Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?

  • 60 Replies
  • 25724 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
I am treated like I am a smoker or a seal clubber if I ask for a plastic bag in a supermarket but is this really the worst thing chemists ever invented and can chemistry take the green high ground in other ways?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 12656
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #1 on: 17/01/2009 17:44:33 »
I would have thought that napalm, agent orange or bacterial/chemical weapons would rate hgher.
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #2 on: 17/01/2009 17:50:26 »
You tell that to the check out ladies at Waitrose.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #3 on: 18/01/2009 05:15:15 »

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #4 on: 18/01/2009 05:22:32 »
As far as plastic bags are concerned, plastics have touched our lives in countless ways so there are always benefits as well as its disadvantages. In the future, I think one day plastics will be totally beneficial to all of us.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8735
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #6 on: 18/01/2009 13:52:41 »
The biodegradable plastics were developed by chemists.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #7 on: 18/01/2009 20:00:11 »
So why don't they make shopping carrier bags from biodegradable plastic?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #8 on: 18/01/2009 20:01:00 »
There are also rocks to soak up carbon dioxide
Don't mention rocks we might get Geologists on here.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #9 on: 18/01/2009 20:07:48 »
This is the kind of thing I was after, thanks chem4, I knew I could count on you.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Karsten

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
    • View Profile
    • Fortunately still only a game
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #10 on: 19/01/2009 02:07:18 »
What kind of biodegradable do you mean? The kind that just falls apart to be pieces too small for humans to get upset about, or the kind that uses non-petrochemical materials and is actually compostable (= digestible by microorganisms)? If there is such a thing as the latter.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2009 02:14:18 by Karsten »
I got annoyed with looking
at my own signature

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #11 on: 19/01/2009 03:10:12 »
I think the latter...

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #12 on: 19/01/2009 04:25:54 »
So why don't they make shopping carrier bags from biodegradable plastic?
According to a site in NZ:

Quote
Biodegradable plastic bags and packaging aren't an end solution to replacing non-degradable plastic bags in supermarkets and retails stores for the following reasons:

•They do not decompose in properly managed landfills.

•They support the throwaway mindset and the use of landfills as an acceptable disposal method

•They do not discourage over-use in the first place.

http://www.zerowaste.co.nz/default,475.sm

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #13 on: 19/01/2009 04:32:43 »
There was also this: [8D]

Quote
Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics have long been controversial. Manufacturers like to portray them as a magic-bullet solution to the problem of plastics that won't go away. Bioplastics, for example, are touted as saving 30-80 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you'd get from normal plastics and they can give food longer shelf-life in stores. But here are some of the drawbacks:

When some biodegradable plastics decompose in landfills, they produce methane gas. This is a very powerful greenhouse gas that adds to the problem of global warming.
Biodegradable plastics and bioplastics don't always readily decompose. Some need relatively high temperatures and, in some conditions, can still take many years to break down. Even then, they may leave behind toxic residues.
Bioplastics are made from plants such as corn and maize, so land that could be used to grow food for the world is being used to "grow plastic" instead. By 2014, almost a quarter of US grain production is expected to be turned over to biofuels and bioplastics production, potentially causing a significant rise in food prices.
Some bioplastics, such as PLA, are made from genetically modified corn. Most environmentalists consider GM (genetic modification) crops to be inherently harmful to the environment.
Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics cannot be easily recycled. To most people, PLA looks very similar to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) but, if the two are mixed up in a recycling bin, the whole collection becomes impossible to recycle. There are fears that increasing use of PLA may undermine existing efforts to recycle plastics.

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/bioplastics.html

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #14 on: 19/01/2009 04:35:07 »
Why not try and make some Make it Lady? [:)]

Quote
A recipe for PLA bioplastics
1)Take some corn kernels (lots of them).
2)Process and mill them to extract the dextrose (a type of sugar) from their starch.
3)Use fermenting vats to turn the dextrose into lactic acid.
4)In a chemical plant, convert the lactic acid into lactide.
5)Polymerize the lactide to make long-chain molecules of polylactide acid (PLA).

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/bioplastics.html

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #15 on: 19/01/2009 04:39:12 »
There appears to be a better recipe here  [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P]

*

Offline Karsten

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
    • View Profile
    • Fortunately still only a game
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #16 on: 25/01/2009 13:16:41 »
There appears to be a better recipe here  [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P]
That is a fine video! Is this stuff water resistant?
I got annoyed with looking
at my own signature

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8735
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #17 on: 25/01/2009 13:55:23 »
There appears to be a better recipe here  [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P]
That is a fine video! Is this stuff water resistant?
No, which might be a problem if you are carrying your groceries home and it rains.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Offline Karsten

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
    • View Profile
    • Fortunately still only a game
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #18 on: 25/01/2009 15:43:14 »
There appears to be a better recipe here  [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P]
That is a fine video! Is this stuff water resistant?
No, which might be a problem if you are carrying your groceries home and it rains.

Or use it to make bags to pick up dog poop.

My groceries go into backpacks or canvas bags.
I got annoyed with looking
at my own signature

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #19 on: 25/01/2009 18:59:10 »
Chemists did not invent the plastic bag - they invented plastics.

Science should be morally neutral and scientists should not be held responsible for the uses to which their inventions are put.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #20 on: 26/01/2009 00:32:14 »
Did they invent plastics or did they discover plastics?

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #21 on: 26/01/2009 11:13:25 »
Where were they that they could be discovered?

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #22 on: 26/01/2009 11:27:12 »
What is your definition of plastic?

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #23 on: 26/01/2009 11:31:29 »
Okay, just forget that I ever asked the question, I don't know what I was thinking when I posed it... [::)] [::)] [::)] [::)] [:I] [:I] [:I]

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #24 on: 26/01/2009 17:30:45 »
Why not try and make some Make it Lady? [:)]

Quote
A recipe for PLA bioplastics
1)Take some corn kernels (lots of them).
2)Process and mill them to extract the dextrose (a type of sugar) from their starch.
3)Use fermenting vats to turn the dextrose into lactic acid.
4)In a chemical plant, convert the lactic acid into lactide.
5)Polymerize the lactide to make long-chain molecules of polylactide acid (PLA).

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/bioplastics.html
I used to work for ICI so this is not as funny as it sounds. I've made loads of stuff in my working life. I really liked making tablets apart from the dust but making sterile injections in a pilot lab was a real drag.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #25 on: 26/01/2009 17:36:14 »
There appears to be a better recipe here  [:P] [:P] [:P] [:P]
That is a fine video! Is this stuff water resistant?
No, which might be a problem if you are carrying your groceries home and it rains.

Or use it to make bags to pick up dog poop.

My groceries go into backpacks or canvas bags.
I have lots of these bags but find myself halfway around the supermarket and realise they are in my car. The problem that I have with this is that when I remember my re-usable bag it gets loaded full of overpackaged food. Recycling is a drop in the ocean when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. I'm sure that being a veggie and not flying all over the place is much better.

So what other green inventions are Chemists working on?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.


*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #27 on: 26/01/2009 22:35:34 »
Okay, so that isn't anything green, let me try and find some.  [:P] [:P]

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #28 on: 26/01/2009 22:45:01 »
Is it just my imagination or are there very few chemists on this forum. MIL and chem4 are very lonely.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #29 on: 26/01/2009 22:46:22 »
Aha! How about Gallium and uranium join forces

An area of great interest to chemists looking for better ways to clean up nuclear waste.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #30 on: 26/01/2009 22:46:51 »
Is it just my imagination or are there very few chemists on this forum. MIL and chem4 are very lonely.
Do you know how many there are? Exactly?

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8735
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #31 on: 27/01/2009 14:41:30 »
Shocking as it may seem, I'm a chemist.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #32 on: 27/01/2009 15:32:32 »
I'm Spartacus a chemist.

*

Offline dentstudent

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3146
  • FOGger to the unsuspecting
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #33 on: 27/01/2009 15:35:17 »
I'm Spartacus a chemist.

No! I'm Spartacus a chemist.

*

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6890
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #34 on: 27/01/2009 15:47:04 »
I'm Spartacus a chemist.

No! I'm Spartacus a chemist.

Yes, that lot are chemists Spartacus, not me!!!
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

*

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6890
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #35 on: 27/01/2009 15:49:22 »
Worst thing chemists ever invented............... Hmmmmmmmmm.............. Let me see............ Ermmm------ Boots???
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

*

Offline dentstudent

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3146
  • FOGger to the unsuspecting
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #36 on: 27/01/2009 15:55:25 »
Worst thing chemists ever invented............... Hmmmmmmmmm.............. Let me see............ Ermmm------ Boots???

*boots the Spartacus chemist*

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #37 on: 27/01/2009 18:20:04 »
They are Pharmacists that use the word Chemist because all Pharmacists did pharmacy because they weren't quite clever enough to study Chemistry. That is what I tell my husband anyway!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #38 on: 27/01/2009 18:25:12 »
Aha! How about Gallium and uranium join forces

An area of great interest to chemists looking for better ways to clean up nuclear waste.

Don't you just love s,p hybrid bonding. I love the s-ness as much as I love the p-ness.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #39 on: 27/01/2009 21:41:51 »
What the heck is a Spartacus? Really?

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #40 on: 27/01/2009 22:40:43 »
In the film Spartacus, right at the end, the Roman general says to the captured gladiator army that if Spartacus gives himself up then the rest of them could go free. So Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) stands up and says "I'm Spartacus".
As they're all good public school chaps at heart another one stands up and says "No, I'm Spartacus" and so on 'til they're all yelling "I'm Spartacus". And then they all get get crucified. [xx(] The End.
They don't make them like that anymore.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #41 on: 27/01/2009 22:47:15 »
WoW  [:o] [;D] [:D] [:D] That sounds like the worse movie ever made!

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #42 on: 27/01/2009 22:51:30 »
WoW  [:o] [;D] [:D] [:D] That sounds like the worse movie ever made!

So you've never seen The Greatest Story Ever Told?

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #43 on: 27/01/2009 22:53:36 »
No, of course not! What am I? Some kind of movie geek/nerd?  [;D] [;D]

But please....blow me over with all the details of the worst movie ever made.

*

blakestyger

  • Guest
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #44 on: 27/01/2009 23:13:08 »
It's a long story but this may give you some idea:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Qaj_IB-NE

To be fair it was 'of it's time'.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #45 on: 27/01/2009 23:20:06 »
That got 5 Academy Award Nominations!!! Is that good or bad? [:D]

*

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6890
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #46 on: 28/01/2009 09:07:30 »
Di
That got 5 Academy Award Nominations!!! Is that good or bad? [:D]

Did they put them in one plastic bag or five separate plastic bags???
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #47 on: 28/01/2009 09:32:34 »
I think they put it in a lead envelope.

*

Offline Karsten

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
    • View Profile
    • Fortunately still only a game
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #48 on: 28/01/2009 22:37:51 »
Sorry to possibly be a party pooper and direct away from Spartacus and other fun chit chat, but after a long time of thinking I did find something worse than plastic bags that chemists may have invented. Even if they probably only invented the plastic and some engineer/inventor came up with the idea of making it into bags and marketing specialists found it a good idea to give them away for free.

At least this may be food for thought and discussion:

If human overpopulation and the increase of living standard of millions and millions of people beyond what is sustainable are huge problems, one could argue that having helped to increase the number of human beings with synthetic, energy intense, and petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides and their wide-spread and unsustainable use has been a really bad invention for our species. Many people lived who could not have, millions became fat and overfed, millions more want to live like them now (and you can't blame them), and our environment will not tolerate this much longer.
I got annoyed with looking
at my own signature

*

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are plastic bags the worst things Chemists ever invented?
« Reply #49 on: 29/01/2009 02:32:28 »
Well, you can hardly blame them.