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Survey about plastic!

 
Posts: 7
Location: Arkansas Ozarks 6B
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I hope this is allowed here, sorry mods if its not!


1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
3b. If so, what?
4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?

I'll be using these results as a primary source for a research paper, your participation is appreciated! I'd like to know the answers from folks here, compared to a general audience on facebook.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1536
Location: Denmark 57N
426
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Can't answer that other than it depends. I could say air pollution, runnoff (both agricultural and industrial) I do not put plastics top.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Of course

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
3b. If so, what?

Yes though not major ones, we use reusable wax wraps and tupperware to avoid plastic film.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
Yes, plastic is too cheap and convenient for it to go away any other way.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
No, but wrapping on food/bottles is the major one, but then also wrapping on everything; lightbulbs, screws...

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
No where's the danger? It's either yours and only has your bugs on it or it's part of a return system that almost certainly takes days if not weeks and a wash to be re-used. covid only survives a few days on most surfaces

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
Not at all, there's always some excuse avaliable

 
gardener
Posts: 2069
Location: Maine, zone 5
916
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Human disconnection from the environment/selfishness.  If that's not what you're looking for I'll go with climate change.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Yes, micro and nanoplastics are now everywhere, dropping in the rain and being incorporated throughout the food web.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?  
Yes

3b. If so, what?  
Elimination of single use plastics as much as possible.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?  
Potentially.  I'd like to see us migrate to only plastics that harmlessly breakdown in the environment and can be recycled.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?  
Packaging....I feel like I have to stop buying just about everything.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?  
No, just make people who use them bag their own items.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?  
No.  There's no reason this can't be managed.
 
gardener
Posts: 3726
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
1366
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem? Global climate change.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment? Yes - it's spreading everywhere. Have you read the book "Ringworld"? It's a Sci Fi book where one culture decided to infect someone else's planet with a microbe that ate plastic. The results were devastating. But if we keep spreading it everywhere, I think nature will find a way to fight back.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic? Yes

3b. If so, what? I avoid single use plastic as much as possible. I make an effort to reuse any single use plastic that comes my way - like plastic food buckets get cleaned and reused on our farm until they start to show signs of degradation. This includes replacing handles if the bucket's still in decent shape when the handle breaks.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans? Personally, I prefer the "cradle to grave" sort of legislation. Yes, single use plastic is a big issue, but so are all the consumer goods the are sheathed in plastic or contain plastic parts, most of which are difficult to repair. 'Cradle to grave" legislation will help with the bigger picture. A recent example is my husband *loves* having an electric fry pan - mostly metal, with heat-stable parts that I think would still qualify as plastic. The control unit which plugs into the pan had a melt-down. The company still sells the exact same model, but they would *not* sell us a replacement control unit even though it's a stand-alone part - we had to buy a whole new pan with cardboard and plastic packaging. I think "cradle to grave" legislation would help us return to a society where things get fixed instead of garbaged.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of? Packaging is an issue, particularly food. I freeze food, so although I try to 'reuse' single use plastic when doing so, that only works so far. I often use glass jars for things in the fridge, but if I'm going to use plastic, I use quality plastic containers some of which I've been using for 30 years - that sort of plastic isn't the problem in my view. Similarly, plastic is frequently lighter than metal or wood alternatives (think buckets) and it doesn't rust which in my climate is a major asset.

6. Do you think reusables are too dangerous in the time of coronavirus? No. At first it was thought that surface contact was a major problem, but things I've read recently suggest that in most situations, normal precautions are all that's needed.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic? Absolutely not. If anything, individual households need to up their game because hospitals don't have as many options and they generate *huge* amounts of garbage. This is a wake-up call for returning to a less global supply chain in favor of smaller local industry.
 
pollinator
Posts: 213
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Carbon in the atnosphere.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?

Not really. I'm bothered by the pollution in manufacturing it, and I'm bothered by the harm the plastics themselves do to wildlife e.g. in the ocean, but I think both are relatively easily solvable problems we are already making decent strides towards, compared to some other pressing issues.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?

Sure, anyone doing any sort of gardening is reducing their consumption of store-bought goods that are often packaged in plastic.

3b. If so, what?

Pressure canning food, gardening, using less plastic bags when shopping by asking cashiers not to bag most my purchases.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?

No. I think most things we'd replace it with will either be prohibitively expensive and pollute more, or else weigh more - like glass - thus using even more gas to transport.

I'd rather have the government incentive or mandate superior recycling plans that should actually decrease carbon pollution, less polluting manufacturing of the plastics, and less packaging used overall.

Any government mandating uses up public goodwill for potential other mandates. Think of it as the government having X units of tolerable regulation to spend, so it better spend it wisely, not on every idea people think might be good.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?


I don't even comprehend the thought process behind this. Willy-nilly government regulation is dangerous. Companies choosing to use renewables or the public demanding it in a free market isn't dangerous.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?


No. This pandemic really isn't all that bad as far as pandemics go. Think of it as a practice pandemic.

In what way would suspending waste reduction help fight the pandemic? How are the two related? I'm very very far from an environmentalist (or even humanist), but again, the thought process of this question is just alien to me. On its surface it appears like an non sequitur, making me think I'm missing an argument or reasoning you've read and assume I've also read, and neglected to provide.

It's like half the data or reasoning behind the question is missing ("[[given X and Y]], do you agree efforts to reduce waste...").
 
Posts: 108
Location: East Tennessee
14
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Littering, but I see more aluminum cans than plastic in the mountains. And over half of the trash I find would be dumped at a facility if there had been one that was easy to access. I am also disappointed in places rolling back their recycling efforts, in a nearby city they shut down the local recycler because he had many "mentally challenged" people working there and the city thought they should not just be socializing with each other but also with "normal people". So now they are out of a job and the recyclables go to the landfill.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Annoyed yes, alarmed no. People dump trash, there are trash middens from all eras on this planet.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
I prefer glass and metal. I am a Carpenter and I drink gallons of water everyday when working, I reuse any plastic bottles by filling them with my well water to take to the job with me. I like the Smart Water bottles they seem to hold up to the reuse well. I am sure I've filled some of the bottles twenty or thirty times.

3b. If so, what?

Above

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
I don't support the government mandating anything. If they mandate one thing you like, next thing you know they'll mandate something you don't.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
Not me yet.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?

No

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?

No
 
Posts: 167
37
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Waste -- of all types

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Not an alarmist, but concerned about the WASTE of plastics, and waste in creating it.  Plastic is not necessarily bad in and of itself.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
I think most people do.

3b. If so, what?
Tend to buy less in plastic, reuse when possible, recycle when available

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
That is not a legitimate function of government, so no.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
Well, my computer exterior is made of plastic.  So is my printer case, router, and other peripherals, so no... But if you're talking about plastic for food and sundries, I guess beverages would be the most challenging.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
No, while cases are going up, the death rates are going sharply down. I'm not really worried about the Wuhan Flu, anyway. (See infection2020.com -- non-political, no commentary, just stats from CDC, NYT, WHO, JDU)

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the plandemic?
No.
 
pollinator
Posts: 395
Location: Beavercreek, OR
105
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Global Climate
2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Very much so.
3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
Yes
3b. If so, what?
No disposables.  We haven't bought plastic wrap in ... 15 years?  Plastic bags are re-used to death.  Lots of glass jars, glass storage ware.  Trying silicone lids and bags.
Selective purchasing - I skip purchasing many products that have too much packaging/plastic (or ... any plastic sometimes) and/or buy from the bulk aisle.  Milk comes in glass.  Laundry detergent comes in cardboard.  Sadly, frozen peas still come in a plastic bag.  No ordering take-out food - there's a local program for reusable food containers but not enough vendors are part of it.
Habits - Reusable bags, reusable cups, my portable bamboo utensils - no plastic shopping bags, use paper when we forget the canvas.
Purchasing items for the long haul - cheap is often disposable and plastic.


4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
I do. There are better ways, but doing nothing is worse. Better yet, I support government regulations/rules that don't promote plastic.  So many rules to promote hygiene, food safety, etc promote the use of plastics - those should go away.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
Sadly, not me.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
Nope.  This is an awful reaction, killing the planet "just to be sure" at the lowest possible cost.  I have a cabinet full of stainless steel containers that I can no longer use at a coffee shop - surely we could come up with a way to ensure my thermos thing is clean?

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
Uh no.  Since we've broken so many norms, seems like a great time to try and change other habits as well.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Michigan, USA
8
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Food Waste, compostable materials going into landfills

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Another user put it well.  Annoyed more than alarmed.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
Yes.  Reuse as often as possible.  We wash ziplock bags for re-use.  We can in glass jars.  Rescue plastic buckets from the waste stream and and repurpose them or sell them.  Shop at thrift stores rather than buying new, to give new life to others' discarded products (many of which are at least partially plastic).  Collet  and return bottles for deposit (and hence recycling)

3b. If so, what?
See above

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
No.  The government has better things to do with its time that outlawing useful products (products like gas cans with ventilation openings, incandescent bulbs, both of which I wish I could still buy. etc).  I would support more containers having a cash deposit on them to incentivize recycling, but NOT a mandate.  

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
This is not a goal of mine.  I try to reduce my use, but I have no intention of eliminating such a useful material from my life.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
NO.  I am willing to stick my hand into a trash can and pull out a can or bottle with a deposit on it, I don't believe that the health risk is that great.  

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
I don't think that there is any real reason to do so.  For most people, the "trash fairies" are going to come and take the trash to the "Magical land of away" regardless of the pandemic.  The end user can still sort their recycleables at the same rate as before, and the garbage trucks are still going to run, regardless of whether they are taking "trash" to the landfill or recycling to the recycling center.  I understand that there might be some "supply chain" issues, but in general, people should have the opportunity to continue to recycle.
 
pollinator
Posts: 421
Location: Victor, Montana; Zone 5b
138
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Broadly the  lack of human connectedness with nature. With a population that connected with Gaia we would have a lot less problems.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Yes.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?  
yes.

3b. If so, what?  
no purchasing of plastic bound materials--or reuse of those plastics when purchased.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?  
I don't think there are any in my area, but would do so if they were in place.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?  
It is difficult to buy anything without plastic, but most of what I buy that has plastic on it I must be able to justify with a secondary use.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?  
No. Surface transmission seems pretty negligible.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?  
No, Gaia is much more important than a single species.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3625
Location: Toronto, Ontario
504
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?

Systemic dysfunction. We have economic systems that externalise costs that the producers don't want to deal with, historically environmental and social costs, specifically. We need to fix the broken outlook and systems derived from it that have caused anthropogenic climate change.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?

Wholeheartedly, yes. In my view, it's a plague. The only way to remove it from the biosphere after it's there as microplastics, so far as I can figure, is to gather up biomass and sand filters used to accumulate it, along with straining it from the oceans and gathering it in whatever matter possible, and to incinerate it in an oxygen-free retort at high enough temperatures that the plastics break back down into their constituent parts, rather than creating things like dioxins at lower temperatures.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?

Yes.

3b. If so, what?

It's mostly personal choices. I find shopping solutions that cut the amount of packaging I pay for. Bulk food stores that let you bring reusable containers are my go-to for everything they sell, and mason jars of every size are suitable for everything from spices to grains and beans, to pasta. We have eschewed plastic sponges and scrubbers for cloth and paper-based compostable cloths, as an example. Most of our food containers are glass. Some still have plastic lids, but when those crack, I get the glass-and-silicone-seal ones, and I don't buy plastic containers any more. Silicone and wood replaces many kitchen things, and glass and metal has always been there.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?

Absolutely. It's like petroleum, unsurprisingly. It's a cheap, easy solution if the environmental and social costs are ignored, so the government must be made to apply those costs to those seeking to profit off pollution and people's suffering.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?

That's a long road. I mean, if you take it seriously and do everything everyone here advocates, we still have PEX piping in some structures, and other ubiquitous plastic bits everywhere, as insulation around every wire in our houses and devices, everywhere. I think the most challenging part is that. The least, then, should be our focus for the initiate.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?

Before plastic, they had reusables, but they were designed to be subjected to an autoclave with some frequency. Trying to reuse materials not designed for it could be hazardous, but not even things like cloth masks would be dangerous, when washed properly with soap and allowed to dry fully.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?

No. I don't think that's at all reasonable, or even logical. A pilot doesn't stop piloting because there's a small cabin fire. They direct the crew not flying the plane to put the fire out and handle the momentary emergency. This allows the pilot to keep the plane from plowing into mountains.

Thanks for this, Katerina. I love getting people's views on these things. Most of the time, it's as I would guess, but every once in a while, you get surprised.

-CK
 
pollinator
Posts: 394
Location: Chicago
106
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?

Global Warming

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?

Yes, particularly effects on fish and other wildlife

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?

Yes

3b. If so, what?

I try to avoid single-use plastics, though pandemic is making this more difficult.  Also spouse is not fully on board.  Examples of reduction include reuseable grocery bags, re-using even "disposable" containers until they actually break, using glass containers with beeswax wraps for storing leftovers.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?

I prefer fees e.g. "bag taxes" to outright bans.  I believe that manufacturers should be charged some kind of "clean up tax" for putting plastic packaging into the world.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?

Not me.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?

It depends on the context.  Given that medical scientists now believe that almost all Coronavirus spread is through breathing each other's air, not through contaminated surfaces, I would be happy with return to cloth bags in all the grocery stores, as I do not believe these are high risk.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?

No
 
pollinator
Posts: 161
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
34
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I am not sure if you are still looking for feedback but since I am a poll-dork...

1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?

Large-scale pollution. Joe Blow's '64 and a half Ford Mustang isn't the problem. Joe Snuffy's coal-fired water bottle manufacturing plant is.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?

Yes.

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?


Yes.

3b. If so, what?


Don't buy things in packaging when ever possible. Re-use when possible.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?

No. I am against government mandates that affect individual choice, on principle.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?

No. I wish.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?

No. Don't rub up on other people's bags, you'll be ok.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?

No. Life goes on.
 
Posts: 156
Location: NEPA
47
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
Our throw-away society. Breaks, doesn't work or is outdated, throw it away and buy another. Whatever happened to repairs?

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Who isn't?

3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
Yes.
3b. If so, what?
I use a lot of glass jars to save things instead of plastic bags and plastic containers. I also recycle, rather than throw out, as much plastic as I can with our county's recycling program. Not much, but it is something

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
NO!!! I am not in favor of government mandates. I would rather consumers put pressure on companies that use plastic.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
No, but I hate that most stores use plastic containers for any kind for take-out, deli items, etc. I have actually brought my own containers when ordering, but some stroes will not let me use them.

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
No. While Coronavirus is real, it is WAY overblown. Use a little soap and water, and the virus can't survive.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
Of course not!
 
master gardener
Posts: 867
Location: Coastal Salish Sea area, British Columbia - USDA zone 8-9
401
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1. What, to you, is the most pressing environmental problem?
This is a large question and i believe there are many problems or solutions to the environmental problems. I would say one which needs attention is shifting baselines.

2. Are you alarmed by the proliferation of plastic in the environment?
Yes. yearly our little island spends days cleaning up our shores. Many of things like ocean Styrofoam, needles, old tires, etc




3. Do you take any actions to reduce your use of plastic?
yes

3b. If so, what?
One big one has been supporting the switch of our feed and farm store to a paper based packaging for our chickens/pigs/goats feed. Reusing every type of plastic possible. Using glass/metal containers. Buying in bulk. Avoiding buying items which come in loads of plastic. Complaining to companys who ship with alot of plastic. Using metal/glass water containers. Lining the house with the bags from the insulation. Simply going without best practises if they involve plastic based products. Our local recycling centre is very top notch.

4. Do you support government mandated plastic bans?
I believe this would have a good effect. I however would like it to be very strict. With fines for companys as well as individuals. It needs to be across the board for me and not just pushed onto the individual.

5. Has anyone here nearly eliminated their use of plastic, and if so, what is the most challenging aspect to get rid of?
To me this is only a goal. Unless people completely didn't buy food from health food stores. 90% of the plastic choice is already made for you. If you want sour cream. It comes in plastic. My Magnesium citirate powder comes in plastic. The beans i buy in bulk come in plastic. Chips come in plastic. Onions come in plastic( whether it is on the counter in plastic is besides the point because the 50 pound bag in the back comes in plastic.)

6. Do you think reusables are too  dangerous in the time of coronavirus?
1000% not. I simply will not buy the coffee because it has to come in a paper cup with a biodegradable plastic lid. I do sometimes skip the lid. However i find this is only practical when i am going to drink the coffee right away.

7.Do you agree that efforts to reduce waste should be suspended or cancelled in light of the pandemic?
Never
 
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