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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2018
     
    What is avoidable plastic?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2018 edited
     
    It wouldn't matter if (nearly) all was captured and upcycled into new plastics feedstock.

    Note that upcycling is a world apart from 'recycling' which merely processes energy-degraded stuff into even more energy-degraded dumb products like 'save a tree' fencing planks. The hi-energy-content feedstock that's necessary for hi-grade plastic products (incl much of packaging) at present only comes virgin from oil refineries.

    The only fundamental difference between upcycling and dumb 'recycling' is that there's presently no energy input to refine and chemically upgrade the mixed lo-grade rubbish into pure engineering-grade feedstock. Call it locally reversal of entropy - and of course that always mean increased entropy somewhere else.

    Where would that (considerable) energy input come from? Obviously not from any fossil source, otherwise the 'somewhere else' of increased entropy would happen right here in the biosphere.

    It would have to (and increasingly feasibly can) come from insolation and/or its downstream derivatives wind, tide etc. That way the 'somewhere else' of increased entropy would happen out there, elsewhere in the cosmos, which is the way that Life has operated always, until disrupted by fossil burning. Indeed that 'exported entropy' effect is one of the best indicators of Life, and is what James Lovelock, as NASA scientist, was working on which led to his development of the Gaia hypothesis.

    So - no more petrochemical plastic until we can get going on solar-powered upcycling. Until then, no more burning of hydrocarbon waste for municipal energy - it's a precious resource, future feedstock, which should be stockpiled now aka landfill.
    • CommentAuthormaxelaine
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2018
     
    What he said
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    Welcome back Tom, you been away again?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    Kent not Cornwall, that's the trouble.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018
     
    Funny place Kent.
    Probably been dryer, but colder.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018 edited
     
    Isle of Sheppey - wild deserted bird marshes, abandoned industry, vast sky and seascape despite being estuarial. Long beaches sand shell mud, decayed resorts - not 50mi from central London - incredible. Distant shipping dwarfed by forests of huge turbines. Naturally, Boris would put an airport on it.
    https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/dec/21/walking-north-kent-marshes-hoo-peninsula-charles-dickens
    • CommentAuthorgoodevans
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2018 edited
     
    I moved from Sussex to the edge of the Fens. At first I struggled at the lack of trees and hills and thought I would soon have to be moving on. I have found however that the big sky is a little addictive and it seems that this is my place now. Strange how things turn out.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2018
     
    Does someone need to put forward a definition of avoidable plastic, I think yes.

    Anyone wanna have a shot at this please
    • CommentAuthorSigaldry
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2018 edited
     
    Using less / minimal plastic (i.e. only the amount that is unavoidable)?

    :)
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2018
     
    Meaningless useless
    • CommentAuthormuddy
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2018
     
    We need to tax plastic at it's production to pay for it's recycling. A plastic VAT.

    While walking along St Fagans Road up to the Welsh Folk Museum yesterday I was outraged by the rubbish dumped into and over the hedges.

    Rubbish has a negative value, it costs to be processed. Plastic especially has become the genie let out of the bottle. The Era of the Anthropocene will be principally distinguished by plastic.

    If we revalue plastic rubbish it will lead to the end of indiscriminate dumping, because the plastic VAT can be reclaimed at it's recycling.

    Upcycling, as proposed by fostertom, seems the best way to process mixed plastic waste, turn it back into ethylene.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2018
     
    Posted By: tonyMeaningless useless


    Tony is that a predictive text erratum or is it deliberate?

    Meaning less, Use less.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2018
     
    My English is so poor I can’t tell, sorry
  1.  
    Posted By: tonyDoes someone need to put forward a definition of avoidable plastic, I think yes.

    Anyone wanna have a shot at this please


    I think it's usually used in this kind of context.

    Not just use less, but avoid using it at all where there's a perfectly good alternative.

    Before people rush to explain away these shortcuts with 'efficiency' (i.e. longer shelf life, less wastage damage in transit), it's worth looking at what is being made more efficient and why. Usually the answer is to maximise profits rather than any meaningful savings in energy or carbon.
      DXi0pykX0AIRDcK.jpg
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    Nice try but we still don’t have a definition

    Crazy situation peeled orange in plastic box!
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    What are you hoping to do by getting a definition?

    In some way all plastic is avoidable, but most of the time, we don't seem to think too hard about the alternatives.

    Are you trying to force people to think about;

    - the things that have an alternative that is "greener" AND none/minimal impact to pocket?
    - things that by design end up polluting e.g. micro plastics in hair care products
    - stuff with a building connection (e.g. disposable plastic protection etc)
    - stuff where we can use something else like clay v plastic pipes

    etc

    give us a clue :confused:
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    I first heard this phrase used by the PM and a date was set by which time we should have done this but if we don’t or can’t define what avoidable plastics means then the whole idea including the target becomes meaningless.
    • CommentAuthorSigaldry
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    Excess packaging; Micro plastics as exfoliants; plastic that Is used and then discarded.

    Plastic is a useful material in it's own right.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    What does excess packaging mean, wrapping once, twice, three times, more than three times? Does it include/ exclude other materials, paper caedboard etc?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    Why avoid? It's a stopgap debate - sooner understood, the sooner obsolete - any further comment on what I said at the beginning?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    I am quite happy to have my food protected and longer lasting because it is wrapped in plastic. How would you feel if you saw the pork or chicken at your favourite restaurant/supermarket/butcher turn up in the back of a farmers car without any packaging?
    I do wish there was a better way to get it recycled or disposed of, but that may not be necessary if a cheaper alternative comes along
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2018
     
    It may be easier to define un-avoidable plastic.
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