Bury plastic in landfill?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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SheFellOverSheFellOver Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Like most people, despite my best efforts I end up with a lot of plastic that can't currently be recycled. My local council sends this to 'energy from waste'.


Leaving aside the issue of pollution, my feeling is we should not burn this waste but bury it (preferably deep in old mines).


Put simply, it's a product made from oil, so burning it is releasing carbon from a fossil source. Putting it back in the ground where it came from makes more sense. I think!

What's your view?

Replies

  • pile-o-stonepile-o-stone Forumite
    396 Posts
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    Pros and cons covered in this BBC article:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43120041

    In my view, I think we should go back to using glass and metal for a lot of our containers, etc.
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  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    Sixth Anniversary 500 Posts Photogenic Rampant Recycler
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    Reads a little over-simplified or not quite balanced.

    Yes, we should recycle where possible, and better still move away from single use plastic as a minimum but we have a massive problem with plastic waste which cannot be recycled.

    Leaving the economics to one side, and they always tip the balance one way or the other, replacing fossil fuels in part with this plastic, with appropriate technology to reduce any harmful new pollutants, seems to me to be logical as long as it is not just burning for burning sake. e.g. so the cement plant use seems good.

    I have no idea what came of this but 30 years ago I saw a programme on German TV that described the 100% recycling of apple/orange juice cartons. They we chopped into crisp-sized pieces and tumbled in a large drum full of water. The result was a "soup" of what became high-grade brown packaging paper, flakes of aluminium and flakes of plastic coating (energy).

    The latter two were used in the cement industry to partially replace the massive amounts of energy required and to partially replace the amounts of aluminium otherwise added to the mix. Seemed to we a win/win for everyone, including the environment!

    Surely, 30 years on we are technologically advanced enough to come up with this sort of idea to dispose of the massive plastic mountains we have created?
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  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    A very interesting subject and one for which there may be no immediately correct solution!

    On a similar topic it might be worth having a read of the link below.


    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=76695930#post76695930
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  • Thanks for the ideas and links. I'm siding towards thinking of dumping plastic in landfill as a form of 'carbon capture'. If we put enough of it in a big hole, it might come in handy in 40 years when there's no oil left!


    I do wonder if the option to burn waste plastic slows down the development of other technologies and the roll-out of renewables.


    Whatever timescale we're talking about, burning anything made from oil isn't good in terms of carbon emissions.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    Thanks for the ideas and links. I'm siding towards thinking of dumping plastic in landfill as a form of 'carbon capture'. If we put enough of it in a big hole, it might come in handy in 40 years when there's no oil left!
    I do wonder if the option to burn waste plastic slows down the development of other technologies and the roll-out of renewables.
    Whatever timescale we're talking about, burning anything made from oil isn't good in terms of carbon emissions.
    Have to agree that in an ideal world it might be better to store plastics underground and that the burning of any fossil fuel should be kept to a minimum.
    Unfortunately we are unlikely to reach that utopian state for a decade or two as yet. Until then we shall need a base load of electricity sufficient to see us through and preferably without the need for building additional nuclear plants. Therefore, like it or not the burning of some fossil fuels will be necessary to facilitate this, so why not combine the burning of waste, in a controlled manner, to generate electricity to assist with this rather than mining/burning more fossil fuels than necessary.
    I suspect that in forty years time the era of burning fossil fuels will be long gone. We are already aware that the burning of all existing known reserves of oil and gas are sufficient to see man and woman kind's extinction from our planet!
    Sorry to paint such a dark picture following a seemingly innocent original question.:o
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • The way we are using and disposing of single-yse plastic is really not sustainable. Burying it in the ground with the quantities we produce is just not a realistic solution, plus plastic leakage would end up contaminating water in soil, and we have just started discovering the health hazards that could provoke in the long run. The solution is to use less plastic, plain and simple.
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