Monthly Archives: November 2016

PVC Pipe Fail = Giant Truck Swallowing Hole in Florida

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A cable company truck driver learned the hard way what happens when PVC pipe hits its stress limit: the pipe broke, resulting in a “massive hole” that swallowed up the back end of the truck. It happened in Orange County, FL, where officials said a “10-inch PVC water main broke and caused the ground to erode under the asphalt.” A local ABC affiliate has the story, and some remarkable photos:

“Water was still gushing from the ground as crews worked to turn off the main and get the truck out of the hole. The truck has since been removed, but the break is causing problems for residents.

“‘Customers are being notified of the outage, which could impact as many as 150 homes. We will continue to provide updates as crews assess the damage. The cause of the break is currently under investigation,’ [Carrie Proudfit of Orange County Public Safety and Health Services] said.

“About 150 residents are without water, officials said.”

It’s known that PVC pipe fails relatively quickly under stress, especially as compared with Ductile Iron Pipe. In fact, DIP withstands the most demanding operating and weather conditions with a tensile strength more than eight times that of PVC piping, which loses strength over time.

As important as it is for municipalities to know that, we’re guessing the cable truck driver wished they’d learned that lesson a different way.

PVC Growing Increasingly Unpopular

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When two of the largest companies on the planet phase out PVC from their packaging, that’s a clear signal that retailers are listening to their consumers who do not want the carcinogen-loaded product in their homes. Wal-Mart and Disney have announced different measures aimed at reducing PVC in packaging.

Wal-Mart issued guidelines to its suppliers asking them avoid using PVC to improve environmental stewardship. reported that the company “unveiled” its Sustainable Packaging Playbook during a late October summit. The playbook offers “clear guidelines that affect plastics packaging.” From PlasticsNews:

“Several times in the document, Wal-Mart advises suppliers to avoid PVC packaging.

“‘We’ve seen lots of suppliers make progress,’ said Wal-Mart senior vice president of sustainability Laura Phillips in a phone interview prior to the summit. She cited Mattel Inc. as a good example. The toy maker scores high on Wal-Mart’s sustainability index by replacing PVC blister packaging for Barbie dolls and other toys.

“Wal-Mart wants suppliers to avoid the use of biodegradable additives in petroleum-based plastics, ‘because it could contaminate recycling streams,’ Phillips explained.”

Just as crossing the particle streams in “Ghostbusters” could lead to the annihilation of the earth, contaminating recycling streams is also bad.

Meanwhile, over the happiest place on earth, Disney’s new Moana doll – representing the plucky teen on a seafaring quest to save her people – will be sold in a paperboard box with a plastic window that uses PET instead of PVC “because it’s easier to recycle,” according to a report from Packaging Digest. PVC is notoriously hard to recycle – as people with artificial Christmas trees learn when they decide to jettison their plastic firs – and it usually winds up in landfills, sitting around, degrading the ground beneath it. If PVS is burned in an effort to eliminate it, it releases toxic carcinogens that contribute to pollution.

Bottom line: retailers are listening to the customers who are making clear they want much less plastic, and as little PVC as possible in their homes, around their children and families.


How to choose the perfect Christmas tree

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Daily Record – A Christmas tree is the focus of most people’s festive decorations. We help you to choose the right Christmas tree and reveal tips and advice on the best look for 2016.

While artificial trees are much longer lasting and often cheaper than real trees many are manufactured at a cost to the environment.

Fake trees are made from plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and during PVC production the harmful toxic chemical dioxin is released.

When you do try to get rid of an artificial tree you’ll find the plastic is difficult to recycle and many end up in landfill.

Read more.

Sustainable packaging for Disney’s Moana doll is both responsible and fun

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Packaging Digest – The packaging design for the new Moana doll from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media is environmentally responsible, but it also adds a fun interactive element: Kids can transform the box into a boat for the doll.

The product and its innovative packaging appeared on Disney Store shelves in September 2016, ahead of the release of Disney’s computer-animated film “Moana.” Set to open on Nov. 23, the movie is about an island girl who sails across the ocean to save her people.

Read more.