Posts tagged Plastic
3:40 pm - Sat, Aug 23, 2014
196 notes
Here’s a fascinating — if not exactly uplifting — look at the economics, business, and design strategies that led to our throwaway culture came about: Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy « Discard Studies:

About one third of MSW [municipal solid waste] —food scraps, and to a debatable extent, yard trimmings—are present in pre-modern waste.
The rest of modern MSW are disposables: paper, plastics, aluminum, textiles, and packaging.[i] In 1956, Lloyd Stouffer, editor of Modern Packaging Inc., famously (and controversially at the time) declared: “The future of plastics is in the trash can” (Stouffer 1963: 1).
Stouffer’s idea addressed an emerging problem for industry. Products tended to be durable, easy to fix, and limited in variation (such as color or style). With this mode of design, markets were quickly saturating (Packard 1960; Cohen 2003). Opportunities for growth, and thus profit, were rapidly diminishing, particularly after America’s Great Depression and the two World Wars, where an ethos of preservation, reuse, and frugality was cultivated.
In response, industry intervened on a material level and developed disposability through planned obsolescence, single-use items, cheap materials, throw-away packaging, fashion, and conspicuous consumption. These changes were supported by a regimen of advertising that telegraphed industrial principals of value into the social realm, suggesting the difference between durable and disposable, esteemed and taboo.
American industry designed a shift in values that circulated goods through, rather than into, the consumer realm. The truism that humans are inherently wasteful came into being at a particular time and place, by design. 

There’s a ton of great info in this piece, it really is a good read. The over-arching point is that the shifts are so massive that we can’t solve them via individual behavior-change (recycling, etc.) alone; we need policy-level solutions.
I half-agree: Yes, we need policy-level solutions, but we’re more likely to get there by way of individual-level action, behavior change, and engagement. Which is what this site encourages.

Here’s a fascinating — if not exactly uplifting — look at the economics, business, and design strategies that led to our throwaway culture came about: Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy « Discard Studies:

About one third of MSW [municipal solid waste] —food scraps, and to a debatable extent, yard trimmings—are present in pre-modern waste.

The rest of modern MSW are disposables: paper, plastics, aluminum, textiles, and packaging.[i] In 1956, Lloyd Stouffer, editor of Modern Packaging Inc., famously (and controversially at the time) declared: “The future of plastics is in the trash can” (Stouffer 1963: 1).

Stouffer’s idea addressed an emerging problem for industry. Products tended to be durable, easy to fix, and limited in variation (such as color or style). With this mode of design, markets were quickly saturating (Packard 1960; Cohen 2003). Opportunities for growth, and thus profit, were rapidly diminishing, particularly after America’s Great Depression and the two World Wars, where an ethos of preservation, reuse, and frugality was cultivated.

In response, industry intervened on a material level and developed disposability through planned obsolescence, single-use items, cheap materials, throw-away packaging, fashion, and conspicuous consumption. These changes were supported by a regimen of advertising that telegraphed industrial principals of value into the social realm, suggesting the difference between durable and disposable, esteemed and taboo.

American industry designed a shift in values that circulated goods through, rather than into, the consumer realm. The truism that humans are inherently wasteful came into being at a particular time and place, by design.

There’s a ton of great info in this piece, it really is a good read. The over-arching point is that the shifts are so massive that we can’t solve them via individual behavior-change (recycling, etc.) alone; we need policy-level solutions.

I half-agree: Yes, we need policy-level solutions, but we’re more likely to get there by way of individual-level action, behavior change, and engagement. Which is what this site encourages.

3:40 pm - Wed, Aug 20, 2014
208 notes

Bionic Yarns [is] a New York City-based startup that makes fabric from recycled ocean plastic, and next month, the company is launching its biggest collaboration to date with designer clothing company G-Star RAW.
The “RAW for the Oceans line” includes a range of denim products that, all told, are woven with some nine tons of ocean plastic inside. It’s a tiny fraction of the pollution problem, but you have to start somewhere.

More: How a Pair of Jeans Could Save Our Plastic-Choked Oceans | Business | WIRED

Bionic Yarns [is] a New York City-based startup that makes fabric from recycled ocean plastic, and next month, the company is launching its biggest collaboration to date with designer clothing company G-Star RAW.

The “RAW for the Oceans line” includes a range of denim products that, all told, are woven with some nine tons of ocean plastic inside. It’s a tiny fraction of the pollution problem, but you have to start somewhere.

More: How a Pair of Jeans Could Save Our Plastic-Choked Oceans | Business | WIRED

3:40 pm - Thu, Jul 17, 2014
101 notes

If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. …
It’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.
The structure … is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.

More: A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC | Colossal

If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. …

It’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.

The structure … is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.

More: A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC | Colossal

12:20 pm - Mon, Jul 7, 2014
307 notes

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Dave Hakkens has made his own machines for recycling plastic to make new products locally and plans to share the designs so others around the world can do the same.

The Precious Plastic machines by Dave Hakkens include a plastic shredder, extruder, injection moulder and rotation moulder, which are all based on industrial machines but modified to be less complex and more flexible.

More: Precious Plastic open-source recycling machines | design | Dezeen

12:20 pm - Wed, Jun 25, 2014
920 notes

An inventive Russian YouTuber has figured out how to turn plastic bottles into string, using purely mechanical means. After “unraveling” a single bottle he’s left with what appear to be several yards’ worth of filament, which he then uses to bind things together.
Hitting the resultant plastic twine with a heat gun causes it to partially melt and shrink, more or less fusing it into place.

(via The Most Creative Recycling We’ve Seen Yet: Turn Plastic Bottles into String - Core77)

An inventive Russian YouTuber has figured out how to turn plastic bottles into string, using purely mechanical means. After “unraveling” a single bottle he’s left with what appear to be several yards’ worth of filament, which he then uses to bind things together.

Hitting the resultant plastic twine with a heat gun causes it to partially melt and shrink, more or less fusing it into place.

(via The Most Creative Recycling We’ve Seen Yet: Turn Plastic Bottles into String - Core77)

3:40 pm - Thu, Jun 19, 2014
85 notes
A 3D printer from Will.i.am and Coca Cola? Not usually something I’d mention here. BUT:

The Ekocycle Cube printer’s cartridges will include filament – 3D printing’s equivalent of ink for traditional printers – partly made from used plastic bottles.
The company says each cartridge will contain 25% of “post-consumer recycled materials”, using an average of three bottles.

More: Will.i.am aims to shake up 3D printing with Coca-Cola branded Ekocycle Cube | Technology | theguardian.com

A 3D printer from Will.i.am and Coca Cola? Not usually something I’d mention here. BUT:

The Ekocycle Cube printer’s cartridges will include filament – 3D printing’s equivalent of ink for traditional printers – partly made from used plastic bottles.

The company says each cartridge will contain 25% of “post-consumer recycled materials”, using an average of three bottles.

More: Will.i.am aims to shake up 3D printing with Coca-Cola branded Ekocycle Cube | Technology | theguardian.com

12:20 pm - Sun, Jun 15, 2014
263 notes

Corrugated tin roofs are waterproof but have serious downsides. They trap heat, and though a super hot home may be less miserable than getting rained on, it is nevertheless is unpleasant. When it rains, the noise can be so deafening it drowns out everything.
David Saiia, a professor of strategic management and sustainability at Duquesne University, has come up with a brilliant alternative: plastic thatch, sourced from the vast soda-bottle waste stream.

Much more here: A Second Life for Wasted Soda Bottles: High-Tech Roofing - Betsy Teutsch - The Atlantic

Corrugated tin roofs are waterproof but have serious downsides. They trap heat, and though a super hot home may be less miserable than getting rained on, it is nevertheless is unpleasant. When it rains, the noise can be so deafening it drowns out everything.

David Saiia, a professor of strategic management and sustainability at Duquesne University, has come up with a brilliant alternative: plastic thatch, sourced from the vast soda-bottle waste stream.

Much more here: A Second Life for Wasted Soda Bottles: High-Tech Roofing - Betsy Teutsch - The Atlantic

5:24 pm - Sat, Jun 14, 2014
7,096 notes
theonion:

Child Entertained For 5 Minutes By Plastic Toy That Will Take 1,000 Years To Biodegrade

Yep.
3:08 pm - Wed, Jun 11, 2014
153 notes
Heinz and Ford exploring new uses for tomato waste

Heinz ends up with a large number of byproducts while using more than two million tons of tomatoes annually to make ketchup and the hope is that the skins, peels, stems and seeds can be recycled to make a plant-based plastic. 
Ford has also enlisted the help of Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble to help create “a 100 percent plant-based plastic to be used to make everything from fabric to packaging.” 

(via UPI.com) 
See also: Earlier Unconsumption posts on bioplastics here. 

Heinz and Ford exploring new uses for tomato waste

Heinz ends up with a large number of byproducts while using more than two million tons of tomatoes annually to make ketchup and the hope is that the skins, peels, stems and seeds can be recycled to make a plant-based plastic. 

Ford has also enlisted the help of Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble to help create “a 100 percent plant-based plastic to be used to make everything from fabric to packaging.” 

(via UPI.com

See also: Earlier Unconsumption posts on bioplastics here

12:20 pm - Fri, Jun 6, 2014
209 notes

Dave Hakkens’ Precious Plastic [is] a set of ‘plastic machines’ created for small-scale DIY plastic recycling. 

In a nutshell, this project (still in progress) aims to enable 3D printing using directly recycled plastics, rather than the more familiar freshly bought plastic filament.
More here: "Precious Plastic" Aims To Make 3D-Printing Eco-Friendly And Recyclable | The Creators Project

Dave Hakkens’ Precious Plastic [is] a set of ‘plastic machines’ created for small-scale DIY plastic recycling.

In a nutshell, this project (still in progress) aims to enable 3D printing using directly recycled plastics, rather than the more familiar freshly bought plastic filament.

More here: "Precious Plastic" Aims To Make 3D-Printing Eco-Friendly And Recyclable | The Creators Project

12:20 pm - Thu, Jun 5, 2014
160 notes

Lebanese American University architecture students assemble emergency shelter using plastic crates + ties

"The ‘emergency plastic crates shelter’, designed by third year architecture students at the lebanese american university has been assembled as a 1:1 scale prototype on site at LAU’s byblos campus.

Studio instructor richard douzjian requested for the temporary structures to be developed from common, everyday objects that are easily accessible to people all-over the world, as many refugees are forced to incorporate such materials into creating their own living environments.

More: designboom

3:40 pm - Wed, May 28, 2014
82 notes

Video: Dell debuts carbon-negative plastic packaging:

An announcement from Dell …  that it will become the first tech company to use carbon-negative plastic in product shipments may become the company’s first step toward using the sustainable material in devices.

How soon Dell may seriously consider using the AirCarbon material produced by Newlight Technologies in laptops and tablets depends on how well the packaging performs and how quickly the California startup will be able to scale to meet the demands of a company many times its size, said Oliver Campbell, Dell’s director of procurement.

While almost all plastics are made from oil or other fossil fuels, AirCarbon is made from gases that would otherwise only be released into the atmosphere, including methane and carbon dioxide that is generated at farms, water treatment plants, landfills and energy facilities.

Newlight combines the captured carbon with a “biocatalyst” in a reactor. Mixing the two causes carbon molecules to separate and then reform into AirCarbon, which behaves very much like conventional plastic.

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