Letter for Thursday, August 8, 2019

Recycling beach trash received strong support

Thank you for the recent article on the new pavilion at Island School made from recycled beach trash. The Surfrider Foundation is proud to have taken a lead in seeking a solution to the island’s plastic trash problem.

We are especially optimistic because Mayor Kawakami seems very open to new ways of dealing with this problem. The building dedication was attended by key county administrators from the County Building Department, solid waste and sustainability.

Of course, long term, recycling and re-use will not solve the problem of factory fishing nets and consumer single-use plastic, but this problem has to be approached from all directions. We are very grateful for the county plastic bag ban.

We want to thank all the folks who participated in this project, it couldn’t have been done without a community stepping up, working on weekends and donating time and materials: Brower Construction, Architects Kauai, Island Truss, Kick Ass Concrete, Aloha Roofing Supply, Mahelona Sheet Metal Fabrication, and Pacific Plaster & Stucco.

This was the first permanent structure built of compressed plastic marine debris blocks, and it took local engineering skills to pull it off. Surfrider Foundation is grateful for all the community support for beach cleanups and this building project.

This block building shows a promising way to get rid of marine debris and help in the solid waste disposal problem the county is facing. We should consider getting a manufacturing plant here on Kauai.

Cynthia Welti, Chair, Kauai Chapter, Surfrider Foundation

2 Comments
  1. Charlie Chimknee August 8, 2019 11:03 pm Reply

    Aloha Jessica Else, maybe you could write one of your fantastic articles on the “off gassing” from the deteriorating plastic, it was mentioned that the plastic blocks are later covered with a finish coat…?

    What is the finish coat made of and how effective is it to prevent human and other sentient beings from inhaling the “off gassing” of the plastic deterioration side effects.

    Are we to assume the off gassing is poisonous…how about plastic laying around inside of our homes, especially children’s toys…

    If plastic is made from petrochemicals and is carcinogenic, this off gassing may be an enormous unappreciated menace…it seems that new AC (asphalt concrete) road surfacing must also be a big petrochemical carcinogenic insult to our lugs and bodies…and the poor workers in the road repair business.

    Some of us dread the thought of children being around plastic toys, and what are plastics along with dairy protein as a cause of childhood cancers.
    Oh woe, it is safer to have your paper delivered to your driveway, and your home left unlocked than it is to walk a newly paved roadway or have your baby suck in a plastic nipple and ring all day…laying helplessly in the stroller while Mommy shops for other chemicals in their food.

    Is plastic off gassing and road surfacing fumes from the petroleum, are they as bad as the glyphosate and chlorpyrifos that the corporate farms use in the west side. The poor people and keiki there, have those corporations no shame? Not even prayers can help them as so far Cancer is stronger than prayers and carcinogens cause cancer also more stronger than prayer.

    We need people who do not abuse science…fske scientists are messing with fake science, the work of the devil, the by product of accumulating money.

    Please educate us Jessica…? Mahalo


  2. drsurf August 12, 2019 8:43 am Reply

    This technology is in its infancy with lots to still explore and questions to answer. Right now only used for open air structures like retaining walls. It has people thinking of other uses of discarded plastic and that is important. We live in wood homes that are covered in paint inside and out. Is there gassing off from paint, don’t know.
    But key is stopping the flow of plastic with conservation, refusal to purchase and bans and only then will this problem be solved.


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