Letter to the Editor,
Those Oceans of Plastic?
We are being lambasted for polluting the World with plastic. But in the same breath we learn that 90% of the plastic in the sea comes from 10 rivers in Asia and Africa, the 3rd World.
80% of the petroleum crude that we extract from the earth today is burnt, as LPG, petrol, diesel and JP1, to fly our planes. And where people have cars, nobody, not even Al Gore, will give up on Jumbos and 787s. So, why don’t we also burn the other 20% that goes into plastic and rubber, and let it all add to the greening of the globe? Burnt in high temperature clean combustion boilers in the centre of every city it could generate electricity. That would be very efficient localised electricity that could cut the top off peak loading prices, would not lose 10% in those overly long transmission lines that spoil the view, and doesn’t get to dam up the biology of all our river systems.
We, the developed half of the world. need plastic like never before, and it is us who have the methodology to gather up so much rubbish, and sort it for baby nappies, green waste and food scraps, that could be processed for natural biogas to energy. And, we too can corral all that plastic, all our mixed packaging, our rubber tyres, wood and paper that could be efficiently burnt close to every city.
Doesn’t more CO2 grow more trees? By the time we run out of crude and frack, we may well continue to use coal by Sasol processes to make petroleum fuels and allow us time to fully depreciate our present transport systems as we slowly reinvest in new ones. By the time we have burnt up all the coal, probably long before that, we will be generating all our base load 24/7 energy from oh so safe 4th generation nuclear, with enough surplus electricity to either charge up all those Tesla3s that have yet to be built, without spoiling their emissions with present CO2 carbon based power.
Or else, recycle enough carbon dioxide and water back into hydrocarbons to keep the worlds multi billion dollar auto industry huffing and puffing, at least for long distance heavy haulage, until technology catches up.
We could even go one step further, we are still heaping up equally un-recyclable glass, particularly wine bottles. We buy our cheapest plonk in casks, those plastic bags in boxes. Has anyone complained about the taste? If plastic is able to put cheap glass out of business, why not the expensive as well?
Why don’t we shape and colour it to every producers unique requirement, and so that we don’t see the dregs in the bottom, make it strong enough to hold up on all the fizz in champagne, and do away with those mountains of glass? That would be really saving the planet.
Ken Calvert www.coffee.20m.com