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Re: [BKARTS] plastic books

Hi Audrey and other people on this planet:

Thanks Lani for first mentioning the book "Cradle to Cradle." As I can't
afford every book I want to read, I checked the online catalogue of the
central public library in Vancouver Canada. I see that it is a new book and
they have two on order. Already 10 people have requested to read it. I can
order it from Amazon for US$17.50.

Here is copy from the back of the book: "Reduce, reuse, recycle, urge
environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize
damage. But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart
point out in this provocative, visionary book, such an approach only
perpetuates the one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model, dating to
the Industrial Revolution, that creates such fantastic amounts of waste and
pollution in the first place. Why not challenge the belief that human
industry must damage the natural world? In fact, why not take nature itself
as our model for making things? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in
order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance not wasteful but
safe, beautiful, and highly effective.

The other day I was hiking down from Crown Mtn on the north edge of
Vancouver Canada. I came down as it was getting dark and the lights of the
city were coming on. I got to thinking how many light bulbs there must be
installed in all those buildings. The human effort that has gone into
installing all those doors. But in the mountains I had just come down from,
the trees and plants just keep growing automatically. So could plants be
developed that would grow into houses? Would be neat eh? And cheaper! How
about a book that grows from your mind?

I would like to read the book Cradle to Cradle to see what new "practical
insights" the authors can give. Is printing on plastic the answer to the
paper waste? I haven't done a study and so can't really say for sure.
Plastic generally costs quite a bit more than paper but when coated or high
quality paper is required then the situation changes. Here are some facts:

   1. Presently cheapest raw plastics cost at least 2x the cost of pulp
   2. Plastic paper such as Tyvek is much more expensive than plastic film
   3. Plastic film is not as stiff as paper and generally is thicker for
pages and so costs even more
   4. Plastic is waterproof
   5. Plastic has a smooth surface suitable for high quality graphics
   6. Plastic can be made to be completely biodegradable but this plastic
costs 4x as much as cheap plastic
   7. Plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylene can be recycled very
   8. Plastics can be made from corn, straw, and biomass as raw materials
   9. Plastic is generally harder to print on but newer UV curable inks may
change this

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC V3K1G3 Canada
E-mail: ben@benwiens.com
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
Read my popular web-booklet "The Future of Energy"

-----Original Message-----
 This might be a question Ben could answer best, but plastic books as an
illustration of less wasteful design?  Wouldn't old fashioned paper serve
designer's purposes better being a renewable resource and biodegradable?  I
thought plastic was the demon resource made from hydro carbons and required
lot of energy to make.


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