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  • #61
    Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post
    The solution to your concern about plastic garbage is voting candidates into office who share your views.
    I try. I think those in my local regions (even those I don't vote for) are reasonably good at this kind of stuff. It's the higher (national) levels that worry me.


    You ask a good question. What are the benefits v. the harms due to the use of such straws. I don't know and neither do the people trying to ban them. I would submit that the people trying to ban such straws need to justify what it will do beyond make them feel good about themselves.
    I agree. I think there's often too much irrational emotional/partisan reasoning going into issues such as this. I try to look at it from more of an economic/social cost-benefit angle. What are we gaining vs what are we losing?


    I would rather we let society decide what it wants or doesn't want, rather than some "woke" politician trying to make a name for himself by banning things.
    Yes, unfourtunately too many are in it for self-aggranzidment, rather than the glory of competent public service.

    I was recently struck by the disparity of results comparing opt-in vs opt-out organ donation systems. I think legitimate organ donation is a worthy cause. Stats show countries with and opt-in system have something between 10-20% donation rates. Countries with opt-out system have +90% donation rates. A worthy cause, better donation rates (some organ wait lists are depressingly long), and everybody still has a choice (although it could depend on the ease of opting out for those who wish to). It really made me re-think certain issues, such as single-use plastics (ie straws). The flip side of these opt-in/opt-out programs, would be the majority of personal/financial information sharing, which often have opt-out clauses, but typically laborious and difficult, if not impossible, likely to discourage people, as there is big money in big data these days

    The point being, yes, society should decide what it wants or doesn't want, but for some things I think we sometimes need a reluctant nudge to do the right thing (such as in the case of single-use plastics). Of course, what is 'right' varies, as does personal or cultural trust of 'competent public service'. Which brings us back to square one, where too many are in it for self-aggrizement, and yet we voted the bastards in so the rotten system we have is what we deserve?


    I think the "fight for 15" is an example of this.
    It sounds really generous for me to support making other people paying their employees more and that may work out great for the employees that keep their jobs, but mandating that places like MacDonalds pay its servers more doesn't make those employees more valuable to Macs. As a result, those people lost their jobs due to "woke" generosity. So my hypothetical support for the "fight for 15" made me feel good, but it hurt the very people I pretend to care about.
    I think it's a difficult line to walk. On one hand, minimum wage in some jurisdictions is bordering on servile. On the other hand, paying these kinds of postions 'living wages' I think reduces the individual motivation to advance, train, educate, and move beyond minimum wage work. Granted, many in those positions haven't been dealt the cards in life to have the means to advance and educate themselves to move beyond it. I think there's room for industry/government to provide training and education incentives and motivation other than simply raising the minimum wage. Higher minimum wage won't reduce the cost of education.

    One of my favorite quotes seems relevant:
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    C.S. Lewis
    Very interesting quote, thanks Gonna chew on it for a bit...

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    • #62
      A more important question might be: Do we really need straws to drink from a cup to begin with?

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      • #63
        [QUOTE=T. A. Gardner;n5140557]

        A better way to reduce waste is to eliminate things from the cycle before hand.[quote]

        What do you think is the best way to do that? Regulation? Gentle government encouragement for industry to change processes? Wait for the market to demand it? Public outrage?


        Other recyclables simply have limited uses. An excellent example of this is rubber products. They cannot be recycled into new rubber. Tires for vehicles are the most problematic, often ending up in huge "tire" dumps. There is some use for these ground up used in rubberized asphalt, but that hardly makes a dent in the number disposed of already. One way to use them is to grind them up, magnetically seperate the steel belt material, then burn them to make electricity. Weight for weight they are more efficient than coal.
        Hmm, that sucks. I hadn't thought of tires. Good point. Are cheap, low-quality tires contributing to this? Maybe better, longer-lasting tires would help? More gentle government nudging to encourage industry to evolve manufacturing processes? Wait for someone to revolutionize tire manufacturing to make it easier to handle after their useful life?

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        • #64
          It's simply a matter of numbers. There are over 1 billion motor vehicles in use in the world today. Almost all of these run on rubber tires. It doesn't matter if it's a motorbike or a huge dump truck, they use rubber tires. Even if a particular tire will last years, vehicles get flats, blowouts, etc., and eventually need new tires. That means there are upwards of a billion used tires going to dumps every year. The result is:



          Worse these happen from time to time and they usually can't be put out:



          One solution is pulverize the tires into pellets and generate electricity with them. In fact, a coal plant could easily be converted to run on pelletized rubber tires to the extent they can be utilized.

          As for waste in packaging, companies like Amazon could actually take a lead in this. They could work with the companies that supply their items for sale to eliminate packaging that is either necessary for FTF retail sales, like materials used to make the product hang on a display in a store, for simpler ones that are suitable for shipping. Or, work with delivery services, particularly close to their warehousing operations, to eliminate secondary packaging in favor of reusable bins. That is, the delivery service / warehouse bins the items and delivers them without additional cardboard boxing.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            One solution is pulverize the tires into pellets and generate electricity with them. In fact, a coal plant could easily be converted to run on pelletized rubber tires to the extent they can be utilized.
            What is the cost to convert the plant and how would that help their bottom line?
            "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
            - Benjamin Franklin

            The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              As for waste in packaging, companies like Amazon could actually take a lead in this. They could work with the companies that supply their items for sale to eliminate packaging that is either necessary for FTF retail sales, like materials used to make the product hang on a display in a store, for simpler ones that are suitable for shipping.
              Yeah. I don't do a heck of a lot of online shopping, but had two book shipments from different retailers recently. One was wrapped in a simple cardboard book box, the other in envelope lined with bubble wrap. The cardboard I could recycle. The envelope and bubblewrap were glued together, so it had to go to the garbage Too bad... I should write them an email

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              • #67
                Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

                What is the cost to convert the plant and how would that help their bottom line?
                No clue, but there's probably some profit value in them at least staying open vs inevitably shutting down?

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                • #68
                  This company has a process that turns old tires into lampblack and diesel fuel...

                  https://www.waste360.com/waste-energ...e-tires-energy

                  Here is their blurb on a generation plant. $105 million to set up and it consumes about 30% of the used tires in the Chicago area while producing 19.9 MW.

                  https://www.waste360.com/mag/waste_w...y_power_plants

                  Other uses as an energy source.

                  https://scraptirenews.com/tdf.php

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    A more important question might be: Do we really need straws to drink from a cup to begin with?
                    So people and little children do. Patients in hospital beds do. The rest of, and especially people from my generation, grew up without them.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                      So people and little children do. Patients in hospital beds do. The rest of, and especially people from my generation, grew up without them.
                      Exactly. Except in certain circumstances we don't need straws. Certainly we don't need one given out by a restaurant for every guest's drink...

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                        Exactly. Except in certain circumstances we don't need straws. Certainly we don't need one given out by a restaurant for every guest's drink...
                        No, we don't, but as a nation and a culture, we worship the idol of "disposable." We treat our "durable goods" as if they, too, are disposable...we call it "planned obsolescence."
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                          No, we don't, but as a nation and a culture, we worship the idol of "disposable." We treat our "durable goods" as if they, too, are disposable...we call it "planned obsolescence."
                          Thank you Alexis de Tocqueville. Rimshot. But seriously folks . . . . I was watching the the Science Channel's If We Built it Today, and one of the engineers referred to today's infrastructure as "disposable." Highways, bridges, stadiums, schools: they're all built to last but a finite time. I'd heard somewhere, though I can't recall where, that most of the projects funded by the Interstate Highway Act were designed to last only 50 years. Of course, building durability into a given structure costs more: more time, more material, more manpower -- more money. Still, I'm rather flabbergasted that something that will cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars is being designed with only 50 or 60 years in mind. What we're seeing now is that a lot of our 20th century infrastructure is nearing the end of its designed life. What we saved in initial building costs we're paying for in maintenance, renovation, rebuilding, delays, disrupted service, or in some cases, actual safety hazards. So in the end, we didn't really save anything. It's the classic government way of doing things: we'll just kick it down the road.
                          I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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