Thursday, March 03, 2005

Plastic bottles pile up as mountains of waste

Do you know that the Plastic Bottles is a Petro-Chemical Product??

It would take 1,000 years to dissolve??

& the gasses release into the air would cause Air pollutions.

& the remain would contaminating the Ground.

Think about the Great Health of our future Generation..
We need to put the action together.

Plastic bottles pile up as mountains of waste
Americans' thirst for portable water is behind drop in recycling rate
By Miguel Llanos Reporter MSNBC
Updated: 1:30 p.m. ET March 2, 2005

The biggest growth in bottled beverages isn't beer or soft drinks or juices. It's tasteless, colorless and sugarless water. And while that can mean fewer cavities and slimmer waistlines, it irritates Patricia Franklin to no end.

The director of a nonprofit group that promotes recycling, she spends her workday thinking about the bottles, cans and other container waste that most Americans take for granted.

The boom in plastic water bottles has her especially frazzled because while the recycling rate is extremely low, the demand from recyclers is actually quite high.

Franklin, who runs the Container Recycling Institute, doesn't blame individuals as much as what she feels is a recycling system that hasn't kept up with consumption patterns — especially when it comes to water.

Bottled water is the single largest growth area among all beverages, that includes alcohol, juices and soft drinks. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over the last decade, from 10.5 gallons in 1993 to 22.6 in 2003, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

The growth has been even more impressive in terms of water bottles sold: from 3.3 billion in 1997 to 15 billion in 2002.

But most bottled water is consumed away from home, usually at a park, in an office or even while driving — areas where there's usually no recycling.

"The opportunities for recycling outside the home are minimal," Franklin says, "and therein lies the problem."

Bottles by the numbers
Only about 12 percent of "custom" plastic bottles, a category dominated by water, were recycled in 2003, according to industry consultant R.W. Beck, Inc. That's 40 million bottles a day that went into the trash or became litter. In contrast, the recycling rate for plastic soft drink bottles is around 30 percent.

The low water bottle recycling rate also impacts the overall recycling rate of all plastic, or PET, products. That's fallen from 53 percent in 1994 to 19 percent in 2003.

Plastics should be recycled so that less petroleum — a finite commodity — is consumed, Franklin says.

"The environmental impacts are in the drilling of the oil," she adds, noting that burning fossil fuel also releases gases that many scientists tie to global warming.

A second reason for recycling, Franklin says, is the litter factor. While plastic water bottles are not a significant percentage of overall waste, the empties are certainly all around us visually.

Thirdly, she says, is the fact that the domestic plastics recycling industry faces a shortage because so much is being exported to China for recycling there. That shortage has also led to fears that some companies will go bankrupt.

"There is a means to reclaim these bottles and use them to make new bottles and other products at home," Franklin says, "but they (recyclers) simply can't get enough of the containers to do it."

The Container Recycling Institute thinks a nationwide bottle deposit law would create the incentive to recycle, especially when it comes to plastic bottles, and ease the burden on taxpayers, who pay for cleaning up litter.

"A national bottle bill, or producer responsibility bill, could turn it around and shift the costs from government and taxpayers to producers and consumers," Franklin says.

States with deposit laws already recycle four out of five bottles, Franklin notes, thanks in part to an army of recyclers — from Boy Scout Troops to office cleaning crews — that turns one person's trash into their income.

Eleven states have bottle bills but they are a patchwork with no two alike, she adds, and only three states, California, Hawaii and Maine, include plastic water bottles in their laws.

A national law, she says, should cover new containers that didn't exist 20 years ago, e.g. plastic water bottles, and enforce a dime-per-bottle deposit "as it is in Michigan, where deposit containers are recovered at a rate of 95 percent."

But while deposit legislation has had varying degrees of bipartisan support in Congress over the years, it has never become law.

Franklin blames opposition from the beverage industry, saying its campaign contributions have given it "incredible political clout in Congress and actually in every state legislature in the country."

Beverage industry opposition
That opposition certainly exists, but the beverage industry says it just doesn't make sense to force a deposit law on consumers.

"This cost burden placed on businesses is also passed along to consumers — levying a 'hidden tax' on both," the American Beverage Association said in an issue statement on the topic.

Curbside recycling at homes and businesses, as well as educating consumers, are the best methods for dealing with container waste, the group adds.

Tom Kinnaman, an economics professor at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., believes that while recycling is expensive the debate needs to reflect what he calls the "happiness" value of seeing litter cleaned up.

Factor that in and a deposit law can make sense, says Kinnaman, whose research includes household recycling trends.

"It turns out recycling also provides utility," he says. "It benefits society because it provides happiness for people in excess of what it costs to provide the happiness."

High tech, low tech
A Colorado company called Biota says it might have a way around the deposit controversy: a biodegradable bottle. All of Biota's water bottles are made out of the biodegradable plastic, which comes from corn starch in a process developed by the seed company Cargill and Dow Chemical.

Biota says that while traditional plastic bottles can take 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill, its bottles can biodegrade within 80 days in a commercial composting operation.

Won't the bottles dissolve on store shelves? Biota says they'll only degrade if they've been emptied and placed in composting conditions — high heat and humidity as well as microorganisms to eat away.

Biota is just getting off the ground, selling to a few health food stores in California, Colorado and Nevada. But it plans to expand, and even sell via the Internet.

Franklin sees hope in the biodegradable plastic, but adds that a big, unanswered question is whether mixing those bottles with PET bottles might contaminate the latter in the recycling process, making them useless.

"The concern is if we are going to be able to transition to that type of plastic what will be some of the impacts on companies that are trying to recycle PET bottles out there," she says.

And what about a low-tech approach of just educating the public to assume more responsibility, taking those plastic bottles home to a recycling bin instead of leaving them in a trash bin at a park?
MSNBC - Plastic bottles pile up as mountains of waste

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New York appeals court says new farm manure rules not protecting water

All Things have the Positive Views & Negative View. The following statement from the court is the right facts.

The farms, it added, can generate each year millions of tons of manure, which carries potentially harmful pollutants including pesticides, bacteria, viruses, trace elements of arsenic and compounds such as methane and ammonia.

When properly applied, manure can be spread on fields and serve as fertilizer. But improperly applied, the court said, it can pollute.

These not mentioned about the treatment to the manure & the waste water after treatment issues.. certainly these is manure issue must treat with care, otherwise the ground water on earth would be further polluted. thus for our Drink water.

For the Great Health of our people Drink Water Safety is the Number priority.

FARM SCENE: New York appeals court says new farm manure rules not protecting water
By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer
February 28, 2005, 9:51 PM EST

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court on Monday agreed with environmentalists that new federal clean-water rules were not protecting the nation's waters from the manure pollution of large farms.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said it agreed with environmentalists who claimed in lawsuits that the rules failed to provide meaningful review of plans developed by the farms to limit the pollution.

The appeals court said the rules imposed in February 2003 by the Environmental Protection Agency were arbitrary and capricious and did "nothing to ensure" that each large farm was complying with requirements to control the pollution.

Its ruling requires the EPA to make changes so it can ensure compliance by the farms with the Clean Water Act, which includes "the ambitious goal" that water pollution be eliminated. It also said the agency must provide a process that "adequately involves the public" as it creates a new system.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international grass-roots organization connecting and empowering 129 local water protection programs, said he was grateful that the court had rebuked "the government and the barons of corporate agriculture."

"These regulations were the product of a conspiracy between a lawless industry and compliant public officials in cahoots to steal the public trust," Kennedy said in a release.

A telephone message for comment left with the EPA in Washington, D.C., was not immediately returned Monday.

The appeals court noted the average large farm raises 10,000 sheep, 55,000 turkeys or 125,000 chickens and the largest can raise millions of animals.

The farms, it added, can generate each year millions of tons of manure, which carries potentially harmful pollutants including pesticides, bacteria, viruses, trace elements of arsenic and compounds such as methane and ammonia.

When properly applied, manure can be spread on fields and serve as fertilizer. But improperly applied, the court said, it can pollute.

The appeals court rejected some claims by the environmentalists, including that the EPA failed to consider the best technologies to control pollution or that certain costs of pollution control can be demanded of farms because costs can be passed to consumers. It said the EPA had adequately explained that "farmers are at the bottom of a long food marketing chain, subject to imperfect market conditions."

It also noted that the EPA had done extensive data collection, visiting more than 116 large farms in more than 20 states, attending conferences, meeting with trade associations and accepting about 11,000 public comments on its new rules.

The EPA rules require large confinements _ defined as having at least 1,000 beef cattle and 2,500 swine _ to obtain water pollution permits every five years. Some medium ones _ with 300 beef cattle and 3,000 swine under 55 pounds _ may be required to get one. Different head count thresholds are set for livestock operations including sheep, chicken and turkeys.

Any farm required to have a permit also must have a plan spelling out how it will manage manure. Farmers are required to file annual reports summarizing their operations.

Forty-five states manage the program themselves while activities in Alaska, Idaho, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Mexico and in the District of Columbia are managed by the EPA. FARM SCENE: New York appeals court says new farm manure rules not protecting water

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Drinking Water Supplier Wins Bronze Medal

While congratulating Metropolitan's - SouthLand Water Supplier for the achievment..

However, there is still far more room to improve & achieve 1st if possible.

The Drinking Water Standard cannot be lower or Maintence, it have to be upkeep forever.

Southland's Major Drinking Water Supplier Wins Bronze Medal at International Water Tasting Competition

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2005--The drinking water that's coming soon to all Southern Californians received the third-place bronze medal Saturday at the International Water Tasting competition.

Metropolitan's prize-winning water was drawn at its Henry J. Mills Treatment Plant at Riverside, the first of MWD's five treatment plants that has been retrofitted with the ozonation method of water disinfection that produces better-tasting water.

"We're delighted to be recognized again for the outstanding quality of our water," said Metropolitan board Chairman Wes Bannister, "and also to have our first ozone treatment process receive this kind of validation."

Not that the water that 18 million Southland residents currently receive from Metropolitan's other plants is less-delectable. Samples taken at other locations in recent years have won first- and second-place medals at the annual tasting competition held in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, W. Va.

However, the characteristics of other local and imported waters, and the effects of local and household water pipes, may affect the taste and scent of homeowners' tapwater.

Metropolitan's water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River comprises about half the drinking water used in a 5,200-square-mile area covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Metropolitan's 26 member public water agencies use the imported water to supplement, or in place of, local water supplies -- mostly ground (well) water.

"The ozone disinfection process that we are using at the Mills plant will be on-line at our Jensen plant in Granada Hills this summer, and at our plants in La Verne, Yorba Linda and Murietta by December 2009," said Metropolitan interim CEO Gilbert Ivey. "Metropolitan's board has made a $750 million commitment to ozone retrofits at all of our plants in order to maintain the high quality of our drinking water."

A safe, colorless gas with a pleasant, fresh scent, ozone is a form of oxygen. It is bubbled through drinking water to destroy potentially harmful organisms and also to reduce unpleasant tastes and odors. Ozone, which has been used for disinfecting drinking water since the 1800s, is also noteworthy because it causes fewer potentially harmful byproducts than chlorine.

The water-tasting competition at Berkeley Springs is held annually on the weekend closest to the birthday of George Washington, who was one of Berkeley Springs' early real estate speculators and surveyors. The hot sulphur springs that Washington and his friends hoped would become a tourist attraction are still flowing.

Twenty-nine cities from the United States and several other countries sent entries to the contest, where water samples are judged in the same manner as wine tasting. Metropolitan's water competed against entries from Maryland, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin and New York and other states, as well as entries from Canada and New Zealand.

Carbonated and sparkling bottled waters, and water bottle packaging and design also have their own categories in the event.

In the Municipal Water category, Metropolitan took third place, tying with Rice Lake, Wis. Water from Town of Gibsons, BC, Canada, was judged best in the world; Daytona Beach, Fla., won best in the United States, and Putaruru, New Zealand, placed second.

Metropolitan's entry was selected by its Flavor Profile Panel, a group of employees at MWD's Water Quality Laboratory who are trained in wine-and-beverage-tasting methods. The FPP meets several times weekly -- sometimes daily -- to test water samples from throughout Metropolitan's aqueduct, treatment plants and pipelines.

Their objective is water lacking in noticeable tastes or scents -- the same characteristics that impressed the judges at Berkeley Springs.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 18 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other water-management programs.
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