It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The World's Most Evil Toy

In time for last Christmas, somebody released transparent tubes full of tiny plastic pellets. What a fun game! Look for the odd shaped pellet! Woo hoo!

Isn't that great! You can sell manufacturing waste as a toy! Brilliant!

Eventually every one of the tiny seed-sized pellets will end up outside of the transparent plastic tubes. Then the fun really begins!!!


Just because there isn't a law against it doesn't mean you should do something.

13 comments:

Nick Barnes said...

Are you familiar with Hama beads?

King of the Road said...

To be fair, they represent the pellets as recycled plastic. If that's true I imagine that, rather than pellets in the game they could have been sweaters or the "upholstery" in a Chevy Volt or something. But ultimately either of those (and any other item) will wind up in a landfill.

Even if it's manufacturing waste (which could, I suppose, be characterized as recycled without subjecting the firm to false advertising claims) I don't see that delaying its trip to a Volt or the landfill is marginally harmful.

If they aren't taking petroleum and manufacturing the pellets for this use then I'm not sure why it's more harmful than most consumer items made from plastic. I'm speculating from "tiny seed-sized that bird or small animal ingestion is the issue?

Apologies if I'm missing something obvious here.

Michael Tobis said...

The point is exactly that a good fraction won't make it to the landfill. Tiny plastic bits in the environment are a major problem, but this is the first case I know of where somebody goes out of their way to deliver them.

King of the Road said...

Are they worse than, for example Legos (no sarcasm intended)?

Michael Tobis said...

They are much tinier than Legos and much more likely to be ingested by wildlife.

King of the Road said...

OK, fair enough.

Patrick Mouse said...

Think how nice they'll look after your lovely child throws them in the local lake!

John Mashey said...

The Garbage Path.

Vinny Burgoo said...

The Garbage Pat[c?]h Downscaled (Again)

John Mashey said...

Sorry, posts from iPhone often are mangled. I've never visited the Patch myself, but we have a friend (Roz Savage) who did, and it wasn't pretty.

I should have spelled out the real point that much stuff doesn't go into landfill, but elsewhere. At least, if these pellets were bigger, like the size of rubber ducks, we'd get some science.

Vinny Burgoo said...

Google Ngrams: the world's most flawed evil toy? Still, here are its results for 'global warming' and 'climate change' in British English

http://tinyurl.com/248o57d

and in American English

http://tinyurl.com/2cz4jmz

Comments?

(Thanks. I will. Those graphs might suggest that Americans are far more reluctant to be educated about climate hoo-ha than are Europeans. If so, this would be confirmation of a long-known phenomenon - in Europe, anyway - rather than anything new but perhaps its presentation in such a simple, graphic form might convince American journalists, campaigners, bloggers and expert witnesses that there's more to world opinion than the prattlings of their little stolen empire between the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. I thenk you.)

Michael Tobis said...

Nice one!

Steve L said...

Am I the only one wondering:
If fireworks are seriously being blamed for several observations of large numbers of dead birds dropping out of the sky, why isn't anyone campaigning for some kind of 'fireworks control'?
(Also, mt, as a Texan who is by now quite knowledgeable about fireworks at eg 4th of July, can you remember reports of these kinds of bird kills on July 5 and 6?)