Sunday, 2 November 2008

ecological day - a thought

now i'm NOT trying to upset readers from the sub-continent or be culturally insensitive...but here's a thought. if the plastic non-biodregradable rubbish that drifts around India were instead collected and used as a building material the environment could become much more pleasant for all concerned.

just as straw and old rope is traditionally mixed with mud to give strength to adobe housing, so too plastic could be shredded and mixed with mud to give strength to mudbricks.

salvaged plastic waste could also be used to stretch concrete when pouring concrete slabs. admittedly neither of these two solutions is ideal - but images such as that above are common in India. the advent of plastics pushed the traditional recycled paper packaging (that Asia had down to a fine art) aside. the streets of Indian villages and cities abound with scenes such as the one pictured.

and yes, I am aware that Australia doesn't have all the answers either. here at Hope Springs we try to re-use, recycle, re-invent or reclaim as much as possible but there are still too many things that do end up heading for the landfill.

plastic waste is an insidious problem....and apparently at least 3/4 of the worls's crude oil is guzzled by plastic production. i say wrap your goods in folded bags made from old telephone book paper, avoid plastic as much as possible and direct the few oil reserves we have left to transport needs rather than packaging...


  1. Very relevant participation on Ecological Day. Really, plastic waste is an insidious problem here in Brazil too! I agree with you, we must avoid plastic as much as possible.
    Thank you for your participation.

  2. Apologies for my last very flippant input - our enviroment is an issue close to my heart. Having spent ten years in Australia I can vouch for how forward thinking the Aussies are. Sadly here in Liverpool the lip service being paid to environmental concerns is rather depressing. Still my view is if we all do our bit and then a litte bit more we are going in the right direction. Keep up the good work

  3. thought your lasht fluppant input delightful...
    as is our particular corner of this big island...but be assured we still have a lot of grubby bits and places on would rather not be.
    and I'm not understanding why we need to have a carbon tax while we're still mining coal out of the ground.
    something there not adding up, i think

  4. I don't dabble in the dirty deeds of Australian (or British) politics. I might get more than my fingers burned if ya get ma drift

  5. Hi India, want to let you know that the book is available in the Netherlands again. I received it today trough my bookshop.
    It looks great. I'm more than happy!

  6. thanks Martine that is indeed good news! i hope you get good use from your book...

  7. There is some technology to use plastic waste for roads. Check out this link. All countries should ban giving away free plastic bags in stores ... Ireland found a good solution.

  8. thanks for that link, Bindu!
    ...not only for the story but also for the newspaper itself, one i very much relished reading while in India. Both it and 'The Times of India' are written in much more beautiful language than for example the 'Adelaide Advertiser'. they have better proof readers too...

  9. Ten years ago, I got my last place of work to get used to recycling by pointing out to the big boss, how much the "Grundy bins" - the local big rubbish bins removal was costing him.
    Maybe this could be a tactical approach to be used more.........
    India, keep up the "good" work, I enjoy watching you at work and get side tracked by perusing your new Followers, delightful, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes worth a chuckle ..........
    Yes, I wish I had more hours to do the, first the dying of course, now I need to plant different plants as well, and so on, and so on...
    Anyway, it keeps me busy and lets my thoughts wander .........