The awakening of the public’s awareness that single-use plastic is damaging our environment and oceans gathers more belief than world climate change. It has galvanized and established its place firmly in the national consciousness as never before writes UK’s Sunday Telegraph writer Jillian Ambrose. That is because unlike “climate change” discussions, plastic waste requires no study and challenged interpretation of centuries of historic records as found in ice cores, rock strata, tree trunk rings and the like. No – single-use plastic is a very new and real phenomenon, a waste problem which has developed within our living memory and has become our number one environmental challenge.
The single-use plastic waste problem is so great that the act of recycling waste has been overwhelmed by sheer volume and complexity of plastic types. A much more radical solution needs to be found and found with a degree of urgency. Our throw away attitude to waste wrappers, packaging and containers must go through a 180-degree direction change meaning that packaging becomes biodegradable and or reusable.
This single-use plastic waste problem also knocks loudly at the door of today's composite moulder. As many have moved away from open mould production methods the surge in closed mould application is now well established and apart from the more costly RTM and LRTM methods Infusion moulding has increased tenfold both for liquid infusion and prepreg in or outside the autoclave. Referred to as vacuum bagging, few give much environmental concern of the hectares of single unsound use of consumable bagging materials which fill waste skips daily.