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Oil shortages cause surge in petroleum based products, toys, plastics   The Consumer You: Marketplace

Started 4/29/21 by Showtalk; 2864 views.
Showtalk said:

It’s fascinating that some states, like California, banned plastic bags. Then covid hit and suddenly reusable bags were full of bacteria and germs and markets went back to plastic. The feel-good decisions often end up being bad for people.

Somehow the word "Schadenfreude" comes to mind.

However - we really do need to get a handle on one-time-use plastics that then end up stuck in the mesquite thorns and barbed wire fences by the thousands after every wind storm. There needs to be a convenient place to dispose of the stuff so it can be re-melted into pellets and made into new things.

Problem is the contaminants and mixing that happens in ordinary uses, and the blended co-extrusions and such that are nearly impossible to separate with present technologies in an economical fashion.

Until that break-even threshold is reached, we will continue to have a Faustian choice of continued plastic pollution versus the collapse of modern civilization.

Showtalk said:

Industries that expected people to want to get back to work can’t find enough people to take their jobs. Driving flammable liquids takes a special kind of training and license so they can’t just hire any driver.

Worse than that even. A lot of those licenses and proficiency renewals lapsed during the long lockdowns. Same with various other highly skilled jobs involving licensing and periodic proficiency exams to stay current. Aircraft mechanics, pilots, hazmat drivers, and others, due to this, are now in short supply. Same for the examiners and such who administer the periodic tests to be sure the people remain highly proficient and up to date.

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

5/2/21

Showtalk said...

The stipends will end.

Yes... eventually!

Showtalk said...

I read somewhere every $1400 check sent out costs taxpayers $14,000.

It wouldn't surprise me! While the remaining $12,600 difference goes into somebody's pocket!

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

5/2/21

If people were willing to stop tossing plastic bags and other plastic products in public spaces rather than trash cans or recycling, that would be a moot point.  Plastic is necessary.  We should be able to figure out ways to stop bag pollution without throwing out the baby.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

5/2/21

Can’t they ramp up testing? Why did licenses expire? Ordinary people were able to get their drivers licenses renewed, so there is no excuse for that to happen.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

5/2/21

The money goes into government coffers to be spent.  They like spending money.

Showtalk said:

If people were willing to stop tossing plastic bags and other plastic products in public spaces rather than trash cans or recycling, that would be a moot point. Plastic is necessary. We should be able to figure out ways to stop bag pollution without throwing out the baby.

To modernize that famous line from "The Graduate", the next secret word is "depolymerization". This takes plastics that are mixed, that are contaminated with a bunch of food residue or other stuff, and breaks it back down into hydrocarbon monomers which can then be separated by fractional distillation, into essentially new virgin resins that can be made back into new clean plastics and plastic blends.

There's a bunch of technical articles about it if one google the word along with plastic recycling.

They heat it up to about 850 degrees with supercritical steam. It provides an anerobic environment where the long polymer chains break down into oils, and thus separate easily from the paper or other materials they were laminated with. Such heat also breaks down organic residue, and permits the various components to be separated. Sludge drops to the bottom of the pressure chamber where it can be processed further, and the liquid monomers get distilled and cleanly separated.

The intense heat can be done with focused sunlight to make the supercritical steam. Supercritical fluids have the density of a liquid but the permeability of a gas. This uniformly heats everything so there are no spots that are too cool for the desired chemical decomposition to occur, and not too hot which can further break down the monomers to a point that much greater energy is needed to re-constitute it later.

The separated paper fiber (Starbuck's cups) and fully sterilized and decomposed organic material residues can be easily disposed of, while the monomers from all the used syringes, IV tubes, McDonalds burger clamshells, discarded water bottles, etc. become medium chain hydrocarbon monomers that can then be made into new plastic, making a true circular recycling rather than a downward spiral recycling process like we have today.

Licenses expired because tests and in person refresher courses were not being administered for about a year as the clock kept ticking, and many pilots, air traffic controllers, commercial drivers, etc. were idle in some industries that essentially shut down for months and months, especially in deep blue states.

Worse, instructors and examiners' credentials often had expired, creating a greater shortage of personnel who could quickly get new people certified and renew certifications of old hands alike.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

5/19/21

They claim there are more bags and plastic products than they can possibly reuse.

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

5/19/21

That never should have happened. Someone in charge of each licensing program should have had them declared essential.

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