River Wissey Lovell Fuller


August 2008

Ian explores re-cycling of plastic bottles and puts a personal view on the Government's intended "Polyclinics!"

CONUNDRUM OF THE MONTH: How do lemonade bottles keep you warm?

I once heard that fleece jackets can be made from plastic bottles. This niggled away at the back of my mind until now, when I decided to have a look at the worldwide cobweb to see what was going on. 2% of the crude oil produced is used to make plastic; 1/6 of this plastic is used to make bottles. Thus, 0.33% of the crude oil is turned into plastic bottles.

There are 3 types of plastic bottles: PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is used for fizzy drinks, cooking oil, mineral water etc. HDPE (High density polyethylene) is used for milk, fruit juice, washing-up liquid, fabric conditioners, etc. and PVE (polyvinyl chloride) is used for toiletries, some cooking oils, etc.

PET can be made into fleece jackets, filler for sleeping bags, duvets and anoraks, tufting for carpets, etc. The PET bottles are chopped up into flakes, cleaned, dried and melted. The melted plastic is then squeezed out into long strands of fibre which are spun into yarn and woven to make fleece material. In 1993, an American company, Patagonia, was the first to use "post-consumer recycled fleece" made from plastic bottles. They now make jackets, pullovers, vests, hats, socks and baby clothes from this fleece, diverting millions of bottles annually from land-fill. Each fleece uses only 25 recycled 2 litre bottles and every 150 fleeces made in this way saves one barrel (42 gallons) of oil (oil is used to make polyester, the other source of fleece) and saves half a ton of toxic air emissions.

HDPE (milk and detergent bottles) is turned into household products, compost bins, garden furniture, pipes, signposts, recycling collection boxes, etc and PVC is turned into drain pipes and electrical fittings.

The final useful statistic: In the UK, we throw away 15 million plastic bottles every day. Recycling just one plastic bottle can save the same amount of energy as is needed to power one 60W light bulb for 6 hours so, if we recycled all our plastic bottles, we could probably do away with a power station or two - you work out the mathematics of it!

POLYCLINICS: In the past two articles, we discussed the government's desire to open polyclinics, with at least one in each primary care trust area, and how these could adversely affect medical services locally. Happily, the new chief executive of Buckinghamshire PCT has declared that the polyclinic model is only suitable for urban areas and has refused to develop a polyclinic. Previously, Herefordshire PCT had scrapped plans to build one. It is to be hoped that other rural PCTs will take the lead from these two brave PCTs and refuse to cooperate with the "one size fits all" dogma of this government.


She does not NAG you, she becomes verbally repetitive

She has not BEEN AROUND - She is a previously-enjoyed companion

She is not EASY, a TRAMP or a TROLLOP - She is sexually extroverted or horizontally accessible

He does not have a BEER GUT - He has a liquid grain storage facility

He is not afraid of COMMITMENT - He is Relationship Challenged

He does not GET LOST ALL THE TIME - He investigates alternative destinations.

Seen recently on a Fathers' Day card: "A father is a man with photographs where he use to keep his money"


Ian Stephens performs Country Music and Music from the '60s. All will be welcome.

Tickets £5 from Ian and Deannie Nisbet (01842 828956) or Madge Watts (01366 728211)

Best wishes to you all

Ian G. Nisbet

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