Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What's Wrong With This Video?

This video on plastics and sustainability is maddening. Particularly since it was produced by one of my almae matres, the University of Minnesota, who should know better.

At 1:10, "Some plastics contain chemicals that can harm people and other living things" Only some plastics contain chemicals? Not all plastics?

At 1:24+, "[Unrecycled plastic] gathers in landfills, on roadsides and in oceans filling nature with trash" The irony is that any plastic trash generated at the University of Minnesota (as well as the entire Twin Cities area) is not landfilled, but is instead burned to generate electricity. (More on this in a bit.)

At 1:44+, "Imagine if we green chemistry to design safer plastics, replacing harmful chemicals with natural compounds found in grasses, fruit and grains." That's right: natural chemicals = good, synthetic chemicals = bad. Chemophobia is alive and well at the U of M! And now we know what to do with all that extra food that we have lying around.

At 1:53+, "Imagine if we produced plastics with less water, less energy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions" Wouldn't growing feedstocks use more water than drilling for oil/gas does?

At 2:03, "Or if we made plastics that could be composted, recycled or used for energy" You mean current plastics can't be recycled? Or that they can't be used to for energy? This shows again that whoever made this tape doesn't even know what happens to their own garbage.

There are also numerous emotional pleas throughout the video that I'll just leave alone. The factual errors themselves are enough to embarrass me as an alumni of an institution that should never had let this tape out.

1 comment:

azmanam said...

Structures @2:20: lactic acid, (incorrectly drawn) glucose (methyl ketone -> should be aldehyde), isoprene, and (i think) delta-decalactone, fragrance of coconuts?