2019 - Plastic Waste and Recycling


Oh yes! I forgot about that - mineral spirit! I have a gallon (US) can in my workshop. I mostly use it for cleaning brushes after using certain types of paint. How could I forget about that? And here I’ve been using my expensive naphtha for labels. :grimacing:

Edit: Thank you, Ian. :wink:


Oh I don’t use it for lighters at all, never have, though my mum and dad did. It’s just something my mum always used, particularly as kids when removing sticking plasters from cut knees and the mess they would leave behind :confounded: Just something she’d always used.


Yes, I’ve used White Spirit too but sometimes, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t work as well as lighter fuel :confused:


Here’s a look at what plastic waste looks like in our oceans - as seen by fish that eat plankton - in photos.
Once plastic has broken down this small, it’s going to be impossible to rid the oceans of it. It’s been said that barring any new plastic pollution, the earth “may” rid itself of most plastic pollution in 50 years or more. I think that’s an optimist estimate though.



Some areas of the world have started to make strict rules to stop plastic from entering the waters, however there are others that are still dumping theirs in the ocean…until “everyone” stops, it will not change. One example…we saw the waters in Rio during the Olympics.

The West coast of North America has been cleaning up the plastic (among many other items)) from the tsunami in Japan, and although it has slowed, it will continue for years. If climate change leads to more tsunamis and more hurricanes, plastic will again be entering the water by another means.


Every May the organization, Riverkeeper, has an annual trash pick up along the banks of the Hudson River. Even with recreational fishermen picking up after themselves (plus any trash they find where they’re fishing) there is still a lot collected. :thinking: I wonder if the amount each year comes up less than the previous year(s). I can remember as a small boy, when my father took me fishing he always had a bag to put trash in… other people’s discarded fishing line, trash, etc… He would even take the time to retrieve the fishing line from tree limbs - from when someone got a little carried away while casting and got their lure hung up in the trees. He always gave me the lures for “my” tackle box. We would find, empty beverage cans, bottles, cigarette packs, blister packs from fishing hooks, food wrappers, etc. When we left there wasn’t a piece of trash in sight. To be honest, at that age, all I wanted to do was to get right into the “fishing” part of “going fishing.” But very quickly I realized it was better… and safer… to clean up the area before we started getting our lines in the water. I had some interesting conversations about everything imaginable sitting for hours with my dad… many of them about the beauty of the river. He would point out something shiny along the bank as we talked. I knew it was a hint for me to go investigate. I’d excuse myself, walk to where the reflected sunlight came from and sure enough… a soda can. I’d pick it up, pour the water out of it and return back to my dad. We put the can in the trash bag to take home with us. Many years later we brought this at a family picnic. When everyone was listening I came out with, “Yeah, Dad always forced us into child labor.” (talking about these voluntary chores). Everyone would laugh and tell about their own stories about the “free labor” mom and dad got out of us “kids.” :laughing: (Things like mow the lawn, trim the hedges, pull weeds (50 dandelions, every day, all spring and summer), wash windows, painting, tarring the roof (usually my job since I wasn’t afraid of heights), etc…
I guess you could say we learned at a very early age about the necessity of picking up after ourselves… and what others left behind.



You would think with all of the recyclables that someone would start a plant right here in the USA that can use the recycled plastic to manufacture new items. I know that Pilot Pen - a Japanese Co. with offices/warehouses in the US - makes B2P (Bottles to Pens). You can also get refills for the pens. I have some and they work great. The only problem I’ve found with Pilot Pens (they’re all refillable) is that they don’t seem to sell the refills at retail stores. :confused: I had to order my refills for the B2P and Pilot Gel pens through their website. The pens were shipped out of Florida if I remember correctly. Now that I think of it, I have to order some more different color refills (and different ball point sizes) for the gel pens. My granddaughters love to “write” and color with them. I try to tell them to use markers because they have a wider point, but they insist they use the pens. (I think it makes them feel important or maybe more “adult”? :laughing: One of the biggest gripes about the recyclables being collected was that they weren’t clean and/or were mixed with other types of materials. One can’t make a quality product out of dirty recyclables. (Got that from a recycling center owner.) I think a good analogy would be trying to compost materials only to find pieces of metal and plastic mixed in with it. Not good… not good at all… especially if the company is trying to sell the compost for gardens and landscaping. People have to stop being lazy and stop recycling only when it’s convenient for them. They have to put more effort into it… change their mindset.


Good article.

“buy less stuff, which would also have the benefit of reducing some of the upstream waste created when products are made”

I’m not sure consumers will change their buying habits unless manufacturing changes the way they present the product. We became a “throw away society” and now we are seeing the result of those actions.

If we could convince one retail giant to change their bulk buying habits and put pressure on the manufacturers to change the way package their products… It may change attitudes. Walmart??

Another article to read…a change that was made 25 years ago for convenience of travel and the need for humans to wear protection against the sun…


I read where an island nation had banned sunscreen because of the coral reef damage. That was some time ago. I think this island nation (began with a “B”?) was the first in the world to do this. Talk about a “world leader!”

Remember when buying things in bulk would cost less? I found it odd some years ago many items that we used to buy in bulk started costing more - according to the “unit price” they had to include on their price labels (NYS law many years ago). Coffee was a big one. Little by little we noticed that it was actually cheaper to buy several smaller packages of something than it was to buy one large package. That led to a lot of packaging material to either be recycled or disposed of. Doesn’t make any sense - unless not enough people were buying in bulk? :thinking:


I think you are right…the costs are higher as most are buying for convenience in single packaging.
Meat packaging is still an issue in grocery stores. Even if you buy directly for the farm and have it butchered, or from the meat shop, they use that waxed or oiled butcher paper…which is compostable… I notice in some products they are using cardboard and a cellulose looking pane on the front that is actually compostable…not just biodegradable, which could take 10000 years.


I remember when Donna and I were first married. There was a Mom & Pop store around the corner from us where the husband was a butcher. He had sides of beef and pork hanging in his walk-in freezer. We always bought our meats from them… freshly cut to order and wrapped in that brown butchers’ paper. Even growing up my mother used to send one or two of us kids down to the corner grocery store which was also a butcher shop - Wasserman I think his last name was. And there was an older couple who had a small store around the corner and two doors down on the next street that was also a small grocery store. It was run by an old Italian couple who were both butchers. Mary, the wife would make her own Italian sausage - sweet and hot varieties - which my mother always had us buy for “spaghetti night” (Wednesdays). Those were the days… a lot of Mom & Pop stores on every block. Little by little either the owners either got too old to continue, passed away or just couldn’t compete with the big chains. Sad… I think of the three small stores around my old homestead, only one is still running. I think that’s because it’s on a corner which is also a bus stop (public transportation). How times have changed… and not for the better.

I think we preferred the butchers’ paper wrap over the black or white Styrofoam with the plastic film cover. There is more to recycle or what ends up in the trash than before. As kids we used to compost the butchers’ paper, old newspapers, etc… And speaking of compost… at least this year my son didn’t plow my compost pile over the bank like he did last year. :rofl: I shoveled my driveways instead of having him come down and plow them with his 4-wheeler. Harder work, but my compost pile is safe and will be ready to use this spring.


We need a solution worldwide…


Why is it we can motivate people to do this by a hashtag, but we cannot get our governments to see, or agree, on what is required around the world for recycling and climate change???