reply to post by Muckster
I have been posting sort of tongue-in-cheek thus far, but you are saying the absolute truth. We are too dependent on plastics for temporary uses.
Grocery bags are one great example. I actually re-use mine as trash bags (I keep several in the car), but most people just toss them out. When they
were introduced, plastic grocery bags were called the greatest thing since sunshine, because of all the trees they would save, thus making them a
'green' item. Yeah, right.
Soft drink bottles are another. When I was young, I used to ride up and down the road here on my bicycle, picking up refundable bottles so I could buy
a drink for myself. It taught me a lot about working for a living and commerce. And it kept me out of trouble. Now, there is no deposit in most areas
and kids have lost yet another way to make a few bucks on their own and learn responsibility. Plus, the bottles just lay there and accumulate... no
one wants them.
I actually go out of my way to either buy aluminum cans (which I can bag up and carry down to get a few bucks at the scrap metal yard) or 2-liter
bottles which I can put to a wide variety of uses. They are great for reusable bottles, funnels, or even plastic tubes if you cut the ends out. I have
thought about building a homemade pontoon boat from them.
Now for some things, plastics are wonderful... for instance, bottles for chemicals. They are very inert and do not contaminate the chemicals inside.
Ceramics are coming into wide use in high-temperature applications. Fiberglass (yes, the resin is a type of plastic) is low-weight and
A friend once told me: "We do things backward in America. My house is built of wood, which has a tendency to rot. It is supposed to last me a
lifetime and beyond to my children and maybe their children. This Coke bottle is supposed to last until I finish drinking it, maybe 30 minutes, yet it
is made out of plastic which lasts for thousands of years."
Plastic studs and joists are available for construction; you can, right now, build a house completely out of plastic. The problem is, it will cost you
three times the materials cost of wood. If plastic is so darn cheap and plentiful to make disposable bottles out of it, why does it become expensive
in other applications?