Continuing Environmental Degradation

seeking

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As if it's not bad enough that synchems are implicated in the reduction of salmon populations due to reducing smolt fitness etc., but the recent news is even more depressing for the future state of our rivers and oceans.

UK faces build-up of plastic waste - BBC News

Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem - BBC News

So, what next for the humungous, and exponentially increasing, amount of polluting, poisonous plastics? Now that China, funnily enough one of the biggest contributors to oceanic plastic waste, has decided (wisely) not to deal with the Developed World's filth.

Incineration to return via rainwater to the rivers, or landfill to degrade and leach over time into surface and groundwater. What's for sure is that lots more dodgy synchems are coming to a river catchment near you.

We live in interesting times.:mad:
 

Loxie

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In a way it might kick start a new relationship with plastic and perhaps some of the external costs might be forced in to the price, making us reconsider our throwaway mentality. I'm probably being wildly optimistic though. I suspect that it will be incinerated for power production and shoved in to the atmosphere to rain down accross the globe.

It really boils my p*ss that politicians accross the globe can't stop behaving like spoilt selfish little children playing my nuclear warhead is bigger than yours and actually try to do something meaningful to address the looming disaster.
 

castor

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In a way it might kick start a new relationship with plastic and perhaps some of the external costs might be forced in to the price, making us reconsider our throwaway mentality. I'm probably being wildly optimistic though. I suspect that it will be incinerated for power production and shoved in to the atmosphere to rain down accross the globe.

It really boils my p*ss that politicians accross the globe can't stop behaving like spoilt selfish little children playing my nuclear warhead is bigger than yours and actually try to do something meaningful to address the looming disaster.



Politicians as a personality type are in the vast majority of cases prone to having deep seated 'personality issues'; we only have to read the papers to realise that this is so. From deeply worrying 'vision of an ideal UK future' right down the line to advanced drink, sexual abuse and criminal behaviour. Most are deeply juvenile in their attention seeking attempts. As with all spoilt brats we need to ignore them until they learn to behave themselves. They are best ignored in the ballot box.
 

seeking

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A new article out which highlights concerns arising from the pandemic response. Not much of a popular subject when originally mooted, but much more apposite now given the widespread (seemingly ineffectual) use and wanton disposal of these things. Anyone else noticed a massive increase in dangly blue muzzles on the streets, drains and riparian willows?

And this is just about facemasks. There's not much published so far on the impact of wanton use of (seemingly ineffectual) synchems in "hand and surface sterilisers" etc. on the water environment (not that it's being properly monitored any more anyway...).

Cheque in post, as ever.



"Highlights



We investigated the impact of disposable plastic facemasks (DPFs) on environment.

Micro and nano particles emitted from DPFs were deposited on Al2O3 membranes.

Particles emitted from DPFs were identified as silicon-based and plastic fibres.

Leachate was analysed using mass spectrometry for heavy metals and polar organics.

Lead, cadmium, antimony and various organics species were detected in the leachate.


Abstract

The production of disposable plastic face masks (DPFs) in China alone has reached to approximately 200 million a day, in a global effort to tackle the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, improper and unregulated disposals of these DPFs has been and will continue to intensify the plastic pollution problem we are already facing.

This study focuses on the emission of pollutants from 7 DPF brands that were submerged in water to simulate environmental conditions if these DPFs were littered. The DPF leachates were filtered by inorganic membranes, and both particle-deposited organic membranes and the filtrates were characterized using techniques such as FTIR, SEM-EDX, Light Microscopy, ICP-MS and LC-MS. Micro and nano scale polymeric fibres, particles, siliceous fragments and leachable inorganic and organic chemicals were observed from all of the tested DPFs.

Traces of concerning heavy metals (i.e. lead up to 6.79 µg/L) were detected in association with silicon containing fragments. ICP-MS also confirmed the presence of other leachable metals like cadmium (up to 1.92 µg/L), antimony (up to 393 µg/L) and copper (up to 4.17 µg/L). LC-MS analysis identified polar leachable organic species related to plastic additives and contaminants; polyamide-66 monomer and oligomers (nylon-66 synthesis), surfactant molecules, dye-like molecules and polyethylene glycol were all tentatively identified in the leachate.

The toxicity of some of the chemicals found and the postulated risks of the rest of the present particles and molecules, raises the question of whether DPFs are safe to be used on a daily basis and what consequences are to be expected after their disposal into the environment."


Source:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0043135421002311
 

mows

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These guys are doing some good work on the recyc!ing front, with plans to have these all over the place.
 

seth

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I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he still works on street cleaning as I did before my retirement, and he was saying that a very large part of the litter they are picking up since the corvid pandemic started, are face masks they are picking dozens of them up every day.

I must admit I’ve seen a lot as well, when I’ve been out for a walk, after spending eight years doing that job, you do still notice litter more.
 
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