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Thread: Alternatives to plastics

  1. #1 Alternatives to plastics 
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    What alternative materials can be used instead of environmentally damaging petroleum-based plastics (for any products; not just carrier bags)? Are there other materials which can do the same job or substitutes which are similar to plastic but biodegradable?

    Thank you


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  3. #2  
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    Recycling the plastic seems like a better alternative than coming up with a whole new technology. I realize that doesn't really answer your question though...


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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    For a few niche products bamboo is being touted as a substitute, e.g. for kitchen ware, plates, flooring and counter tops. It is apparently easy to grow and is considered to be a renewable resource. Like all "green" products there is going to be controversy about its greenness.

    Also clothing - better than polyester?:

    http://www.ecoskincollections.com/sh....php/spring-09
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  5. #4  
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
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    in answer to your question no there is no substitute for plastic it's just too perfect a material, any other materials that come close (like rubber) have similar downsides


    However as bunbury and scifour mentioned it is nearly unneccessary to find a substitute for a whole chemical, bamboo can replace plastic in many neiches, other organic products can (and before plastic were) do the same jobs almost as well


    If the worst happens and oil (and by proxy plastic) runs out the worst we will suffer is a setback of a few decades, no cars and many products becoming marginally harder to produce
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
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  6. #5  
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    in answer to your question no there is no substitute for plastic it's just too perfect a material
    Makes you wonder how the hell we survived till the 20th century without it.

    Yep nothing else decays in the sunshine so well or smells so toxic when burnt, or is as completely useless for cutting up a bit of steak on a transcontinental flight, or requres replacing as often as plastic shit.

    If it ran out tomorrow (please!!) we would return to wood and natural fibre products overnight, thus at least locking up a lot of CO2 for a while.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    in answer to your question no there is no substitute for plastic it's just too perfect a material
    Makes you wonder how the hell we survived till the 20th century without it.

    Yep nothing else decays in the sunshine so well or smells so toxic when burnt, or is as completely useless for cutting up a bit of steak on a transcontinental flight, or requres replacing as often as plastic shit.

    If it ran out tomorrow (please!!) we would return to wood and natural fibre products overnight, thus at least locking up a lot of CO2 for a while.



    whoa epic sarcasm speech there,

    you misunderstand my using the term, perfect material, I mean there is no material as vastly durable and ductile as plastic, of course there are others cheaper to make/ better for the enviroment and indeed are better at cutting steak BUT they either are more expensive than plastic or do not do the job as well as plastic, so in that respect plastic is a perfect material, although it does have some rather potent downsides
    (oh and P.S good luck trying to store Hydrogen Peroxide in anything safer than plastic, glass works but glass breaks)
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    there are plant based plastics, I don't know much about them

    they are probably more expensive, whether or not they are better is probably a matter of dispute since they will up the price of food due to supply and demand, and they will require expanding the already excessively destructive farming industry.

    BUT

    I can compost the bio-plastic knives...

    ehhh... consumerism has got to go

    SOO Alternatives?

    Turn the factories into hemp fiber and oil processing plants, turn all the unused farm land into hemp growing farms. give everyone a free anual pair of overalls and a lifetime supply of biodiesel and herb, they will do what you tell them, those that don't are smart enough to be in charge or real enough to raise the young... welcome to potcom

    problem solved

    light one up... jk...maybe...
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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