DailyDirt: There's A Great Future In Plastics
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Plastics are incredibly useful materials. Unfortunately, being extremely durable also means plastics are annoyingly persistent in the environment as pollution. Less than 10% of plastic gets recycled, so the rest either ends up in landfills — or floats into waterways to the ocean. We’ll probably figure out some way to make use of landfill materials someday, but it’ll be much harder to clean up the oceans if we continue at the rate we’re going.
- By 2050, we could have more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish. Perhaps more disturbing is the estimate that nearly all of the world’s seabirds have already consumed some plastic. Apparently, about a third of all plastic escapes from proper disposal and containment and ends up in the ocean (or in the mouth of a seabird). [url]
- Every so often, there’s some optimistic kid who thinks there’s a tech solution for cleaning up the ocean’s garbage. However, it’s probably better to tackle the root causes and stop polluting — rather than trying to track down literally billions of pounds of plastic floating all over the ocean. [url]
- Recycling is great — especially if recycling plastic can be done in an economically reasonable manner that actually helps people. Recycled plastic could be turned into low-cost building materials, and about 2 tons of waste plastic could be turned into low-income housing in Mexico in about a week for a few hundred bucks. [url]
- A mealworm, the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can actually digest a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene. Waxworms, the larvae of Indian mealmoths, can digest polyethylene, too. So maybe there could be a way to engineer some critters to decompose our plastic pollution problem, and hopefully no one will get the bright idea of trying to genetically modify these things to eat everything in their path…. [url]
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Filed Under: biodegradable plastic, cleanup, garbage, landfill, materials, mealworm, ocean gyre, plastics, pollution, recycling, styrofoam, waxworm
Comments on “DailyDirt: There's A Great Future In Plastics”
I’m thinking we need to genetically modify coral to use plastic instead of calcium.
But didn’t you just get that idea? Oops.
Too late. Already been done. They’re called Graboids! WE NEED TO CALL BURT GUMMER
OMG MUTANT 59!
Not to mention – even if we stopped spewing plastic everywhere, that would still leave billions of pounds of it in the oceans, so trying to figure out how to clean that up is a great idea.
The planet has had it, might as well go full retard…