Tag Archives: Plastic Industry

Plastic discs on Italian Beaches

According to The Local, from Tuscany to Campania, hundreds of thousands of unidentified plastic discs have washed up on Italy’s western coast in recent weeks.

The white discs began turning up in southern Italy about a month ago, according to Clean Sea Life, a group that campaigns to clean up Italy’s beaches, which said it received the first report from Paestum beach on February 21st.

Since then hundreds of thousands more have been spotted all along the Tyrrhenian coast, says the group, which has been mapping the sightings and alerting regional authorities. Some of its members picked up 800 of the discs in one hour on a single beach, it said, liquor stores.

It is not known where the discs came from or how so many of them ended up in the sea, but Clean Sea Life suspects that they are parts for a water purification plant that were either washed out during heavy rains or somehow fell into the ocean while they were being delivered.

Oceanographers are studying the log of sightings to try to work out where the spill most likely took place. They believe it was somewhere in the Gulf of Naples and those currents later swept the discs north.


“Update on the big spill of disks, likely used in wastewater treatment aka #hooksetdisks washing up by the 1000s in central Italy. @CleanSeaLIFE coordinating w local, regional auth, coast guard and oceanographers to backtrack source &cleanup #marinelitter #marinedebris #6IMDC”

The group is urging members of the public to let them know if they spot the discs and, even more importantly, to pick them up.

“If it had been done right away, we wouldn’t find ourselves with hundreds of sightings of discs all over the Tyrrhenian a month later,” Clean Sea Life said. “If we don’t pick them up now, they’ll continue to pollute our sea forever, breaking up bit by bit into smaller and smaller pieces without ever disappearing completely.”

Plastic Industry and Fire Safety

Rockwool, where non-combustible building insulation were made, claims a firm owned by plastic insulation manufacturer Kingspan was given the control of key elements of the tests . This includes some that “can have a direct bearing on the pass/fail outcome.” The Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 71 people in June 2017, spread up combustible plastic insulation and plastic-filled ACM cladding panels that have been wrapped around the Kensington tower block in west London. This is to meet energy-saving targets.

Moreover, Government’s assurance about the safety of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings has been questioned. It comes after a claim that the plastics industry “influenced” official fire tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Kingspan revealed to Sky News in a statement that the positions of the fire thermocouples and barriers by Booth Muirie were copied from a previous test at BRE.

The tests were carried out “using the test methodology required” with 32 thermocouples used for each test. The independent advisory panel announced the result last year saying they will help landlords make decisions on any further measures that may need to be put in place to make their buildings safe.” In addition, the Fire Protection Association called for a more realistic test for cladding. The Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association, on the other hand, issued guidance in November 2017.

According to Sky News, Kingspan added, “This was designed to ensure test integrity and comparability of test outcomes and data, a methodology that was fully agreed with DCLG. Booth Muirie had no role in the October 2016 test.”
Furthermore, these tests were carried out with the advice of the Government’s independent expert panel on building safety. It was established after the tragic event in the Grenfell Tower fire. Truly, a support from bank deposits would be of huge help.