John Constantine: The State must now double down on failure and tax, then ban, plastic

 I see 60 minutes tonight are doing an expose on the crashing failure of plastic recycling, and the futility of washing your empty plastic containers for your futile council recycling bins.
The suspicion that Australian plastic is dumped at sea or burnt by cartels stripping the waste and recycling fees has been strong for a while. This deindustrialisation rort is failing, so will we now see the left using their bully pulpits to call for a punitive plastic tax, or an outright ban?
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42 Responses to John Constantine: The State must now double down on failure and tax, then ban, plastic

  1. stackja

    Taxes and ban on many items makes sense to them.
    BS expects more taxes so no disagreement. Greens will be ecstatic.

  2. A Lurker

    If they ban plastic then all the craft potters and glass blowers will be part of new…sorry old industries.

  3. I’m not sure where the Greens and the other Leftist dogooders/nanny state adherents get the idea that taxing something eliminates it from use. Do they never study history?

    Mind you, we’ve never washed a single item that’s gone into the recycle bin. We like to save water. 🙂

  4. mareeS

    I put everything in the bin with the red lid. We haven’t recycled in years, since it became obvious as a scam. Why would you bother, when 98% of plastic refuse comes from 7 Asian rivers?

  5. Ubique

    Plastic is light, inexpensive and makes for marvellous packaging that does much to minimise food losses. Recycling it is expensive and difficult. A better solution is to recover energy from it by incineration. Two such WtE facilities have received environmental approval in Perth – the 400,000 tpa Phoenix plant; and the 300,000 tpa HZI – New Energy facility.

  6. mareeS

    Plus, every day there is another discarded shopping trolley from the local Coles in our street. Worse than plastic.

  7. RobK

    Why we dont burn all these effectively valueless products in well built and controlled high temperature incinerators is beyond me. At least harvest a bit of energy, cut transport and loses/leakage, perhaps even recover some metals, sterilize the lot. Its so simple, Boy Scouts were taught this decades ago. Burn, bash & bury.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    The more these clowns stuff up the more important it is to put Every sitting MP last on your ballot paper ,53 seats are held by a mere 2,00 or less preference votes we should be anle to turf a few out of their grasping careers .
    Got news from the ALA ,now renamed Yellow Vests Australia ,part of their programme is abolishing career politicians ,something cats know I have been advocating for some time ,good to see common sense emerging from the filthy smelly swamp our politics has become .

  9. Tel

    Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Season 2 Episode 5 — Recycling.

    They explained this in 2004. Very little has changed, perhaps some metal recycling is more worthwhile now that copper and aluminium are more expensive, on the other hand the labour costs are also higher cancelling that out again.

  10. B.A.Lert

    It was halfwit greens that brought about the plastic bag revolution with their campaign to save the world from paper bags. The lesson the powers that be never learn is don’t listen to a bunch of people with the mentality of screeching 14 year olds

  11. NB

    It was always a con. The only thing really worth recycling from everyday domestic waste is aluminium.

  12. Hasbeen

    Stick them in your recycle bin mareeS . At least the steel can be recycled, unlike plastic.

  13. Iva Right

    I stick whatever I like in whatever bin. Couldn’t care less about recycling and now that I can’t get a free plastic grocery bag and pay a levy on every soft drink bottle I buy I feel as though I now have the right to pollute as much as I like.

  14. Tel

    Why would you bother, when 98% of plastic refuse comes from 7 Asian rivers?

    You do know those are Australian plastic bottles being recycled back to Asia so they can be thrown in the river?

  15. Fred

    I’m all for banning plastic, as long as they start in our hospitals.

    There is so much damn plastic in the medical profession.

  16. Tel:

    You do know those are Australian plastic bottles being recycled back to Asia so they can be thrown in the river?

    Why would they do that?
    Far easier to chuck the crap overboard in the Pacific, rather than take up berthing time unloading it. Also take into account the fuel cost – cheaper to chuck it overboard as soon as you get out of the shipping lanes.

  17. The question to be asked then is what is the alternative? Paper may work with general packaging and I think plastic packaging of food has become a joke, such as individually wrapped bananas. I have no real problem with food products. Though we’ll no longer be able to get pre-packaged meat etc from cold storage areas. Probably no more large containers of milk, fruit juice etc.

    But what about general drink containers? Do we go back to glass, steel or aluminium? Glass recyclers already have issues with recycling glass of different colours, causing major issues. And what about the practicality of removing plastic containers, which are now used throughout all industries as practical and low weight containers. This is especially relevant when it comes to such things as emergency services where so much of their medical products are in plastic for obvious reasons.

    Ah the unintended consequences of misplaced good intentions.

  18. Jock

    The environmentalist Lackwits have known this is a con. Just lat year the Chinese refused to extend contracts to take our trash and recycle it. I wondered why this wasnt done here . But then I realised the stupid greens had probably talked this ALP and Libs into exporting the problem.

  19. min

    Fish in South African waters have particulates of Plastic from UK in them

  20. Tel

    … now that I can’t get a free plastic grocery bag and pay a levy on every soft drink bottle I buy I feel as though I now have the right to pollute as much as I like.

    I live in Western Sydney and people regularly come and rummage the recycling bins. They even wander up the driveway if it isn’t bin day, on the off chance I have filled up the recycle bin early.

    Those scroungers must make a pittance … although given the way Australia works … perhaps a tax free pittance without the annoying hi-viz union reps might be attractive to some. I know it’s all useless but I make it easy for those people by faithfully stacking the plastic bottles where they can get them easily. They make my life better by pissing off with their loot in the shortest possible time-frame.

    Think of it as a Keynesian make-work scheme … allowing people who have no chance of achieving Australia’s inflated minimum wage to at least have the dignity of earning something and giving some illusion of contribution at the same time.

  21. Greens are good at coming up with non solutions to non problems. First they demonized landfills and preteneed that we were running out of space, when in fact the problem was a lack of forward planning and an unwillingness to licence more space. Then waste incineration was banned and an objective set to recycle everything regardless of cost. Recycling is now unsustainable, in fact it has been so ever since governments started to dictate outcomes. We used to have a mill that could recover tin plate. No more. Since energy costs went up, making glass has become uneconomical so glass collected it being stockpiled. The quantities of materials collected from households are trivial compared with what is recycled by industry, and none of the materials are scarce, I. E. there is no logical reason why they should be recovered. Meanwhile it is costing billions.

  22. And this just reminded me that in our area, we will soon have our green waste collected weekly rather than every fortnight, so that we can use the green waste bin for left over salad etc. Our normal waste will then be collected fortnightly along with recyclable waste. I can only imagine how rank the normal waste bin will become during summer as food waste stews in the bin. Maybe this is a cunning plan to stop people eating meat.

  23. Rebel with cause

    Australia has heaps of land. Landfill should be cheap.

  24. Rockdoctor

    Yup but her in Queensland the LNP supported these things through Parliament and had dim shadow ministers tweeting support for this after listening to a hormonaly charged teenage daughter opine about plastic. Not only that but the failed NSW container deposit schemne we copied slugged consumers with extra tax through GST and an administration fee to administer the system.

    QLD Cats have a look in Woolworths next time you are in there, they spell it out in the soft drink isle. So for a $20 purchase you fork out $22.72 now but get $2.40 back however still fork out 7c to some body to administer this and an extra 25c GST to the Feds. No wonder the Federal Government has run dead on this. Oh did I mention any containers that are not recovered means another 10c going to the odious Trad to fluff her budget.

    The day they started this I stopped recycling. F em…

  25. min

    All the rubbish from Venice is taken and turned into energy by burning it in a power station.. This has Bergen done for years surely OZ could copy this method.

  26. RobK

    Ive told this anecdote before:
    A few years back i happened to hear “macca on a sunday”, ABC regional radio. He had a guy on the phone who was in the tyre disposal business….
    Macca asked: what happens there?
    Caller: we containerize them and send them off.
    Macca: where do they go, what do they do with them?
    Caller: we send em to the Philippines. They unpack em. Drive em around untill they are bold. Then they burn em to make electricity.

  27. 2dogs

    Recycling increases our CO2 emissions.

    We can reduce CO2 emissions by ending recycling and implementing waste-to-energy incinerators.

    Waste-to-energy incinerators can provide base load power when the sun isn’t shining.

  28. Burley Griffin designed a dozen efficient incinerator power stations around Sydney, in astonishing architectural styles. Two still exist reused for other communal uses at Willoughby and Glebe, and another in Toowoomba. The Pyrmont incinerator, demolished by corporate vandals, was an exceptional landmark towering over the road to the Glebe Island bridge.
    http://www.griffinsociety.org/lives_and_works/a_incinerators.html

    Plastic – Since the ban of multiple use plastic shopping bags, I purchsed a batch of similar singlet bags via eBay to use as single use rubbish bags.

  29. Natural Instinct

    from 1996 – that is 23 years ago in the New York Times

    Recycling Is Garbage

    AS THEY PUT ON PLASTIC GLOVES FOR THEIR first litter hunt, the third graders knew what to expect. They knew their garbage. It was part of their science curriculum at Bridges Elementary, a public school on West 17th Street in Manhattan. They had learned the Three R’s — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — and discussed how to stop their parents from using paper plates. For Earth Day they had read a Scholastic science publication, “Inside the World of Trash.” For homework, they had kept garbage diaries and drawn color-coded charts of their families’ trash. So they were primed for the field experiment on this May afternoon.

    And so on. Where it all began with a barge of New York trash that could not be unloaded ….

  30. For homework, they had kept garbage diaries and drawn color-coded charts of their families’ trash. So they were primed for the field experiment on this May afternoon.

    We haven’t moved very far from the Hitler Youf, ratting on their parents.

  31. Knuckle Dragger

    It took people this long to realise it was a scam?

  32. John Constantine

    Their australian left do not see the abject failure of the recycling cult brainwashed into the young as a setback.

    This is their opportunity to do deindustrialisation properly.

    No response on my social media, people are brainwashed into recycling as tribute to their false gods and will continue bloody well doing it and abuse and assault anybody that tells them it is futile.

    It has become a comforting ritual and tribal identifier and will cause genuine mental illness if it is tampered with.

    Comrades.

  33. Pyrmonter

    Really, Cats know better than reflected in this thread.

    1 – the real opponents are rarely if ever ‘Greenies’ (as if no-one who didn’t vote for the watermelons had ever cared a fig about the environment). It’s the rent-seeking industry participants. And they’ve been after ‘support’ ever since China closed the door. Of course ‘industry insiders’ contend it’s become a con – they’re after a bigger one, with on-shore, labour-intensive sorting.

    2 – it’s plausible, at least, that the problem starts with the way governments collect domestic waste in mixed streams for a lump sum (‘rates’), ie ‘government failure’. Those ‘plastics’ of which you speak have widely varying melting points and don’t easily mix together; nor do all accept heat without decomposing into rather noxious substances. If we had a technique for pre-sorting plastic streams, recycling might be viable.

  34. Mark M

    Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

    Taylor found these bag bans did what they were supposed to: People in the cities with the bans used fewer plastic bags, which led to about 40 million fewer pounds of plastic trash per year.

    But people who used to reuse their shopping bags for other purposes, like picking up dog [droppings] or lining trash bins, still needed bags.

    “What I found was that sales of garbage bags actually skyrocketed after plastic grocery bags were banned,” she says.

    This was particularly the case for small, 4-gallon bags, which saw a 120 percent increase in sales after bans went into effect.

    Trash bags are thick and use more plastic than typical shopping bags.

    “So about 30 percent of the plastic that was eliminated by the ban comes back in the form of thicker garbage bags,” Taylor says.

    On top of that, cities that banned plastic bags saw a surge in the use of paper bag …

    Plastic haters, it’s time to brace yourselves.

    A bunch of studies find that paper bags are actually worse for the environment.

    They require cutting down and processing trees, which involves lots of water, toxic chemicals, fuel and heavy machinery.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/04/09/711181385/are-plastic-bag-bans-garbage

  35. RobK

     If we had a technique for pre-sorting plastic streams, recycling might be viable
    Oxidize the lot at high temperatures and remanufacture from base stock feed.

  36. Chris M

    Plastic is oil – they are dumping fuel in the ground that we need for generating electricity.

  37. Tel

    If we had a technique for pre-sorting plastic streams, recycling might be viable

    Possibly some sort of solvent to turn it all liquid, followed by chemical separation.

    Whatever you do will require energy and no doubt the use of solvent would be another thing to freak out over.

  38. mareeS

    One of the interesting green myths is the supposed northern Pacific gyre.

    We have sailed across the Pacific several times in our lives, have never encountered anything like a mass of plastic particulates, but one of the interesting things was an undersea volcanic explosion when we sailed through porphiry for a week.

  39. John Constantine

    The EPA are forensically inspecting scrap and second hand yards run by elderly pale stale males, dunno about the places where the bikies pay illegals in cash to deal with the vanishing of toxic waste.

    Story goes is that a lot of scrapheaps owned by pension age second hand dealers are simply being burnt, rather than go through the compliance regulations.

    Old bloke goes into hospital for a day procedure and his non-compliant scrapheap is torched by a mate.

    Fly-tipping out the bush, where tyres and mattresses are dumped on the roadside will be impossible with battery cars with skynet surveillance installed.

  40. Bad Samaritan

    C.mon everyone; get real. As a kid I can barely remember anything packaged in plastic of any sort.

    Bottles were all glass, and there were new-fangled cardboard cartons for some other liquids. Packaged biscuits and bread were in waxed paper and cardboard. Lollies and chocolates were in paper and foil. Then there were all manner of metal containers. Meat and fish wrapped in paper.

    Seriously, plastic could be eliminated if it were actually a problem. but for this to happen the world would need to be on board.

    Meanwhile idiots are trying to recycle new-plastic into rebirthed plastic whilst simultaneously telling us not to use the recycled stuff either.

    I won’t go on…..

  41. RobK

    Frank,
    Thats the idea. Put them at grid nodes with gas turbines.

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