×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment
3

Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

2
(OP)
As you all know, I am a leading plastic materials scientist. So, I became concerned when my children were taught clear lies about plastics at their Elementary School.
My response was to read over 2000 peer-reviewed articles on waste, litter, ocean plastics, microplastics, degradation etc. and publish a book.
That book, The Plastics Paradox is available for free at plasticsparadox.com

What did I find?
1/ Plastics are 0.5% of materials and waste
2/ Plastics massively reduce waste
3/ Plastics are usually the greenest option
4/ People cause litter, so blaming materials is unjust
5/ Plastics degrade rather rapidly (a plastic bag in under one year outside)
6/ Most microplastics research is junk and there is no credible evidence of harm
7/ Plastics are not a significant threat to turtles or whales
8/ There are no floating islands of plastic or “soup"
9/ NGOs have lied to us to get our donations

If you know any execs, reporters or politicians then please make sure that they know about it.
Much more information is available there free of charge and all with citations to the proof.
So, that's what I've been doing for the last two years (unpaid in my spare time).
I hope that you take the time to look at the evidence because we need facts upon which to make wise choices.

Chris

P.S. here's the direct free download link https://plasticsparadox.com/wp-content/uploads/202...

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Keep up the good works, Chris. It is not much fun to be the heretic.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Thanks! It's amazing how the majority don't care about the truth or the environment. But a few wise people do care.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Am I wrong to think we should be burning plastics for power generation, provided they are halogen-free, instead of recycling?

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hi Tugboat. Burning is actually not a bad option. I discuss that in the book. It's as good at generating heat as oil or coal and you can make electricity from that.
However, mechanical recycling is probably greener where feasible.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

When plastics degrade, they eventually degrade into monomers? What happens at this level? Do they simply exist for eternity or is there a natural process to continue the decomposition into the elemental state? This is my concern about plastics, all of them monomers floating around and mimicking other molecules. This is also why I'm a fan of burning plastics.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

How about using plastics to fuel cement kilns?
I have been told that any halogens will combine with the lime to create salts in small enough percentages so as not to affect the quality of the cement.
Is this an accurate statement?

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello TugboatEng,
Plastics degrade into carbon dioxide and water just like other organic matter like leaves, sticks, food and so. They degrade at about the same rate as those materials too.
More on that here: https://plasticsparadox.com/do-plastics-last-forev...

waross,
Plastics burn to give as much energy as coal or oil. Plastics like PE and PP burn cleanly like oil. The vast majority don't contain chlorine (PVC is the exception).
I have not heard about burning them for cement kilns specifically.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

I heard someplace that the only issue with burning bags is the ink used to print store names an logos on the bags. I think it contained stuff like lead and arsenic. If true, stop printing on the bags and its pretty safe to burn, right?

Rick Fischer
Principal Engineer
Argonne National Laboratory

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

I don't think bags could be sold in USA or Europe if they contain any lead whatsoever. However, inks my contain halogenated compounds and those do produce toxic gasses when burned.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hope some of you read the book or at the very least watch this short video. You will shocked about the lies we've been told, who told them and why: https://youtu.be/wXvoVAE9ESE

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello seplanti - I'm told that I have the largest collection of science on this at well over 2000 peer-reviewed articles. I hope you visit the website and watch the video to see who misled us and why.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Thermoplastics can be readily recycled, or more properly down-cycled.

What we need are better systems to ensure that they are collected clean enough for this purpose. Deposit-return does a great job of that.

What we don't need is inaccurate fear-mongering about imaginary environmental impact. And we shouldn't be confused about where ocean plastic comes from. It comes from fishing, and from poor people with no sanitation.

When plastics can't be recycled, down-cycled or chemically down-cycled to short polymers or monomers, they should be BURIED. In a properly constructed anaerobic landfill, they do not appreciably degrade over a period of thousands of years. They therefore become permanently sequestered fossil carbon.

What we should NOT do is react to plastic waste by burning it, either directly or indirectly via waste to fuels schemes. Traces of chlorinated plastics like PVC make that a bad idea from a toxic emissions perspective, and the GHG emissions are likely higher than the GHG emissions produced by natural gas if it were used for energy instead. We should not confuse waste management practices with "biofuels" or "alternative energy" projects. Most of the net calorific content of municipal solid waste- even with recycling sorting at source- is still of fossil rather than biological origin. The biological stuff should be sorted out and anaerobically digested so it doesn't release methane in the landfill. The rest should be landfilled.

Yeah, I know, people in Europe don't want to landfill anything. Then they should stop generating so much waste, rather than burning it, so they have less to bury.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Hi Demon3,

I am not a chemical engineer, however I believe what I have seen in my lifetime. I have put my reply in the following topic;

https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=484215

I am sure that you have many articles, papers. I heard, in my lifetime, about some Phd papers on cigarette smoking does not cause any problem in human health, and it was denied by the lost lives of many. Everything depends on Who’s hat you are wearing.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hi saplanti,

Thank you for posting. All I can say is that your current views are not supported by the scientific evidence. There are literally thousands of peer-reviewed articles by professional scientists proving that you are wrong.
The proof is here https://plasticsparadox.com/do-plastics-last-forev...
If you really care, then please look at the evidence. I spent 1000 hours checking this. How many thousands of scientific articles did you read to come to your current opinions?

All the best,

Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

I have just looked at your profile. What can I say? Your life is plastics. Of course you will say that plastics are not pollutant, you earn from plastics.

Just rise your head, and look around. Check what other people, nations talk about the pollution. Help them, join the cleaners of beaches, visit council’s Resource recovery centres(waste collection and separation stations). Talk to them and you will see what are the pollutants. You do not need papers for these activities I guess.

I wish everyone, including yourself, and any living thing (we cannot separate ourselves from them) a healthy life, healthy soil and water without pollutants, and clean air to breathe.

Regards.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello saplanti,

Your comments are not relevant to the discussion. I made several statements and proved all of them. You utter slurs without proof or substance.
If you care about the environment then I really do suggest that you prove it by looking at the evidence. See this video to know who misled you: https://youtu.be/wXvoVAE9ESE

Best regards,

Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Your cite argues both sides of the argument; no one disputes that untreated plastic are UV sensitive and destroyed by sunlight, but almost all plastic products are treated to survive prodigious amounts of sunlight, as the webpage suggests. They cite auto headlamp covers, and yet despite a surface layer of UV damage, it's easily buffed out, and the remainder stays intact even after a decade. In fact, if they actually did break down in anything less than 30 years, there would be a lot of pissed off drivers. The website also shows as evidence lawn chairs, but again, it's only surface UV damage; it'll take decades for the chair to completely disintegrate.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Hi Demon3,

This is the one I believe the most. You can find similar videos on the youtube.

https://youtu.be/5C9EztMhcKY

Regards,

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Saplanti, by your logic trees are also bad as they pollute beaches with dead branches and trunks and seaweed is even worse. You have focused on such a trivial type of pollution who's greatest effect is on the property value of those who own in the area.

And if you're going to use anything Berkeley their entire shoreline looks like this'

https://www.berkeleyside.org/2020/11/09/fire-homel...

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

TugboatEng,

It seems that you have not watch the short Australian video in my last post, and we have seen many of them which show the plastic pollution in the cost line of China, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia. One of them showed the rivers and canals were full of plastics in Indonesia. When investigators check the source of the plastic waste they saw Australia, Canada, European Union and United Kingdom. Once there was a recent conflict for a ship of contaminated plastics between Philippines and Canada. Australian people bags in hand always collect plastics in the coast line once a year as far as I know.

(I have found the video I was looking for;

https://youtu.be/X4uefUtvLpc

https://youtu.be/NUbrSq3Pjjk

https://youtu.be/npfTf92zXPg

You can find many in the youtube by searching with “plastics pollutions” )

As you have touched in your post, the homelessness is another social problem that we need to solve. Every person has right to have a space to live humanly. Governments collect taxes for this reason, but many cases, they do work like a company to make money nowadays. I would not care about the reduction of value of home which belong to rich people either. Rich people may not need to taste homelessness but need to understand their condition, none would like to be in their condition which is mostly not their fault.

Regards,

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello IRstuff. Good to see you again! Thank you TugboatEnd and hello saplanti,

The NGOs claim that plastics take 500 or 1000 years to degrade but they quote no evidence because there is not a single scientific paper to support that notion.
I'm not claiming that they degrade instantly but I am saying that a PE or PP film degrades at about the same speed as a leaf, so there's no logical reason to demonize plastics for being especially slow to degrade.
You're right that stabilizers are added. In fact industry spends $2BN per year on stabilizers precisely because plastics are so unstable.
A PP film with no stabilizer loses strength and becomes useless in less than one year at room temperature in the dark.
There are many papers showing PE and other polymers biodegrading.
I wrote the book and the website to show all of this along with the scientific citations to support the statements.
I takes a long time to spell it all out for each person individually on top of the 1000 hours I put into it already.
I wish that people would look at the evidence before they proceeded.

saplanti keeps stating that there is plastic pollution. I never said there wasn't and he would know that if he'd looked at the website or read the book (which is free).
I give the data for ocean plastic - there are not floating islands (even the captain who discovered the gyres says that). Most of what you believe now is pure fiction.
Plastics are under 0.5% of materials and waste. How can we solve our problems by focusing only on 0.5% of them and ignoring the rest?

All the best,

Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Quote:

A PP film with no stabilizer loses strength and becomes useless in less than one year at room temperature in the dark.

Yes, that quote is in the website you referred to, but immediately following is the comment "For stabilized PP, lifetimes of over 20" Can't see the rest, but a reasonable assumption is that it's "over 20 years are possible" I seriously doubt that any plastic product sold and disposed of today is not stabilized, so a minimum of 20 years life, which is much longer than a leaf's. Actually, I'll amend that; plastic grocery bags have been engineered to breakdown in sunlight, but it still takes a long time, on the order of a year or two, which, I think is still longer than a leaf's.



TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello IRstuff - companies use the minimum amount of stabilizer possible, so, as I said a part will degrade at about the same rate as a piece of wood the same size. A PE grocery bag in under one year.
It's important to note, as explained in the book and website, that we don't want materials to degrade quickly. LCA shows that the longer something lasts, the greener it is.
Also, degradation means releasing CO2. Landfills are designed to prevent degradation in order to prevent CO2 being given off, so even food and newspapers don't degrade.
My goal as a scientist is to show what's true. Saying that plastics are bad because they don't degrade is a lie, so I point that out.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

But, trying to pin the needle in the other direction is, I think, likewise disingenuous; the website does exactly that, highlighting the sentence in the article that supports a reality that doesn't really exist, while ignoring the reality that everything is made with stabilizers.

And I've not yet seen any of my headlamp covers come close to disintegrating, even locally, and the newer covers appear to me to have even more stabilizers, because people hate them turning yellow or cloudy.

Frankly, I think it's a disservice to everyone to tout an opposite extremist perspective. A frank and realistic discussion would hopefully get everyone off the endpoints and possibly meet in the middle.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

On the subject of releasing halogens while burning plastics, it seems like this should be a trivial problem to resolve. Halogens form acid gasses when burned which are highly reactive. This should make removal by the use of scrubbers a breeze.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello IRstuff,
I don't think you would feel that way if you really spent time on the site or read the book. Everything is 100% true and in perspective.
I didn't say that normal plastic parts degrade instantly. What I said is that they degrade as a similar speed to other materials so demonizing them based on that makes no sense.
We spend $2BN a year on stabilizers for a reason. More durable products are better for the environment as proven by LCA.
Do you know how long paper lasts at room temperature? 2730 years.
You made the point that I should not present a view totally different to what we think now. Why?
My goal is to present proven facts. If they are very different to what we've been told, then so be it. That's not my fault, it's due to NGOs who misled us to enrich themselves as shown here: https://youtu.be/wXvoVAE9ESE
It's all explained in the book.
I hope that you do.
All the best,
Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
You're right TugboatEng. They do use scrubbers and it works really well.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Demon3,

These are that you were claiming in your first post and my reaction was related to them;


“What did I find?
1/ Plastics are 0.5% of materials and waste
A: It might be true. But the remaining waste mostly recyclable, biodegradable, and do not harm environment. There are exceptions of course, nuclear waste, chemical industry leftovers, damp from ships, factories, untreated water and sewage release etc... but these are regulated and can be stopped. Plastics are not like that without regulation.

2/ Plastics massively reduce waste
A: if everything depends on human behaviour, therefore your claim is not correct. And depends on what we understand the term of waste. Plastic nanoparticles are the harmful waste.

3/ Plastics are usually the greenest option
A: The same again, it depends on what we understand from the term, green. My understanding on this discussion the green is whatever the material is does no cause problem on the living things in nature now or later.

4/ People cause litter, so blaming materials is unjust
A: This is the main thing. People litter, although we want that littering should stop and people should be responsible for it, this did not happen, will not happen. In the modern (this is questionable) society we could not stop many harmful things somehow. I wonder why?

5/ Plastics degrade rather rapidly (a plastic bag in under one year outside)
A: I guess I should leave this to the experts. However the subject does not end with plastic bags, there are many.

6/ Most microplastics research is junk and there is no credible evidence of harm
A: I left 3 youtube shortcuts above. The first explains and answers this. The other is the research paper below. In the same page with the research paper there are others completely reject you claim.

7/ Plastics are not a significant threat to turtles or whales
A: I think you need to watch the youtube videos why plastics are harmful for all the animals and human.

8/ There are no floating islands of plastic or “soup"
A: I guess you deny all the video evidences from the countries in my previous post. You have blind eye on them.

9/ NGOs have lied to us to get our donations
A: I do not know, it is possible.



This and scientific research papers in the website give evidence about plastic nanoparticles and their harmful effect.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-63028-1

I hope I did not misunderstand your post. Regards.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Plastics are proven to massively reduce waste and shown on the website and in the book. It takes 3-4lb of other material to replace 1lb of plastic.
That means that replacing plastic would not be a smart move.

Plastics are proven to usually be the greenest option meaning that peer-reviewed LCA studies prove they cause least harm.

People cause litter, so replacing a plastic bag with a more harmful (as proven by 25 LCA studies) paper or cotton bag does not solve the litter problem.

Plastics degrade rapidly. That's a fact and you can leave it to the experts - I am one of them.

Microplastic research is mainly junk because they use the wrong plastic, up to 10 million times too much of it and sometimes they soak it in poison for good measure.

There are no floating islands of plastic. That's a scientific fact. Find them on a satellite image. They are not there.
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/podcast/june14/mw126...
More proof Gyre Plastic: Science, Circulation and the Matter of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
https://escholarship.org/uc/item/21w9h64q

We have differing views. Yours are based on internet gossip and mine are based on 2000 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
You cite zero scientific evidence and I back up every statement with proof.
It is easy to work out who is more likely to be correct.
Your certainty in your current views is not backed up by anything.
If you really cared about the environment then you would look at the scientific evidence.
I spent 1000 hours collecting it for you but you can't be bothered to look. Sad that you don't care enough to check the facts.


Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Saplanti, you seem to be confusing litter and polution with waste. Litter and pollution are products of waste but waste is a product of production. Obviously waste can become litter or polution if handled improperly. But, I think it's important to make this distinction as I believe it is key to your disagreement with the OP.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment


Hello Demon3

I am not an ambientalist, i must said.. but I worked in the main plastic producer in Vzla for 20 years as a plant manager, Later as consulting Engineer a company ask me to recovery and dispose 30 TM of PU,PVC,PP,PE located into a warehouse for more that 20 years, nothing were degraded, only broken by mechanical reasons. No bio attack, sunlight effects on others..It for me, was a surprise.

I will let a paper about plastic degradation in the forest and sea, as good researchers need more investigation, they could not establish any proof of degradation.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316040856...

Best regards

Horacio

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello Horacio,

Plastics do degrade, that's why they spend $2BN a year on stabilizers. We want them made more stable because table materials are proven greener by LCA.
My point is that we've been lied to that they take 1000 years to degrade and that we should hate plastics because they never degrade. That's not true, they degrade at the same speed as leaves and wood.
Do you know how long paper lasts at room temperature? 2730 years. Should we therefore ban paper?

I just want people to look at the evidence instead of being tricked by NGOs desperate to get our donations based on fiction.
Have a look at this https://youtu.be/wXvoVAE9ESE

All the best,

Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

I am not against the plastics as long as they are recycled, and not end up in the environment uncontrolled. This effects the life of living things, the food chain, the water and air.

Today there is an uncontrolled production of plastics, very few recycled. But the production continues using fossil sources, the amount of plastics accumulates.

I know that there are plastic products can last 100 years in operation. We all know that there are pipeline materials that are absorbent of hydrocarbons, but used for the hydrocarbon liquid and gas pipelines, and we all promoting them one way or another. When the pipeline is taken out of operation what will happen with these materials? They become part of our lifestyle. Water, drainage, sewer piping (mostly underground) are almost all from plastics, mostly PVC and PE. What will happen those after operation? Do you think they will be recycled as they are at that stage?
I would like to know all these since we are using them, the clients prefer them for their corrosion resistance and long life. In the end this a business for them.

I hope you can give me a short answer an the subjects above without directing me to your book.

Regards,

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
Hello saplanti,

Plastics actually reduce fossil fuel usage. Other materials take several times more energy to produce and that comes from fossil fuels. Only considering the fossil fuel used as a raw material leads to a false conclusion.

LCA shows that using plastics usually causes least environmental impact. Plastics are considered non-toxic. Some of the additives were found to be problematic and were banned, that's the same that happened to the lead in glass, using mercury and many other materials, not just plastics.

Plastics recycling is not as high as it should be in the US now but it's better to fix that than move to materials that take 3-4x more energy to make, create 3-4x more waste and so on. Many countries burn plastics to create electricity, just like they do for paper and other materials and that works just fine.

All of this is on the webpage or the short videos there if that's easier to digest.

All the best,

Chris

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Hi Demon,

You have not answered the questions in my previous post. I know which source that plastics made from;

https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/How-Plastic...

Your only claim is that the other sources which includes recycling are more expensive than the fossil sources. Please tell me how are you going to get rid of the accumulation of the plastics that you have created. Is your solution to move another planet?

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
saplanti - I did answer. Plastics save fossil fuel, reduce waste and reduce CO2. What is your point? Our modern lifestyle creates waste and plastics massively reduce that compared to using other materials so why demonize plastics? If we want to avoid waste altogether, then we need to give up our lifestyles and move into caves but even then we will generate waste. Your arguments seem to lack logic. If you had watched the video or seen the evidence you would understand. I hope that you do.
I have spent 1000 hours and presented all the evidence for free. There's no point re-writing it here because you're too lazy to read it.
If you actually care about the environment then read it. If you don't look at the evidence then you must not care and you will cause harm through bad information. It's a shame.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

“Our modern lifestyle creates waste and plastics massively reduce that compared to using other materials so why demonize plastics? If we want to avoid waste altogether, then we need to give up our lifestyles and move into caves but even then we will generate waste. ” summarised your claim.

I have nothing else to say. Thanks.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Demon3 is right then?

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
In the book The Plastics Paradox I quote Winston Churchill who said "Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..."
The same can be said of plastics.
There is no perfect material, so we have to pick the one that does least harm.
Lifecycle analysis is the only accepted way to do that and it shows that plastic is usually the least harmful choice.
If saplanti really did believe in doing no damage then they would be living in a cave, not typing on a plastic keyboard attached to a computer made of plastic connected with wires insulated with plastic.
Instead of actually reading the data saplanti would rather argue without the facts. That leads nowhere as we have seen.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Gentleman,

I did not say that Demon3 was right. If you think he is, that is your view.

Starting from the first post to this, I was trying to say that there is a sustainable way. Particularly for the plastic case, instead of producing the plastics from the petrol origin we need to recycle the available and reuse. Waste accumulation is becoming bigger every day.

His claim was that this recycling was expensive, and he wanted to use the petrol origin to make plastics. However,I guess, he does not keep his waste with him and accumulate next to him either.

My question in this case was what to do with plastic waste, bury them? He does not get involve in this discussion. How about you? Do you want to bury the used plastics or damp in the the water stream?

I hope this clarifies everything if I did not misunderstand you in the discussion.

I suggest everyone to watch Michael Mooore’s documentary “Planet of the Human” if you can spare time:

https://youtu.be/Zk11vI-7czE

https://youtu.be/Bop8x24G_o0

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Plastic waste can be burned for power generation.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
saplanti - you said we need to reuse and reycle. Yes, it says that in the book and on the website.
It is hard to make a profit recycling plastics because they are so cheap. Ironically, they are so cheap because they are so green (low energy, water etc used to make them).
Plastics are about 10% of landfill waste and under 0.5% of all waste. Plastics are proven to have dramatically decreased waste.
All of this is on the website. Why not look?

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

TugboatEng,

Yes, it can be burned with lots of health problems. I suggest you to read the following from BBC and/or search google for “plastic waste burning vs health”, you will see the results.


https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43120...

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Your link says the problem has been solved:

"Burning plastic creates harmful dioxins and if incinerators are inefficient, these leak into the environment. Modern incinerators are said to have largely solved this problem."

Then it spouts this nonsense:

"The consultancy Eunomia says plastics burned in incinerators set up to generate only electricity create heat at 25% efficiency. This is much lower than the 55% efficiency for new gas-fired power stations."

Firstly, conventional plants can far exceed 25% efficiency. But, plastics can certainly be used in the more efficient combined cycle plants but not as the primary fuel. It would be used in place of duct burners.

Plastics would replace much dirtier coal fuel.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

I think you compare incinerators and conventional plants. If you add the plastics to the conventional plants first the low quality of the addition fuel second need for large amount of steam cleaning in various stages of the boilers which will reduce the efficiency a lot.

Additionally the BBC link says that the problem largely solved. It does not say entirely unfortunately.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Plastics wouldn't be a primary fuel. They would be injected in a controlled manner in to the furnace, even if only 1% of the total fuel load, a large plant burns so much fuel it could make a significant dent in the waste plastic supply. For coal plants, the plastics could literally be mixed in with the feed. Gas plants would obviously require some modification.

Keep in mind, were talking non-halogenated plastics here. Dioxins are only produced when combusting halogenated plastics such as PVC.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Exactly, you can only talk about the coal plant. However even the coal plant would not mix the plastics into their coal in any stage because it will stick onto the surfaces, and it will corrode the materials faster and it will increase the toxic fumes more. World is trying to get rid of the coal plants due to the environmental issues and the climate change as well.

I forgot to say that all the countries cannot, will not built those plants just for plastics since they already have working plants. So they will use incinerators the most to burn plastics.

Therefore the BBC article says the plastics should be recycled and reused.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Saplanti, please explain the source of toxic fume or acid gasses from the combustion of waste plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PET, polycarbonate, polyester, vinyl, polyamide, ABS, etc?

Yes, plastics such as PVC and PTFE would need to be separated from the waste stream which should be relatively easy to minimize as they are used for durable goods and not the waste generating packaging type plastics.

If you're worried about it sticking to things, inject it as a slurry with water. That will keep it cool enough until it's in the furnace to keep it from getting gooey.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
You're correct TugboatEng. They have proven that mixed plastics give as much heat energy as oil or coal and they they burn cleanly. It's all shown with proof in the book for free but saplanti would rather ignore the evidence. It's a shame.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

TagboatEng,

When you talk about separation of PVC and PTFE you talk about recycling, separation, and perhaps reuse. This is hidden behind your discussion, and I agree on that.

The toxicity with burning is given with the following article in detail;

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

I guess i did share this earlier as well.

Talking about burning plastics in the large boilers;

If I was a boiler operator I would immediately reject this option since the boilers are designed for the certain fuel with the high efficiency. If you change the fuel you will not be able to get the same efficiency, additionally you have to clean the sticky staff in the exhaust gas on the superheaters, economiser and perhaps on the preheater with plastic addition in the furnace. These are already problem areas due to exhaust gas chemistry, coal quality, materials, and efficiency.
Plastic burning is going to make everything worse than burning fuel oil number 6 which the plant surrounding residential people always had health problem.
I do not want even mention the health problems on the people by the coal burning in power boilers. Think about very high concrete chimneys. They are taken down one by one lately believe or not.

To burn plastics you need either special incinerator or an incinerator burning all common waste. The efficiency of these already given in the BBC article.

The following, “The Recycled Plastics Market: Global Analysis and Trends. CSIRO, Australia.”, gives a good picture on the plastics recycling, good to read;


https://www.csiro.au/-/media/MF/Files/19-00213_MF_...


RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

Of course there would have to be some engineering done prior to just putting plastic in the furnace. The plastic should be broken down completely in the furnace and should never reach the generating tubes or further in the boiler. This is true for any fuel.

I only mentioned coal plants because their design already accommodates granular or pelletized fuel.

Also, the plastics' chemistry can be optimized for burning during manufacture to eliminate any hazardous products.

This is a solution for the future, not the present.

RE: Learn the Surprising Truth about Plastics & The Environment

(OP)
PE and PP are the most common plastics. They are hydrocarbons that burn with the same energy output as oil and as cleanly. It's all in the book with proof.

Chris DeArmitt PhD FRSC
President

Plastic materials consultant to the Fortune 100 - As seen on CBS 60 Minutes, BBC & Sky News
Creating New Materials - Problem Solving - Innovation Keynotes - Expert Witness
www.phantomplastics.com

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close