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  • Our addiction to plastic is catastrophic.

  • Remnants of our products have spread to every corner of the planet.

  • The properties that make plastic so useful; cheap, malleable, durable,

  • also makes it damaging.

  • Plastic can’t degrade. So the more we make, the more ends up in our environment.

  • What goes into your recycling bin at home, more than 80 percent

  • is actually being landfilled or incinerated.

  • It pollutes the water we drink and the food we eat. It suffocates wildlife.

  • I don't think anybody anticipated the real problems that plastics were causing.

  • But innovative companies around the world are working towards a solution.

  • Plastic waste is a global problem. But it is especially bad in certain parts of Asia.

  • The plastic waste issue in Thailand is quite bad.

  • We use a lot of plastic bag and plastic container.

  • You just use a single use plastic because it's more convenient.

  • Thailand is one of five Asian countries that combined, contribute more than the rest of

  • the world to the plastic waste in our oceans.

  • These countries are experiencing rapid economic growth.

  • With that comes the benefits of growing consumption,

  • but also the increasing use of plastic, especially single use plastics,

  • like shopping bags, straws and food packaging,

  • which are often tossed away just minutes after buying.

  • But what if these sorts of products didn’t have to be made from plastic at all?

  • For anything that you only use for one time biodegradable material could be a better choice.

  • We are producing biodegradable packaging. Our packaging is made out of cassava starch

  • and natural fiber together.

  • It takes six to 12 months to decompose depending on the environment.

  • The Cassava crop plays a major role in the Thai economy.

  • It’s not a staple food crop, but it's produced in vast amounts for animal feed

  • and making things like starch.

  • The cassava is very easy to grow.

  • You can grow all year round and in a lot of area in Thailand .

  • My product can tolerate the temperature from minus 20 to 100 degree.

  • So with the hot food or with the boiling water

  • we still can contain that in our packaging.

  • Our material can work as an insulation. It keeps the temperature

  • of the food warmer longer than the other material.

  • The company, Universal Bio Pack, say they make around 100,000 items a month, mainly

  • for hotels and restaurants with environmental concerns.

  • Compared to plastic, their products aren’t as malleable or durable and are at least twice

  • as expensive.

  • But, using packaging like this could reduce the amount of single use plastics we consume.

  • So either these kinds of solutions will have to become cheaper to compete with plastic,

  • or consumers will have to make a difficult choice.

  • Now our products are more expensive but definitely it's better for environment.

  • People will have to think differently. Right now if you pay for the plastic, you pay for

  • only the cost of making the plastic, you don't pay for the cost of making the plastic go

  • away because the plastic stay 450 years.

  • On the other side of the world a company is working on just that.

  • We need to find alternatives to burying our waste into the earth.

  • Plastic Energy takes waste plastic that can't be recycled today

  • and converts it into usable oils.

  • One of the biggest problems with plastics is how many different kinds there are.

  • The majority of it can’t actually be recycled. And many products use a mix of materials,

  • which makes it even harder to recycle.

  • It means most of what we think is recyclable, ends up in the ground.

  • Mixed plastics is a real problem.

  • Plastic Energy is targeting these problematic plastics using technology called

  • Thermal Anaerobic Conversion.

  • The company heats the plastic to 400 degrees celsius in a system without oxygen.

  • The plastic waste breaks down into an oil, similar to petroleum extracted from the earth.

  • For every ton of plastic that we process, we produce around 700 liters of oil.

  • By converting plastic into a base oil, Plastic Energy is creating a virgin substance that

  • can be used in many more products.

  • Some of those oils can be used to make plastic again

  • or can be used to make commodity fuels.

  • We can keep moving plastic waste into our facility through our process using our technology

  • to produce the oils, to produce plastics again. And that's a continual process.

  • It doesn't have that finite life.

  • It’s this IP that has helped the company give waste plastic value. It has agreements

  • to build sites in Asia and by building modular plants they can attach to petrochemical companies

  • who can use the oil they made from waste.

  • While this process doesn’t eradicate plastic, it could go a long way in reducing the amount

  • that ends up in landfill, or floating out to sea.

  • That material has value and if it's dealt with in the right way, the material that it

  • goes into the bin can actually arrive back on a shelf, wrapping in your local produce.

  • This circular economy could prevent more being made

  • from fossil fuels in the first place.

  • Companies like Plastic Energy and UBP have different ideas about how to tackle the plastic

  • crisis. But what they share is a vision of the world where our throwaway culture

  • is buried for good.

  • One thing is how we use the plastic or how we can recycle. Eco-friendly material could

  • be another choice. But I think to overcome the plastic waste problem, we have to do both

  • at the same time.

  • We don't have to make materials just from raw materials or materials extracted from

  • the ground, we can really have a circular process across the board. Not just plastics

  • but for all types of materials.

Our addiction to plastic is catastrophic.

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B1 中級

私たちのプラスチック問題の治療 (Curing Our Plastic Problem)

  • 97 3
    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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