Plastic. Five things that we really need to do.
The plastic problem is a big one… we keep making more of the stuff and it lasts almost indefinitely… Recyling is clearly not going to solve it, especially in the UK where ‘recycling’ actually means shipping it accross the World to poor countries for desperate children to scrap through to earn a few pence.
1./ Create a research prize for degradable plastics. I refuse to believe it’s impossible to create plastics that cannot be broken down using chemical or organic means. Engineer bacteria to eat the stuff, create a process for dissolving it, find the solutions. Create the solutions. It absolutely has got to be possible. Put up prizes of millions for workable solutions.
2./ Ban non degradable plastics for packaging starting in five years. Force industry to find the solutions.
3./ Until then, burn the stuff at high temperatures, use the energy to make electricity, and fit devices to the exhaust chimneys to capture as much of the harmful components as possible. Better to burn it than have it floating round the oceans for a thousand years. Yes it’s bad the for air quality, but it’s our waste we should have to deal with it. Exporting it to the future is hardly an answer. Easier to deal with after use than to try to extract it from the environment, especially the seas.
4./ Stop making so much plastic tat. Especially toys, and crap that have no meaningful use but last for millennia.
5./ Stop buying so much damn stuff.