The Anonymous Widower

The Wrong Kind Of Bleach?

This article on Railnews is entitled 9 September: News In Brief.

It has the following sub-title.

Wrong Bleach Took Caledonian Sleepers Out Of Service

This is the first sentence.

Cleabers who used the wrong specification of bleach in the toilets and shower rooms on Caledonian Sleepers caused significant damage after the chemicals reacted with stainless steel pipes,

To my knowledge stainless steel, especially when it contains increased levels of chromium and some molybdenum, can be very proof to attack from most substances.

Look at this Butler Shba cutlery made in Sheffield from stainless steel with black Delrin plastic handles, which have seen continuous use in my household for fifty years.

Now that’s what I call stainless steel!

Perhaps, the Spanish used the wrong type of stainless steel?

Delrin is a form of polyoxymethylene, which is an engineering plastic.

This plastic has a wide spectrum of usage, including in zips, bagpipes and metered dose inhalers, to name just three of hundreds.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: ‘Make Plastic Straws Great Again’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Live.News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

US President Donald Trump has raised nearly $500,000 (£411,000) for his re-election campaign by selling plastic straws.

The branded straws, released in Republican Party-red, were launched on the 19th of July, selling out in a matter of hours before being restocked.

The site also links to another post, which is entitled. President Trump: ‘Wind turbines cause cancer’.

I am a reasonably knowledgeable engineer and scientist and know a Compleat Wanker, when I see one

How can so many Americans take this idiot seriously?

August 9, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Articles In Today’s Times

In addition to World’s Top Wealth Fund Puts Billions Into Britain, there were other articles worth blogging about in today’s copy of The Times.

Build New Homes Away From Roads, Heath Watchdog Says

Surely, this very sensible! The distance can of course be vertical!

Plastic Packaging Used To Make Car Parts In Upcycling Revolution

Scientists working for the US Department of Defense have shown it is possible to convert recycled PET bottles and other packaging into useful long-life products.

Corbyn’s Favourite Firebrand Is Suspended In Antisemitism Row

My father believed that there was little different between the extreme left as represented by Sralin and the extreme right as represented by Hitler.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Environmentally-Friendly Dry Cleaning

In the late-1960s, when I worked for ICI, the company was very worried about the effect of dry-cleaning chemicals on the health of workers and was constantly looking for better chemicals.

I suspect as that was fifty years ago, that the dry-cleaning process itself is very much more envionmentally friendly.

But look at these trousers, that I have just brought back from the dry cleaners.

There are two things wrong with the packaging.

The awful wire coat hangers, which are a nuisance to deal with and go straight in the bin.

The plastic wrapping over the top, which I assume is not recyclable.

Years ago in Suffolk, we had a man who collected and returned our bed linen from the laundry, once a week. I can’t remember the company, but I hope they’re still going, as they did an excellent service.

They then started doing dry cleaning and they gave you the choice of having it on hangers or neatly folded in tissue paper.

I remember we chose the latter, as it was so much more convenient.

C would then put things that needed a hanger on proper wooden ones.

With the worries around plastic getting into the oceans, surely we should stop this needless wrapping of dry cleaning with plastic and fold things neatly in tissue paper!

I look forward to seeing a dry-cleaners, that says that we don’t use plastic!

November 25, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 5 Comments

Plastic Bag Charge To Rise To 10p And Be Extended To Every Shop

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Independent.

The title says it all.

I rarely buy a plastic bag and it is usually, when I travel around and have forgotten to put a bag in my coat pocket. I suspect I haven’t actually bought one since June.

I’ve also thought it wrong since the charge was introduced, that some shops didn’t charge, so this will create a level playing field.

As to the rise of the charge to ten pence, the biggest effect could be, that people remember to take a bag more often.

I do suspect though that smaller shops will complain and will say they will have to close.

But if they don’t have to charge, the taxpayer is effectively providing them with a subsidy.

If we are widening the plastic bag charge, surely now is the time to do something similar for fast food packaging.

The latter is personal, as quite a bit seems to end up outside my house in the front patio.

How about a ten pence packaging/obesity/littering charge on all fast food meals?

 

August 26, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 4 Comments

Hydrogen Is Really Happening

The title of this post, is the same as that of this opinion in Energy Voice.

It is a good summary of where we are with hydrogen.

One interesting point of several is that researchers in the US and Spain can extract hydrogen from plastic waste.

This article from FuelCellWorks describes the Spanish research.

That would surely be a real zero-carbon fuel!

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

These Dreaded Glasses Are Starting To Appear In Hotels

In my hotel in Novara, I didn’t get a proper glass or even a hard plastic one, like those I use at home.

I got one of these design crimes!

Consider.

  • They are single-use plastic of the worst kind.
  • They are difficult to open with my gammy hand.
  • When I opened one in Germany I destroyed the glass.

But the worst thing, is that they are unstable and one tipped over in Novara and ruined my paper, in which I was doing the sudoku.

Ban them!

June 3, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Wet Wipes Could Face Wipe-Out In Plastic Clean-Up

The title of this post, is the same as this article on the BBC.

What are wet wipes?

In my seventy years, I’ve never used or even seen one!

I don’t think my late wife ever used one either!

Do we really need them?

May 8, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Re-Use Rather Than Re-Cycle

I remember in the 1970s or 1980s hearing the Research Director of Pilkington on Radio 4, giving a defence of using glass as packaging.

He argued that one of the problems with glass coffee jars and sauce bottles was that after use and a quick wash, they looked like they could be refilled with new product. In those days, coffee jars were often used for the storage of small items like screws, clips and dry foods like rice and pasta.

Now we’ll buy a designer jars, like these from IKEA.

In those days a lot of milk and beer bottles were returned to the dairy or brewery, but are we going to send empty beer bottles back to some of the exotic places from where they came.

The Research Director argued, that the best thing to do with glass bottles was to smash them up and re-use for other purposes.

One of the uses he discussed was to use broken glass as an aggregate substitute in road construction. This does happen and I’ve read of by-passes being constructed on a bed of broken glass and seen broken glass being used under paving slabs.

Glass came from materials dug out of the ground and it’s going back under.

He also said that to create new bottles was cheaper, than reusing bottles, unless there was a direct link, like milk rounds from a dairy.

This morning on wake Wake Up To Money, they were discussing cutting the use of plastics. So I sent in the following text.

I wonder if black-plastic ready-meal trays could be replaced with a light-weight glass variant. Along with bottles, they would just be washed and crushed after use for aggregate. Several roads have been built on broken bottles.

It was read out.

Consider.

  • We drink a lot of beer that comes in glass bottles.  One of my beer bottles from Marks and Spencer weughs 280 grams.
  • They would be oven-proof, microwave-safe and freezable.
  • You could eat your meal out of the dish!
  • They might save on washing-up time.
  • They could go in the dry-recycling after a quick rinse.

But above all, they may have other uses.

I also suspect that the other pakaging could be similar.

Could a piece of plastic be glued to the tray in the same way?

My idea is probably total rubbish!

But some of Marks and Spencer’s pies already come in just an aluminium tray and a cardboard box.

They need to be cooked in an oven and are not microwavable.

The pie goes down the gullet and the aluminium tray and the cardboard box, go into the dry recycling.

One thing I will be right about, is to say that there are some clever packaging scientists and designers out there, trying to create a freezable ready-meal, that can be cooked in a microwave, that isn’t protected in anything that can’t go direct in the dry recycling.

 

 

 

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keeping Your Wiring Tidy

I have form in this area.

  • One of my first jobs was designing and building small pieces of control electronics for industrial plant.
  • I built small tuners for a company in Felixstowe.
  • Later at ICI, I built instruments for installation on chemical plants.

So I learned from about sixteen, that your wiring always has to be neat and colour-coded.

I also remember at ICI, how Neil Saville developed a computerised design program in the late 1960s,  to layout and colour-code the wires in a chemical plant.

So I was drawn to this article in Rail Engineer, which is entitled Safety, sustainability and security polymer cable troughing.

The article is about Trojan Services, based in Hove, who have developed various cable troughs and other products for the rail industry, made out of recycled polypropylene.

The article is very much a must-read, which shows how good design can transform the most mundane of products.

The pictures show some typical cable ducts.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment