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Plastic Recycling Now Contributing to Microplastics Pollution Mania

Plastic Recycling Now Contributing to Microplastics Pollution Mania

THE SCIENCE: “Experts” want use to wash clothes less, line-dry our laundry, and eat lab-grown meat.

Americans have been told for decades that recycling plastics and paper was essential to save the Planet Earth.

However, it turns out that plastic recycling has contributed to the new green hysteria over microplastics pollution.

A recent peer-reviewed study that focused on a recycling facility in the United Kingdom suggests that anywhere between 6 to 13 percent of the plastic processed could end up being released into water or the air as microplastics — ubiquitous tiny particles smaller than five millimeters that have been found everywhere from Antarctic snow to inside human bodies.

“This is such a big gap that nobody’s even considered, let alone actually really researched,” said Erina Brown, a plastics scientist who led the research while at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

The research adds to growing concerns that recycling isn’t as effective of a solution for the plastic pollution problem as many might think. Only a fraction of the plastic produced gets recycled: About 9 percent worldwide and about 5 to 6 percent in the United States, according to some recent estimates.

The study was conducted at a single plastic recycling facility, but experts say its findings shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“It’s a very credible study,” said Judith Enck, a former senior Environmental Protection Agency official under President Barack Obama who now heads the Beyond Plastics advocacy organization.

Erina Brown is the study’s lead researcher, which was conducted at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She noted how the microplastics are potentially problematic to the environment.

The study, published in the Journal of Hazardous Material Advances, suggests the recycling plant discharged up to 2,933 metric tonnes of microplastics a year before the filtration system was introduced, and up to 1,366 metric tonnes afterwards.

“More than 90% of the particles we found were under 10 microns and 80% were under 5 microns,” said Brown. “These are digestible by so many different organisms and found to be ingested by humans.”

“For me, it highlights how drastically we need to reduce our plastic consumption and production.”

Unfortunately, this new mania is likely to have regulatory consequences. For quite some time, drive-by bureaucrats in various environmental health agencies have targeted microfibers, which are shed from synthetic clothing during the wash cycle and contribute to much of the “microplastic pollution.”

A coalition of 16 states is now urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address this issue.

In a letter, the states urge the EPA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to evaluate their authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate microfiber pollution.

“The United States needs to join other countries that are already helping prevent plastic microfibers from choking our environment and public health,” [Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown] said.

The Attorney General’s office said 640,000 to 1,500,000 plastic microfibers are shed from synthetic clothing during wash cycles, making them a main source of microplastic pollution in the world’s water.

The state also said microfibers are a harm to human health. “Microfibers can be associated with hormonal cancers, reproductive problems including infertility, metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism,” the Attorney General’s office said.

Meanwhile, “experts” suggest we wash our clothes less and line-dry clothes.

Ask yourself if you really need to wash something after only wearing it once, said Elena Karpova, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who studies textile sustainability.

And since microfibers are also released from dryers, try air drying your clothes more often.

The importance of plastics in modern life cannot be overstated. They are vital for an array of health, safety, and economic reasons.

Resistant, inert, and lightweight, plastic offers many benefits to companies, consumers, and other links in society. This is all because it is a low-cost, versatile, and easy-to-use alternative, ideal for replacing various materials that have a deep impact on the environment.

…All these factors have contributed to the popularization of consumer goods, since one of the results of the use of plastic in the production chain is the reduction of the final price, making the products more affordable and contributing to social development.

In medicine, plastic has led a revolution because it is a resistant, sterilizable, light, and cheap material, being present in safety equipment for professionals, in masks, gloves, syringes, blood bags, catheters, capsules, pills, and much more.

In the automotive industry, it has allowed a significant reduction in vehicle weight, reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, the environmental impact of automobiles.

I guess the “experts” want our meat to be lab-grown, but everything else must be “natural”…and we must return to doing laundry like it was a century ago. Progress! Science!


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E Howard Hunt | May 24, 2023 at 8:18 am

Great, the general population, which is already stupid, ignorant, fat and rude will now become dirty and smelly. I await the comeback of chamberpots.

JackinSilverSpring | May 24, 2023 at 9:20 am

Experts told us that recycling is beneficial. Now they’re saying the opposite. Why should we trust them any longer? Regretfully, experts have oversold their expertise (think also the Wu-flu, the vaccine, global warming, etc.). Clearly, anything “experts” tell us should be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

    UnCivilServant in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | May 24, 2023 at 9:28 am

    When an “expert” makes a proclaimation, I ask whether it is a political position, or one that will get them the most money. (These are not excludive)

    scooterjay in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | May 24, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Childhood obesity problem in a land of a child hunger issue.

    Only about 15% of the plastic in this country is recyled.

    But guess what? That’s higher than the percentage of Electric Car Batteries that are recycled!

    Once the country is converted to EV’s, how many tons of electric car batteries will need to be disposed of annually? Worries about plastic will be forgotten because we will have bigger fish to fry.

    henrybowman in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | May 24, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Saw a Tweet the other day, thought I saved the image but guess I didn’t.
    Photo down onto the top of a trash bin with two holes. One says Recyclable Material, the other said Non-Recyclable. Guy has his hand stuck into one hole, and is waving at the camera through the other. Too many “influencers” have been lying to you about this junk from day one to believe them now.

    And PLEASE do not forget about the stupid mug nappies THEY forced us to wear…(I refused) which bring a number of hazards far more dangerous than the silly flu bug itself: reduced oxygen blood levels, increased CO2 blood levels, and, are you ready for this one: SHEDDING microplastic particles directly into your delicate lung tissue FROM the masks….. yes, documented, admitted by government, and all the rest. Not only that, the shots themse;ves are oaded with micropoastic particles as well.. in jected directly into your bodies.

    My bet is that fplks who slapped those nappies across their mugs on a continual basis for two or three years AND taken all the shots they “recommend” or mandate, have taken in a load of plastic microparticles far greater than we who wear natural fabrics, cook real food at home with minimal packaging, and just sort of mostly ignored all the covidiocy.

Environmentalism is a front for labor and environmental arbitrage.

    Dimsdale in reply to n.n. | May 24, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    Like CRT, the foundation is Marxism, the ultimate goal of the good Democrat apparatchik.

Line drying when possible can leave laundry with a smell that isn’t from the obnoxious perfumes that dryer sheets leave and isn’t likely to prompt an allergic reaction from those who are sensitive. As for rewearing outer clothing, we do that often. That’s what underwear is made for.

    Personal choice is a beautiful thing..

    henrybowman in reply to DSHornet. | May 24, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    In this corner, intrusive government that demands line drying. In this corner, hundreds of thousands of HOAs who forbid the installation of clotheslines. Opponents have been issued their acid guns and chainsaws. Are we ready to rummmmble?

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to DSHornet. | May 24, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    I use dryer sheets only during times of lots of static. And, I buy unscented ones. They do exist.

Not one single creature has ever been proven to have died due to ingestion of microplastic particles, which are polymer chains similar to “indigestible plant fiber.”

    Suburban Farm Guy in reply to BoboPhat. | May 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    They serve Miralax all the time at retirement communities, a standard dose of 17 grams of — ground-up plastic. Makes life better

    henrybowman in reply to BoboPhat. | May 24, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Yeah, did you notice the cagey wording?
    “These are digestible by so many different organisms and found to be ingested by humans.”
    Well, are they “digestible” by humans, too? Precisely what PROBLEMS do they cause?

    InEssence in reply to BoboPhat. | May 25, 2023 at 12:47 am

    Humans are losing their testosterone. It is something like half of what it was. Plastics are suspected.

“Can be associated with” is not the same as “causes”.

    Tionico in reply to randian. | May 25, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    HEY STOP THAT!!! You are supposed to be sufficiently well trained as to dutifully not your head slowly and mutter something along the lines of “government must DO something about that….”
    No wonder our debt ceiling is floatong above the ionosphere these days. And raising not too slowly.

They’re so concerned suddenly about microfibers that one might breathe in, but they pushed everyone to inject lipid nanoparticles into themselves.

    Tionico in reply to artichoke. | May 25, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    not to mention those blue plastic diapers they tried to force upon the lot of us. You know, those blue PLASTIC FIBRE thingies they demanded we wear everywhere? The same ones that were useless in stopping a viral particle so small a thousand of them could “lock arms” and march through in flank formation through the smallest openings in those “masks” without ever touching anything until they floated on to some vulnerable victim and invaded their lung cells.

Old quote but always relevant: “The number one cause of problems is solutions.”

David Walker | May 25, 2023 at 11:11 am

Ah, more “studies”…
Some people have far too much time on their hands!