutting down to 25 micron film to save £1-£2 per kilo of wrap film, telling them that going green will increase costs by between 30 & 150% speaks for itself.

There are options...

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is promising, as are mono materials, but none of these are retortable, so products requiring sterilization like pet foods, meats, rice and pasta in pouches will not use it.

Co-extruded or laminates of PET or PE with PP are most used, but once you mix the materials simple recycling becomes too expensive.
Pure monos do not make good sealing materials as you melt all of the material to make a pack seal.
Co-Ex PP or PE(t) is possible as you can change the MFI (Melt flow index) or point of liquification to allow homogeneous sealing of a sealing layer bonded to a higher melting point layer of the same material is usable, but again more expensive.

Anything with a light barrier (usually aluminium sheet in the 8 micron range or metalized film in the 10-20 angstrom range) are not viable for recovery as the acids needed to remove the polymers from the valuable aluminium are both expensive and hard to get rid of once used up and very bad for the environment.

The method with the least effect on nature, zero land fill, and giving you something back in the way of energy is modern incineration and electricity production.

Remember for every "GREEN" 100 miles in an electric car (which produces no emissions), you need up to 32 Kilowatts of electricity which creates 0.94 kg of carbon per Kw, and once the coal is gone.... it's gone for good and it does not get rid of any landfill what so ever whereas 98.5% of laminated packaging material can be converted directly in to energy at an average of 44.1 watts per Kg according to studies in the US and Europe.
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:02   #53
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There has been some work into bacteria to try and turn plastic waste into fuel. Very much early days though.
There will come a day when waste plastic is mined as a resource in old landfill sites.
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:33   #54
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Our local co-op has started using bio degradable environmentally friendly plastic bags. Great for the food recycling bin

That seems like a good idea but I've no idea what the production costs or environmental impact of production is.

I'm quite sure someone will be able to find out.
Commercially degradeable... it won't rot down in a landfill...
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:36   #55
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Originally Posted by klarzy View Post
Yes, the biggest problem is cost... when packers are cutting down to 25 micron film to save £1-£2 per kilo of wrap film, telling them that going green will increase costs by between 30 & 150% speaks for itself.

There are options...

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is promising, as are mono materials, but none of these are retortable, so products requiring sterilization like pet foods, meats, rice and pasta in pouches will not use it.

Co-extruded or laminates of PET or PE with PP are most used, but once you mix the materials simple recycling becomes too expensive.
Pure monos do not make good sealing materials as you melt all of the material to make a pack seal.
Co-Ex PP or PE(t) is possible as you can change the MFI (Melt flow index) or point of liquification to allow homogeneous sealing of a sealing layer bonded to a higher melting point layer of the same material is usable, but again more expensive.

Anything with a light barrier (usually aluminium sheet in the 8 micron range or metalized film in the 10-20 angstrom range) are not viable for recovery as the acids needed to remove the polymers from the valuable aluminium are both expensive and hard to get rid of once used up and very bad for the environment.

The method with the least effect on nature, zero land fill, and giving you something back in the way of energy is modern incineration and electricity production.

Remember for every "GREEN" 100 miles in an electric car (which produces no emissions), you need up to 32 Kilowatts of electricity which creates 0.94 kg of carbon per Kw, and once the coal is gone.... it's gone for good and it does not get rid of any landfill what so ever whereas 98.5% of laminated packaging material can be converted directly in to energy at an average of 44.1 watts per Kg according to studies in the US and Europe.
Now that last para is interesting - very rare that the plastic “mountain” is seen as a resource as well as a problem
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:42   #56
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There has been some work into bacteria to try and turn plastic waste into fuel. Very much early days though.
Agreed - I have also read that heat treatment releases volatile gases that can be stored and used as a fuel.

Plus micronised plastic particles can be added to commercial fuel oil apparently and used in shipping.
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:39   #57
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A slight diversion from plastic but most paper mills these days put great emphasis on environmental impact. It is true they consume large amounts of energy and that is not disputed but the days of mass pollution of rivers are coming to an end. Most have something called ISO14001 which monitors the mills environmental impact and most go much further than that in terms of ensuring water is returned to waterways in the same state it came in. Part of my job involves buying around 1000 tonnes of carton board every year and our customers demand that it is sourced from accredited mills. The ones I deal with range from Germany, Austria, the UK, Chin, Chile and the USA. All comply. The Chinese ones in particular are very forward thinking - they have to be as the end market users demand this. Recycled board has its place too but not for food packaging as our friends in Europe and the USA are worried that there may be residual deposits of harmful chemicals which may taint food. So cardboard has a very bright future but in my experience the retailers absolute obsession with plastic has to be overcome.
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:12   #58
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A slight diversion from plastic but most paper mills these days put great emphasis on environmental impact. It is true they consume large amounts of energy and that is not disputed but the days of mass pollution of rivers are coming to an end. Most have something called ISO14001 which monitors the mills environmental impact and most go much further than that in terms of ensuring water is returned to waterways in the same state it came in. Part of my job involves buying around 1000 tonnes of carton board every year and our customers demand that it is sourced from accredited mills. The ones I deal with range from Germany, Austria, the UK, Chin, Chile and the USA. All comply. The Chinese ones in particular are very forward thinking - they have to be as the end market users demand this. Recycled board has its place too but not for food packaging as our friends in Europe and the USA are worried that there may be residual deposits of harmful chemicals which may taint food. So cardboard has a very bright future but in my experience the retailers absolute obsession with plastic has to be overcome.
Do you ever think about the trees that are used to make paper from the wood pulp or the tree huggers feelings?
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:22   #59
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Not really to be honest!
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:23   #60
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Do you ever think about the trees that are used to make paper from the wood pulp or the tree huggers feelings?
Were did I put my pop corn....
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