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Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New solution t...

Posted: 24 Apr 2017 11:13 AM PDT

Generally speaking, plastic is incredibly resistant to breaking down. That's certainly true of the trillion polyethylene plastic bags that people use each and every year. But researchers may be on track to find a solution to plastic waste. The key is a caterpillar commonly known as a wax worm.

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Our stores here are trying to get people to stop using the plastic, & the stores who do deliver, use boxes as far as I know.

Do the grocery stores that deliver use re-usable bags (regardless of what they are made of)?

The City and County I live in passed an ordinance of 'one use' plastic bags. It has a long way to go to prevent pollution.

Corn starch plastic bags break down.

Asside from plastic bags, plastic lighters, toothbrushes, and scrubbing agents in soap (among a host of other things) also contribute to micro particals fed on by sea life.

I heard, don't know the facts though that Highway 84 made in part by 'recycled' tires in Washington State along the Columbia River spontaneously combusted during a heat wave. Perhaps the fire was caused from an Oil, or Coal train. I am unable to find the news report.

Plastic that isn't biodegradable should be banned.

There is a corn based plastic that breaks down.

Pros and Cons of the Corn-based Plastic PLA
PLA is carbon neutral and burns clean, but has a host of unsolved p...

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Polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch (usually corn) is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. As more and more countries and states follow the lead of China, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda and San Francisco in banning plastic grocery bags responsible for so much so-called “white pollution” around the world, PLA is poised to play a big role as a viable, biodegradable replacement.PLA Helps to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Proponents also tout the use of PLA—which is technically “carbon neutral” in that it comes from renewable, carbon-absorbing plants—as yet another way to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases in a quickly warming world. PLA also will not emit toxic fumes when incinerated.

PLA Biodegrades Slowly Unless Subjected to Industrial Composting

But critics say that PLA is far from a panacea for dealing with the world’s plastic waste problem. For one thing, although PLA does biodegrade, it does so very slowly.

According to Elizabeth Royte, writing in Smithsonian, PLA may well break down into its constituent parts (carbon dioxide and water) within three months in a “controlled composting environment,” that is, an industrial composting facility heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and fed a steady diet of digestive microbes. But it will take far longer in a compost bin, or in a landfill packed so tightly that no light and little oxygen are available to assist in the process.

Indeed, analysts estimate that a PLA bottle could take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill.

Recyclers Can’t Mix PLA and Other Plastics

Another issue with PLA is that, because it is of different origin than regular plastic, it must be kept separate when recycled, lest it contaminate the recycling stream.

More here.

I wonder how many people know that their laundry detergent and soap for a dishwasher uses plastic beads as a scrubbing agent.

Filter-Feeding Plankton Clean  Carbon Out Of The Oceans
Giant larvaceans build filters to pluck food out of the ocean, and in the process, they store a bunch of carbon.

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The ocean absorbs a lot of our industrial carbon dioxide, and plankton filters a lot of it once it's there. But new research shows one specific species of plankton filters carbon faster than the others — probably thanks to its house.

Giant larvaceans build delicate water filters out of mucus and pump water through them to keep them inflated. The wispy outer filter can get more than 3 feet wide to catch stuff that floats by. The curved inner filter guides particles toward the larvacean so it can eat.

Until now, we hadn't studied how giant larvaceans filter the water around them. They're so fragile they can't really be removed from the ocean. So researchers used a remote vehicle packed with lasers and cameras to study them where they live...."

More Here

Washington State used recycled tires on a highway.

It gets hot in the Eastern Washington/Oregon desert. The highway spontaneously combusted which took several days to put out.

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