Hope for a dying planet awash in plastic

In 2020, Tom Ford partnered with Lonely Whale to launch the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, the only global competition focused on creating scalable and biologically degradable alternatives to thin-film plastic polybags. Billions of these bags are made every year, and many end up in the ocean.

View this short (4 minute) film to learn more: TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize

Microplastics are now showing up in our blood. To think it’s plastic that gets us in the end.

Any good studies to show that microplastics cause harm?

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“The big question is what is happening in our body?” Vethaak said. “Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?” And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out.”

That is true. They are everywhere.

You have free access to this article:

In the Ocean, It’s Snowing Microplastics

Tiny bits of plastic have infiltrated the deep sea’s main food source and could alter the ocean’s role in one of Earth’s ancient cooling processes, scientists say.

Also see https://www.freetheocean.com/ for plastic-free alternatives

In France and I think the EU in general, Plastic bags are being replaced by paper bags.

It more for replacing the plastics that are used in thing that need to be air or water tight that I see a big issue. Even milk cartons and aluminium cans have a plastic lining on the inside. The issue is if you make the plastic impermeable, you also reduce the chances that bacteria can take hold and break the plastic down.

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The article does a good job of explaining that microplastics are there, but no evidence that they cause harm, only rhetoric that they may. My question is asking if you know of any studies showing harm caused by them. There may be, but I have yet to see good evidence presented that they do. Increased mutations? Increased cancer risk? Poor reproduction? Just point me to those studies, if they exist.

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I will try to find out. It’s an area of active investigation. We already know that large plastic pollution is harmful.

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That is what my video addresses. Did you watch it? There are already biodegradable leak-proof bags on the market.

Which is, of course, more environmentally damaging.

And the planet is no where near dying. Apart from in Russian military doctrine.

No, but it’s becoming uninhabitable.

By how much, for whom, where?

Plastic causes a lot of environmental degradation. Forestry can be sustainable. There are no Texas-sized clots of paper bags in our oceans. The way to go is reusable bags. If anybody thinks that cotton bags must be used 6 million times to be more environmentally friendly than single-use plastic bags, I’d like to know why cotton only becomes bad when we use it for bags.

You don’t care.

In my state grocery stores are not allowed to use plastic bags, and they are required to charge for paper bags. They want to encourage people to use reusable bags.

What an absurd non-sequitur. I care that we use evidence based environmental and social policies. In other words, you can’t quantify your prejudices.

Plastic saved the planet.

I don’t think it does. Their is a difference between leak proof and water tight.

For the former their are lots of solutions without such as paper and treated paper without going into advanced bioplastics and biodegradable plastics. These may still have advantages but their is a way forward, and they are probably the more dangerous form of plastic. But this feels to me like we’ve got lots of option and we are seeking to make them cheaper and better.

For the water tight ones, so for bottle and liquid good that might have to be stored for months or even years it more tricky. Making them biodegradable essentially means you need to make them permeable which kinda defeats the purpose. So this feel like more of a technological challenge. Maybe we just need to find the sweet spot between durability and biodegradability, I’ve had a single use PLA cup and PLA cutlery which was very good for the short use I had with it but is that good enough for mid a long term storage, I don’t know. From what I’ve read it can last a few months to a few years in a human body so maybe.

We pay for our paper bags to.

It has always been your modus operandi to derail any discussion of environmental issues.

Did you watch the video? I have some biodegradable doggie poop bags. Leak-proof and watertight. (Thank God.) Nature makes stuff leak-proof and watertight all the time. Mother Nature can teach us.

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