Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by milifestyle, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    PVC is one of those plastics that can not be avoided. It carries water and sewerage waste and is used to collect rain water from roofs for collection in tanks etc, These days PVC can found in anything from Childrens toys to clothing.

    Some studies suggest PVC can leach dioxins into water. UPVC is said to contain less chemicals because of reduced polymers (?)

    Water tanks are often made from PVC (as opposed to Fibreglass or corrugated iron).

    Hotouses and Chicken tractors can be made from PVC (frame and hothouse plastic).

    I have always been more tolerant of plastics (finished product) especially when used in a permanent fixture (like pipes etc, (plastic bags and packaging is another story :-x ) than i am of liquid chemicals.

    I am currently in a position where i am needing to make and use rabbit feeders using uPVC pipe due to other feeder types causing a waste of around 50% of food.

    Given my zero tolerance to chemicals (in the liquid form), i find myself questioning whether i should use the PVC feeders or continue with the higher cost and wasted food.

    Who regularly uses PVC pipe in Permaculture applications, What is the likelyhood dioxins would leach into the food (only used for grain and dry food)...??
     
  2. newcroft

    newcroft Junior Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    Hi,

    As mentioned here; viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7195&start=10 I said I would download the podcast to see what he had to say. Unfortunately, the podcast version doesn't contain the interview - which is a shame because he went on to talk about some of the plastics that didn't seem to bad. But, it seems that PVC isn't one of them;

    https://www.femail.com.au/slow-death-by-rubber-duck.htm
    I really think some more research is needed...
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    I think the pvc with softeners in it to make it flexible is extremely and directly problematic eg shower curtains and childrens' toys and some food containers. It's used in ALOT of products. Cars too I think. If you can smell it, then you are getting molecules in your body. Directly, because it affects the person or animal using it. I will go to great lengths to avoid flexible pvc.

    Heat and hot water seems to activate pvc pollution, so it's best used in situations that are cool and don't involve hot water. I'm still not convinced that storing water in plastic is a good idea and probably wouldn't choose that option if I could afford another one.

    The harder pvc products are more stable I think. Problems there may be around production and disposal rather than directly, so they are still a significant pollutant. So I try and avoid buying new pvc as much as I can (which is actually quite a lot).

    For something like a rabbit feeder for dry food I'd use it if I couldn't find another solution. I'd see the problems as production and disposal over the lifetime of the plastic rather than being directly a problem to the rabbits (and later to you). But who knows? Maybe the chemistry of the rabbit food along with the hot sun make it more toxic?

    Do you want us to brainstorm some other solutions?
     
  4. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    Thanks for the input...

    ...i'm open to any and all alternative suggestions.

    The PVC feeder as in the picture costs about $5 to make. Similar metal or alternative metal feeders sell for around $30 and would cost maybe $15 to make. Cost wise, PVC is better, but money shouldn't override health, not in my book anyway.
     
  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    Hi Eric,

    I tend to avoid PVC piping and use ABS instead (metal roofing, metal gutters, ABS pipe for sand filter and to direct captured water into the cistern). Although the detrimental effects of ABS is still being quantified/studied, PVC is known to be a poor choice https://www.lft-group.com/journal/2008/12/2/be-plastic-aware-dangers.html

    That being said, what'cha gonna use instead???? Aluminum pipe? Copper? Steel???? Or maybe carve some wood into shape? It's all about choices and you are being very responsible in questioning yours. Thanks for bringing this up. I'll continue to question my own choices! = )

    Bill
     
  6. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    See that was my issue, if not PVC, then what else that wouldn't bring about lead contamination or copper poisoning.

    Perhaps this is a case of Better the devil you know ?
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    What about a bamboo tube with an upside down U shape at the bottom, secured onto a wooden tray for the feed to fall on to? You could cap it with a tile or a circle of wood.

    You could grow the bamboo and have an endless supply, and use scrap for the rest.
     
  8. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    I've never tried bamboo... would they eat it like they do wood?
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    'spose so - but if you could grow a new one next week would it matter? You could regard it as a fibre supplement!
     
  10. JohnB

    JohnB Junior Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    I think it depends what it's being used for. If there's a risk of contamination I'd try to avoid it.

    I'd also try to avoid using new PVC products, but if it's second hand I'm sure it would be used more responsibly in a permaculture environment than outside it. Less enlightened people would probably throw it into landfill when they've finished with it. I hope we'd get as much use out of it as possible, and dispose of it responsibility when it has no possible further use.
     
  11. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

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    Re: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) use in the Permaculture environment

    For your specific application here, I'd go to the tip recycling shop and buy some lengths of metal downpipe. You can buy short lengths that nobody else has a use for, so it'd be dirt cheap, and it wouldn't be hard to fashion it into a feeder similar to the one pictured.
     

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