Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Between the Lines  

Macdonald takes a critical look at Waste Management World magazine

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack


ere is my first concern:


1. All of your articles seem to be about converting plastic into biogas. I want waste plastic products made into lumber, furniture, sports equipment, textiles, insulation and other useful products.

I am against biogas. Why? It is a cop out, a short cut to nonsense. It produces too much carbon and pollutes the air, water and land. It increases global warming.

Have you any references about producers of constructive products? Would you please publicize them. I want no more publicity about biogas please.

My other serious concerns are:

2. What is being done to stop the production of and to replace polystyrenes (Styrofoam), both foam and solid forms? The solid type is made into picnic cutlery, toys and many popular products. It is refused for recycling. There is a vast amount of it in our land fills. What can be done with it? Yet it is used as packaging material for the sale of meat, radios, toasters, computers and electronic products. It is also used when our homes are insulated and when we have a party or a coffee break.

3. What is being done to clean/remove the vast amount of plastics swirling in the oceans and lakes? One gyrating mess of broken plastic balls, nets, toys, buckets and bottles is the size of British Columbia, and there are others in all the oceans. Much is floating. More is in tiny bits sinking down to the ocean depths and filling the gills of fish. So-called biodegradable plastic is slow to break down and only breaks into tiny bits. It doesn't dissolve.

One of my answers is for a philanthropist or an NGO (non-government organization) to buy a fishing trawler and made a contract with a university to provide scientists from several disciplines, to use it as a practical means to gather in floating plastic. Interns could be involved in both the daily tasks and in a variety of scientific research from engineering to biochemistry to nursing to oceanography. Right on board the ship the waste plastic could be sorted, crushed and made into lumber and other useful products. A mission NGO might also want to stop at ports where there has been a disaster and use the lumber to help build houses. There actually are mission ships that could add this role to their work of teaching, health care and evangelism. A California university is using this method to provide fuel for their research ship. I am against biogas production, but in this case it might be scientifically safe.

Kindly circulate this enquiry/protest in Waste Management World newsletters.

About the Myrtle Macdonald

She is has a M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University.


She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 92 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.


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