Conservation - in reverse



  • Our company used to have these cardboard lunch boxes - maybe 6"x12"x4" - made out of recycled paper. Then we got bought out.

    The new place used paper bags because they are less of a hit on the environment, but they were a much larger 8"x10"x20". Then, the paper bags disappeared, and in their place are plastic bags that would easily fit a tall kitchen trash can - to carry your meal in.

    Because we can grow more oil to make the plastic, to make the excessively large bags, to carry a bagel or sandwich.

    Obviously, the plastic is cheaper (for the company)...

    So much for easing the strain on the environment.



  • Wait, why did your company give out meal containers to begin with? Admit it: you actually work at McDonald's.



  • Plastic is a hell of a lot better for the environment than paper is.  Also, why do you think the impact of plastic is that significant?  How much do you actually know about ecology and waste management? 



  • @snoofle said:

    Because we can grow more oil to make the plastic
     

    I have an oil tree in my backyard.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @snoofle said:

    Because we can grow more oil to make the plastic
     

    I have an oil tree in my backyard.

    Maybe he thinks they use canola oil to make plastic bags. 



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @snoofle said:

    Because we can grow more oil to make the plastic
     

    I have an oil tree in my backyard.

    Oh, man, that's awesome! If only there were some sort of tree that grew paper, we'd be set!



  • @bstorer said:

    Oh, man, that's awesome! If only there were some sort of tree that grew paper, we'd be set!
     

    I had one of those... but McCain cut it down to drill for oil.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @bstorer said:

    Oh, man, that's awesome! If only there were some sort of tree that grew paper, we'd be set!
     

    I had one of those... but McCain cut it down to drill for oil.

    Yeah, well, Obama would have cut it down too, just to get his brother down.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Plastic is a hell of a lot better for the environment than paper is.  Also, why do you think the impact of plastic is that significant?  How much do you actually know about ecology and waste management? 

    On one side, as a general rule, most plastic is made from the byproducts of refining oil, which in most cases, is not a renewable resource.

    On the other side, as a general rule, in an open landfill, paper will break down a whole more quickly than plastic (yes, I know that milk bottles are made of plastic that degrades more quickly than other plastics, but still not as quickly as paper), but we're talking bags here, and these particular bags don't happen to be the kind that degrade quickly.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    On the other side, as a general rule, in an open landfill, paper will break down a whole more quickly than plastic
     

    You don't recycle? WTF!? You are a bastard.



  • @snoofle said:

    On one side, as a general rule, most plastic is made from the byproducts of refining oil, which in most cases, is not a renewable resource.

    The Sun isn't a renewable resource either, but it's still vast enough for me to not worry about running out.

     

    @snoofle said:

    On the other side, as a general rule, in an open landfill, paper will break down a whole more quickly than plastic (yes, I know that milk bottles are made of plastic that degrades more quickly than other plastics, but still not as quickly as paper), but we're talking bags here, and these particular bags don't happen to be the kind that degrade quickly.

    Which is precisely part the problem.  Biodegradable materials are more volataile than plastics and the effects of many types decomposing at the same time tends to create toxic sludge (leachete) that has to be contained using heavy layers of plastic.  Additionally, the sludge that is formed eventually reaches a point where it slows the continued decomposition of "biodegradable" waste.  Think about it, what would be safer to bury: something that breaks down quickly or something that takes thousands of years to decompose?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Plastic is a hell of a lot better for the environment than paper is. Also, why do you think the impact of plastic is that significant? How much do you actually know about ecology and waste management?

    Actually, they've discovered that plastic bags (and similar things made from plastic, such as those thin transparent wrappers on practically everything in a modern grocery store) are dramatically worse for the environment than paper bags are, and are also dramatically worse than other recyclable plastic objects. I'll go look for the article where I read this -- it was published less than a year ago, but I can't remember where -- but the points were:

    • Plastic bags (being so thin) have different thermodynamics than thicker objects, so unless you recycle them separately from everything else, they start to burn up in the process of being melted down and cause impurities in the end product
    • Plastic bags are extremely likely to break free from waste containers because they are sheetlike and lightweight, meaning that even when properly disposed of they can end up as litter
    • Because they are made from plastic, they keep the things which would ordinarily aid in decomposition (bugs, worms, bacteria) from spreading freely through the organic material landfill, thus making the landfill less efficient
    • Plastic bags which get into natural wetlands and rivers tend to get stuck in a single location, and anything which ends up underneath such a bag dies because the bag blocks oxygen/carbon dioxide and sometimes also sunlight. This in turn causes extra stress on the rest of the things living in the water because the decomposition is not offset by more living things in the same area as is usually the case

    Having said this, I am obliged to add that a cloth bag (if reused) beats both paper and plastic hands down. But since you can't always have a reusable cloth bag, the second-safest choice for a bag or a container is definitely paper.



  • @The Vicar said:

    Having said this, I am obliged to add that a cloth bag (if reused) beats both paper and plastic hands down. But since you can't always have a reusable cloth bag, the second-safest choice for a bag or a container is definitely paper.
     

    morbiuswilters has the best resolution for this. He cannot afford groceries, and therefore does not buy them.

    But the one time he treated himself to a bottle of ketchup, he was sure to bag it in 50 plastic bags and then throw them seperately from the roof of his apartment building as a curse to the wretched world in which he can only afford annual splurges into condiments.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @bstorer said:

    Oh, man, that's awesome! If only there were some sort of tree that grew paper, we'd be set!
     

    I had one of those... but McCain cut it down to drill for oil.

    Yeah, well, Obama would have cut it down too, just to get his brother down.
    Well I'm sure you'd cut it down just so you can eat it.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    You don't recycle? WTF!? You are a bastard.

    Actually, around here, we are required, by law, to separate recyclables into: paper, cardboard, clear bottles, colored bottles, cans and toxic stuff (paint, oil, aerosol sprays)

    It's kind of a pain in the arse to have to lug all 6 buckets to the curb, in addition to the trash cans on collection day.

    Even worse, every now and then, there is some problem at the recycling place, and the collection folks just dump it all into the same hopper - which does wonders for the enthusiasm of folks who otherwise try to comply.

    ....BUT, I know you said it with love ;)

     



  • @snoofle said:

    I know you said it with love ;)
     

    I have no love. Only a cold, black lump.



  • @The Vicar said:

    Plastic bags (being so thin) have different thermodynamics than thicker objects, so unless you recycle them separately from everything else, they start to burn up in the process of being melted down and cause impurities in the end product

    Who said anything about recycling?  I sure as hell don't recycle my plastic bags.

     

    @The Vicar said:

    Plastic bags are extremely likely to break free from waste containers because they are sheetlike and lightweight, meaning that even when properly disposed of they can end up as litter

    Really?  I haven't notice a large number of plastic bags compared to other types of litter.

     

    @The Vicar said:

    Because they are made from plastic, they keep the things which would ordinarily aid in decomposition (bugs, worms, bacteria) from spreading freely through the organic material landfill, thus making the landfill less efficient

    Wow, you didn't read a goddamn thing I said above, did you?  Biodegrading is bad.  And how long do you think bugs, worms and bacteria survive in a modern landfill?  The toxins from decomposing non-plastic and non-glass materials tend to be pretty harsh.

     

    @The Vicar said:

    Plastic bags which get into natural wetlands and rivers tend to get stuck in a single location, and anything which ends up underneath such a bag dies because the bag blocks oxygen/carbon dioxide and sometimes also sunlight. This in turn causes extra stress on the rest of the things living in the water because the decomposition is not offset by more living things in the same area as is usually the case

    Which was proven to be utter bullshit.  Plastic bags are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things that even hard-core enviro-weenie scientists couldn't make themselves say that getting rid of plastic bags would make a significant impact on wildlife.  It's great marketing for chains like Whole Foods who want the enviro-weenies to think they are doing something.  Personally it makes me sick that my single, small lunch salad is contained in a massive, heavy paper bag instead of a thin and light plastic one.  The paper is also a lot more annoying to carry and the shitty things can't hold any serious weight, so I always end up double-bagged if I buy anything more than lunch.



  • @snoofle said:

    Even worse, every now and then, there is some problem at the recycling place, and the collection folks just dump it all into the same hopper - which does wonders for the enthusiasm of folks who otherwise try to comply.
    In Washington, DC, the sanitary and storm sewer systems are combined, meaning that when there's a heavy rain, the overflow (i.e., raw effluent) is dumped into the Anacostia river.



  • @snoofle said:

    Actually, around here, we are required, by law, to separate recyclables into: paper, cardboard, clear bottles, colored bottles, cans and toxic stuff (paint, oil, aerosol sprays)

    Hell, you're required by law to do it here, but I just throw my garbage in with a few hundred other peoples' so nobody is going to be able to track it back to me. 



  • @bstorer said:

    In Washington, DC, the sanitary and storm sewer systems are combined, meaning that when there's a heavy rain, the overflow (i.e., raw effluent) is dumped into the Anacostia river.

    Sounds about right for what people call "Little Mexico City". 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Hell, you're required by law to do it here, but I just throw my garbage in with a few hundred other peoples' so nobody is going to be able to track it back to me. 

    They will if you keep throwing away those personalized dildos with your name etched into them.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    if I buy anything more than lunch.
     

    And that has happened how many times? Once?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:

    In Washington, DC, the sanitary and storm sewer systems are combined, meaning that when there's a heavy rain, the overflow (i.e., raw effluent) is dumped into the Anacostia river.

    Sounds about right for what people call "Little Mexico City". 

    Now that's low. We don't have to fear muggers stealing our ID so as to rob us at our home address later. Incidentally, does that even make sense? Are the robbers in Mexico City so indecisive that they cannot pick a house to rob without some outside help?

    First Robber: Hey, man. What house should we rob?
    Second Robber: I don't know, homes. I can't decide.
    First Robber (looking at ID from a recent mugging): It says here that there's some houses over on First Street, ese.
    Second Robber: Awesome! Good thing this strategy isn't common, because then the police would know exactly where we plan to strike.

    I'm sure you can add your own accents. Most people would go with something out of East LA, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Speedy Gonzales.



  •  @morbiuswilters said:

    The Sun isn't a renewable resource either, but it's still vast enough for me to not worry about running out.

    did you just try to claim, by implication, that we have so much oil we don't need to worry about running out?

     

    wow.. what rock have you been living under for the last 30 years



  • @Kazan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    The Sun isn't a renewable resource either, but it's still vast enough for me to not worry about running out.

    did you just try to claim, by implication, that we have so much oil we don't need to worry about running out?

     

    wow.. what rock have you been living under for the last 30 years

    You don't know how much sun we have left. The only people who really know that are the solar bears who live on its surface.



  • @Kazan said:

    did you just try to claim, by implication, that we have so much oil we don't need to worry about running out?

     

    wow.. what rock have you been living under for the last 30 years

     

    Not sure how we would run out of oil....



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Filed under: Unless McCain keeps cutting down my oil trees....

    Wait, I thought he cut down your paper tree. You know what? I'm beginning to think you made the whole thing up.



  • @bstorer said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

     

    Hell, you're required by law to do it here, but I just throw my garbage in with a few hundred other peoples' so nobody is going to be able to track it back to me. 

    They will if you keep throwing away those personalized dildos with your name etched into them.
     

     WHY would he throw those away?! You don't throw away family heirlooms!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Wow, you didn't read a goddamn thing I said above, did you?  Biodegrading is bad.  And how long do you think bugs, worms and bacteria survive in a modern landfill?  The toxins from decomposing non-plastic and non-glass materials tend to be pretty harsh.

    So what's your solution to the rubbish that's produced? Throw it into the sea once there's no more land to put it on/in? Coz, you know, there's lot of sea there, may as well use it for something. Just like the oil you mentioned - we're not using enough of that!

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Really?  I haven't notice a large number of plastic bags compared to other types of litter.

    Outside my window, there's a plastic bag tree. It looks kinda nice in winter, when the sun shining through the bare branches makes the bags look like flowers. Then there are the ones that just float by, a la American Beauty. Yeah, there are more plastic bags round here than other types of litter (including dog-crap - next to park in a country renowned for lots of dogs with owners who don't pick up...)
    Oh, and go by train from Beijing to Ulanbator sometime... perhaps seeing nothing for miles and miles but sand and plastic bags, you'll think twice before throwing the 51st bag off your roof...



  • @bstorer said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    Filed under: Unless McCain keeps cutting down my oil trees....

    Wait, I thought he cut down your paper tree. You know what? I'm beginning to think you made the whole thing up.
     

    Oil trees are real! 

    What rock have you been living under for the last 30 years?!



  •  @snoofle said:

    Our company used to have these cardboard lunch boxes... etc

    Now, before this thread becomes locked because the evil trolls are posting.. I'm really curious about where do you work, that they give you lunch boxes, plastic, paper bags or whatever.
    Really, do they pay you with food?  Are you in some kind of private army? Do you manufacture shoes?

    Sorry If I'm slow, so please enlighten my ignorance. 



  • @superjer said:

    WHY would he throw those away?! You don't throw away family heirlooms!
    There are certain sex acts after which, no matter how you scrub, they'll never again seem clean...



  • @fatdog said:

    the evil trolls are posting..
     

    Oh come on, Kazan only posted once!



  • @Mel said:

    So what's your solution to the rubbish that's produced?
    Put it in a rocket, shoot it at Jupiter.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Mel said:
    So what's your solution to the rubbish that's produced?
    Put it in a rocket, shoot it at Jupiter.
     

    Can't we just keep throwing it in Slovenia? Really, what's the problem?



  • @Kazan said:

    did you just try to claim, by implication, that we have so much oil we don't need to worry about running out?

    Pretty much, yes.  There is a lot of oil on Earth, more than we will probably ever use.  As the costs of oil continue to increase it will decrease in popularity as a source of fuel.  Additionally, it's not like you can't manufacture plastics out of non-petroleum sources. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Really?  I haven't notice a large number of plastic bags compared to other types of litter.

     

    Not technically litter, I suppose, but ever drive past the Staten Island landfill on a windy day?  The fence is usually lined with them.

    Personally I'm happy with "recycling" my plastic bags from the grocery store, etc. as garbage bags.  If you're going to throw them out anyway, might as well give 'em a purpose.  Saves money on store-bought garbage bags, too -- you might be able to afford some mustard once in a while.



  • @cconroy said:

    Saves money on store-bought garbage bags, too
     

    Poor people don't buy trash bags. They throw their trash from their windows.



  • @Mel said:

    So what's your solution to the rubbish that's produced? Throw it into the sea once there's no more land to put it on/in? Coz, you know, there's lot of sea there, may as well use it for something.

    How much land do you think landfills take up?  It's a very, very tiny amount.  Meanwhile, landfills can be filled in and the land used for something else, but this tends to work better with the landfills that aren't full of toxic sludge created by biodegradable materials.

     

    @Mel said:

    Just like the oil you mentioned - we're not using enough of that!

    Who said we're not using enough?  I mean, there's still plenty left, I'm not worried about it.  It's not like there aren't alternatives for energy, too.

     

    @Mel said:

    Outside my window, there's a plastic bag tree. It looks kinda nice in winter, when the sun shining through the bare branches makes the bags look like flowers. Then there are the ones that just float by, a la American Beauty. Yeah, there are more plastic bags round here than other types of litter (including dog-crap - next to park in a country renowned for lots of dogs with owners who don't pick up...)
    Oh, and go by train from Beijing to Ulanbator sometime... perhaps seeing nothing for miles and miles but sand and plastic bags, you'll think twice before throwing the 51st bag off your roof...

    It's never been anything I've noticed, so I guess you just live in a place with a bunch of jackasses. 



  • Ok everyone chill out, the world is not going to end in our lifetime.. global warming is good to save money on heating, and surfing will only get better, so stop complaining and tell me what kind of company gives lunch bag to their employees..



  • @fatdog said:

    so stop complaining and tell me what kind of company gives lunch bag to their employees..
     

    In Chinese companies I know this is pretty common, or at least the ones I have been to.



  • @fatdog said:

     @snoofle said:

    Our company used to have these cardboard lunch boxes... etc

    Now, before this thread becomes locked because the evil trolls are posting.. I'm really curious about where do you work, that they give you lunch boxes, plastic, paper bags or whatever.
    Really, do they pay you with food?  Are you in some kind of private army? Do you manufacture shoes?

    Sorry If I'm slow, so please enlighten my ignorance. 

     

    I'm assuming he means the cafeteria at his office.  TRWTF is that they don't have reusable plastic trays, which are much sturdier than those cheap-ass cardboard boxes anyway.  Or if they do have trays and the boxes are for take-out, TRWTF is that people are so attached to their work that can't even leave their desks for a half-hour to eat.



  • OK kids, enough trolling in this thread for today.  Go outside, get some fresh air, consider interacting with other humans face to face.  You never know, you just might like it.




  • @fatdog said:

    Ok everyone chill out, the world is not going to end in our lifetime.. global warming is good to save money on heating, and surfing will only get better, so stop complaining and tell me what kind of company gives lunch bag to their employees..
    I already figured this out: McDonald's. Clearly snoofle works at a Boston Market, and until last year, it was owned by McDonald's.



  • @Jeff S said:

    OK kids, enough trolling in this thread for today.  Go outside, get some fresh air, consider interacting with other humans face to face.  You never know, you just might like it.

     

    How is there any trolling going on here?

    Is this your first time here? Are you not a fan of humorous discussions?



  • @snoofle said:

    On one side, as a general rule, most plastic is made from the byproducts of refining oil, which in most cases, is not a renewable resource.

    You are correct that most sources of oil are non-renewable. However, most plastic is produced either directly or indirectly from ethene (ethylene) which is manufactured by steam cracking of light hydrocarbons. In Brazil, ethanol from sugarcane is used as a feedstock for the manufacture of ethene and polyethene. So it is entirely possible to make commodity plastics from renewable resources.



  • @DKNewsham said:

    @snoofle said:
    On one side, as a general rule, most plastic is made from the byproducts of refining oil, which in most cases, is not a renewable resource.

    You are correct that most sources of oil are non-renewable. However, most plastic is produced either directly or indirectly from ethene (ethylene) which is manufactured by steam cracking of light hydrocarbons. In Brazil, ethanol from sugarcane is used as a feedstock for the manufacture of ethene and polyethene. So it is entirely possible to make commodity plastics from renewable resources.

    This educational and informative post has no place in these forums! We value only empty rhetoric parroted from the nightly news. Take your facts and get out!



  • Yes, first time here.  My mistake, I didn't realize this was "humorous".  In retrospect, my sides are splitting, this is all very clever stuff!

    OK, back on topic.



  • @Jeff S said:

    Yes, first time here.  My mistake, I didn't realize this was "humorous".  In retrospect, my sides are splitting, this is all very clever stuff!

    OK, back on topic.

     

    So we are supposed to not mind month old threads being resurrected, but you can't handle a little humor being thrown around?



  • @fatdog said:

    I'm really curious about where do you work...

    They don't [i]give[/i] us anything. It's a big place with a pay-as-you-go corporate cafeteria. Most folks grab some food and bring it back to their desks. You have to carry it in something. It used to be carboard boxes, then paper bags, now trashcan-sized plastic bags. And I'm absolutely certain that they make a profit on the cost of the bags (included in the cost of the food).

     


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