• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Not As Environmentally Friendly As Promised

Now that sucks.

"Eco-friendly" paper drinking straws contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals, a new study has concluded.

In the first analysis of its kind in Europe, and only the second in the world, Belgian researchers tested 39 brands of straws for the group of synthetic chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS were found in the majority of the straws tested and were most common in those made from paper and bamboo, found the study, published in Food Additives & Contaminants.

PFAS are used to make everyday products, from outdoor clothing to non-stick pans, resistant to water, heat and stains. However, they are potentially harmful to people, wildlife and the environment. They break down very slowly over time and can persist over thousands of years in the environment, a property that has led to them being known as "forever chemicals."

They have been associated with a number of health problems, including lower response to vaccines, lower birth weight, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, liver damage, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.

"Straws made from plant-based materials, such as paper and bamboo, are often advertised as being more sustainable and eco-friendly than those made from plastic," says researcher Dr. Thimo Groffen, an environmental scientist at the University of Antwerp, who is involved in this study. "However, the presence of PFAS in these straws means that's not necessarily true."

A growing number of countries, including the UK and Belgium, have banned sale of single-use plastic products, including drinking straws, and plant-based versions have become popular alternatives.

https://phys.org/news/2023-08-paper-straws-environment-plastic-versions.html
 
I find those paper straws go soggy really quickly.
I thought maybe they want us to stop using straws altogether.
 
It's all in the perception and quantities.
PFAS were found in the majority of the straws tested and were most common in those made from paper and bamboo, found the study, published in Food Additives & Contaminants.
PFAS might be very nasty and long-lasting chemicals, but how high is the trace?
Sure, it can build up in time and with the increase in paper straw use, those levels might increase. It's the same idea of the tests that showed the presence of cocaine on many currency notes, and bacteria on the handles of toilet doors. The contaminant is important but so too is the quantity.
 
DB Cargo are to retire it's fleet of class 90 5000 hp electric locos
sighting running costs and sustainability, Freightliner did similar
last year, it seems the electric company's are beginning to price
themselves out of some markets.
FreightLiner UK's biggest? rail freight company have withdrawn their entire electric
fleet due to price rises and a 40% renewable energy tax.

https://www.railway-technology.com/news/db-cargo-uk-retirement-electric-locomotives/?cf-view
 
Last edited:
An interesting read on the day that ULEZ starts in outer London. I find this bit particularly interesting,
IMG_2111.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-08-29 at 18.09.18.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-29 at 18.09.18.jpeg
    574.1 KB · Views: 21
The worst air quality in London is not in the streets, but down in the Tube tunnels. Emissions and air particle counts are 100 times what is measured on the surface. ULEZ won't change that.
And they are electric. I know when I go to central London if I blow my nose it’s black. That doesn’t happen when I go a mile up the road to Bexley.
 
The worst air quality in London is not in the streets, but down in the Tube tunnels. Emissions and air particle counts are 100 times what is measured on the surface. ULEZ won't change that.

What I don't really understand about the expansion of the ULEZ scheme is why the better-off have been given carte blanche to carry on polluting - provided they can afford to pay the £12.50 surcharge whenever they want to drive to work or to the shops.
Seems to be more about making money than saving the planet.
 
What I don't really understand about the expansion of the ULEZ scheme is why the better-off have been given carte blanche to carry on polluting - provided they can afford to pay the £12.50 surcharge whenever they want to drive to work or to the shops.
Seems to be more about making money than saving the planet.
It is. None of that money will be used to actually improve the air quality.
 
What I don't really understand about the expansion of the ULEZ scheme is why the better-off have been given carte blanche to carry on polluting - provided they can afford to pay the £12.50 surcharge whenever they want to drive to work or to the shops.
Seems to be more about making money than saving the planet.
The better off won’t have to pay as they’ll have newer cars.
 
The idea is the newer cars are less polluting so they don’t have to pay (for now). The trouble is those with older cars have generally got them because they can’t afford newer ones. And the scrappage scheme was pretty pathetic and was only available to Londoners.
 
Has the Greater Nodnol Authority placed increased transport alternatives within the northern and southern boundaries of its confines for its regular punters?
 
Now that sucks.

"Eco-friendly" paper drinking straws contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals, a new study has concluded.

In the first analysis of its kind in Europe, and only the second in the world, Belgian researchers tested 39 brands of straws for the group of synthetic chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS were found in the majority of the straws tested and were most common in those made from paper and bamboo, found the study, published in Food Additives & Contaminants.

PFAS are used to make everyday products, from outdoor clothing to non-stick pans, resistant to water, heat and stains. However, they are potentially harmful to people, wildlife and the environment. They break down very slowly over time and can persist over thousands of years in the environment, a property that has led to them being known as "forever chemicals."

They have been associated with a number of health problems, including lower response to vaccines, lower birth weight, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels, liver damage, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.

"Straws made from plant-based materials, such as paper and bamboo, are often advertised as being more sustainable and eco-friendly than those made from plastic," says researcher Dr. Thimo Groffen, an environmental scientist at the University of Antwerp, who is involved in this study. "However, the presence of PFAS in these straws means that's not necessarily true."

A growing number of countries, including the UK and Belgium, have banned sale of single-use plastic products, including drinking straws, and plant-based versions have become popular alternatives.

https://phys.org/news/2023-08-paper-straws-environment-plastic-versions.html
We used to use paper straws before plastic ones existed.

For some reason the phrase 'plant based' drives me near to insane rage. It's as illiterate and ignorant as 'organic' with regard to produce.

Nearly everything is ultimately 'plant based', including meat and oil.
 
And they are electric. I know when I go to central London if I blow my nose it’s black. That doesn’t happen when I go a mile up the road to Bexley.
If you travel on the London Underground (as I was obliged to once) you invariably get the black nose thing, due to the dangerously high levels of particulates in the air from wheel, brakes and track abrasion. The air quality in the Tube is estimated as 18 times more toxic than the London air in general. Far better for your health to drive than take the Tube.

https://www.bigissue.com/news/environment/london-tube-air-pollution-cair-london-tfl/
 
I can't help feeling that one factor we encounter day-by-day is 'seeing things with fresh eyes'.
Sure, look hard enough and you'll find particulate pollution in unsettling levels. On the tube, road surfaces, vehicle emissions, construction industry, factories, etc. etc.
The "whataboutism" is strong in the area of the environment.
It is near to impossible to make the world free from pollution. By breathing, we're creating carbon dioxide! There's nothing wrong with trying to reduce it, though.
It makes sense to discuss whether ULEZ is practicable or even impactful - I think it's gesture politics - but discussing whether it's 'safer' to travel by car or tube is not productive. You could say that you get fewer fatal accidents on the tube in comparison to cars. And as far as pollution is concerned, I've used the tube for over thirty years - as have millions of others - you'd think from the alarmists that you'd be leaving the station and dropping dead at the exit!
 
A few years back when I traveled on some coaching stock as the
brakes went on you could hear a noise and feel a draught this
I was told was a system to keep brake dust away from passengers,
I rarely travel by train these days so maybe this is no longer used.
 
For some reason the phrase 'plant based' drives me near to insane rage. It's as illiterate and ignorant as 'organic' with regard to produce.

Nearly everything is ultimately 'plant based', including meat and oil.
And 'water based' is another term often used (usually regarding air fresheners etc).
 
And 'water based' is another term often used (usually regarding air fresheners etc).
I got an air freshener that was supposed to have essential oils. It wasn’t until I got it that I realised there was still a load of other cr*p in it. Also it was sold as ‘sleep’ and then the small print said don’t have it in a sleeping area.
 
The idea is the newer cars are less polluting so they don’t have to pay (for now). The trouble is those with older cars have generally got them because they can’t afford newer ones. And the scrappage scheme was pretty pathetic and was only available to Londoners.
Although surprisingly my 2002 petrol Saab is zero rated for ULEZ purposes. Not that I ever go near London any more. There is something cockamamie about this whole thing.
 
I am lucky if you can call it that in that I am retired and do not have to go
into anywhere that has charging zones, I pay road fund licence tax, and
payed for the roads to be built via taxes why the hell should I pay yet
again to use them, London to me might as well be a foreign country
these days not been there in years, do sat nav's warn of charging
zones or give routs avoiding them? I wonder.
If all else fails I have a 70 odd year old motor bike that is exempt to
everything except insurance.
:omr:
 
Last edited:
I am lucky if you can call it that in that I am retired and do not have to go
into anywhere that has charging zones, I pay road fund licence tax, and
payed for the roads to be built via taxes why the hell should I pay yet
again to use them, London to me might as well be a foreign country
these days not been there in years, do sat nav's warn of charging
zones or give routs avoiding them? I wonder.
If all else fails I have a 70 odd year old motor bike that is exempt to
everything except insurance.
:omr:
I never understand why there isn’t a basic safety test for vehicles exempt from MOTs. Just something to check the breaks work and the wheels aren’t going to fall off.
 
When they did need a MOT I often had to assist MOT testers they had never
come across what they were expected to test, accidents with these vehicles
are very few and I have never heard of one due to vehicle failure, without
assistance most testers would not even be able to get it started.
You can still take them for MOT's if you want and some do just in case
something were to happen but a MOT only indicates that it was ok at
the time of the test.

The vehicles make up about 0.6% of the total number of licensed vehicles in Britain but are involved in just 0.03% of road casualties and accidents.
 
Last edited:
When they did need a MOT I often had to assist MOT testers they had never
come across what they were expected to test, accidents with these vehicles
are very few and I have never heard of one due to vehicle failure, without
assistance most testers would not even be able to get it started.
You can still take them for MOT's if you want and some do just in case
something were to happen but a MOT only indicates that it was ok at
the time of the test.

The vehicles make up about 0.6% of the total number of licensed vehicles in Britain but are involved in just 0.03% of road casualties and accidents.
I would think vintage vehicles only tend to go out occasionally.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RaM
I’m sure his plane ride will help matters! Couldn’t have done it on zoom or got a boat?

Sadiq Khan flies to New York for global climate summit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-66820972

(Mod Edit: Remember that we have formatting rules for posting news articles. Title, dates/authors, then a brief excerpt, usually the first paragraph or two in italics.)

Sadiq Khan flies to New York for global climate summit​

By Tim Donovan
Political Editor, BBC London
Sept. 17, 2023

Sadiq Khan is flying to New York for four days to attend a series of events including an international climate conference.
The mayor of London is expected to speak at the United Nations climate ambition summit on Wednesday.
He will also use the visit to meet representatives from US businesses and investors looking at London.

His trip takes place three weeks after the controversial expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez).
What Mr Khan says about the zone to his American audience will be watched closely.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I’m sure his plane ride will help matters! Couldn’t have done it on zoom or got a boat?

Sadiq Khan flies to New York for global climate summit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-66820972
Of course, if he did it by video, he'd miss out on the schmoozing, the expensive lunches, etc.
Also, there are things he might want to discuss with others that would be 'off the record'. Visiting his paymasters in the flesh would allow him to meet behind closed doors to receive further instructions, unobserved and unrecorded. Suspiciously large brown envelopes could be passed to him, if that is the way it works these days.
 
Back
Top