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TRASHED Our American Legacy

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2005 5 billion pounds of PET bottles = 23% recycling rate. Sales of bottled water have overtaken milk and are close to outselling beer ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: TRASHED Our American Legacy


1
TRASHED! Our American Legacy
  • The Past, Present and Future of Plastic Garbage
  • Presented by Courtney Sloger of Sustainable St.
    Louis

2
The History of Garbage
3
Whats in a word?
  • Garbage is Anglo-Franco word meaning, "giblets of
    a fowl, waste parts of an animal
  • Trash is a twentieth-century invention
  • - Scandinavian origin meaning "fallen leaves and
    twigs. The sense of domestic refuse dates to
    1906 American English

4
The History of Garbage
Ash, yard and food wastes, fabric shreds, other
biodegradables
5
The History of Garbage
Ash, yard and food wastes, fabric shreds, other
biodegradables
Reusable waste receptacles
6
The Great Depression
Trash can?? What trash can???
7
World War II
C is for canning, thats good enough for me…
8
Post WWII Boom Years
Whos really, really, really hungry???
9
The Age of Plastic
  • Polystyrene and PVC (post-WWI) Germany
  • Polyamide (Nylon) (1927) Dupont
  • Polyethylene (1933) - cheap packing materials
    that would be chemical resistant
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (1941) invented in
    England in a printing company as a synthetic
    fiber
  • Polypropylene (early 1950s) Similar to
    polyethylene, but more robust

10
The Age of Plastic
  • 1 Polyethylene
  • 2 High-Density Polyethylene
  • 3 PVC
  • 4 Low-Density Polyethylene
  • 5 Polypropylene
  • 6 Polystyrene
  • 7 Other polyamide, polypropropylene

11
Artist Chris Jordan
12
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13
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14
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles,
the number used in the US every five minutes
(Plastic Bottles, 2007)
15
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16
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17
Depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in
the US every five seconds (Plastic Bags, 2007).
18
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19
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20
One million plastic cups the number of plastic
cups used by airlines on U.S. flights every six
minutes (Plastic Cups, 2007).
21
What are we producing?
  • Since the 1950s, one BILLION tons of plastic have
    been discarded
  • 500 billion to 5 trillion plastic bags are
    produced annually
  • 1995 1.95 billion pounds of PET bottles 40
    U.S. recycling rate
  • 2005 5 billion pounds of PET bottles 23
    recycling rate
  • Sales of bottled water have overtaken milk and
    are close to outselling beer

22
Why arent we recycling more?
  • 80 of American households have access to plastic
    recycling centers
  • One out of every four take plastic bottles to bin
  • 72 of Americans dont know that plastic is made
    of oil (10 of U.S. oil consumption
  • 40 of Americans think that plastics biodegrade
    underground
  • System for recycling is not consumer-friendly

23
Where is it all going?
24
The Great Pacific Trash Island
25
What can you do?
  • Actively recycle according to rules provided
  • by waste haulers.
  • Reuse containers when possible, switch to
    longer-lasting reuseables.
  • Consume less plastic.
  • Consume less.
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