Materials Good News StoriesPosted: January 16, 2012 Filed under: Scenarios of Sustainability | Tags: bioplastic toys, bioplastic vacuum cleaner, commercially available sustainable materials, second harvest paper 1 Comment
I’ve been collecting a handful of good news stories around materials for a rainy day. These are not crazy, wild stories, but accessible innovations that are commercially available. They’re not thrilling like silk from a hagfish, but they are real, which is very important.
Are Vacuum Cleaners the Measure of Success?
TED talks like this one from Capt. Charles Moore have me convinced that recycled plastic is mostly a myth. His research has suggested that exactly “diddly squat” percent of plastic is recycled. While that sounds a little harsh, it’s probably not far from the truth. Ever since my rant about upcycling in nature I have been looking for examples where plastic is not only recycled, but is also used at a high quality. MBA Polymers is a company that has an impressive sourcing program for collecting high grade polymers that can be produced at a level that replaces virgin materials. The products they are being used for are not earth shattering; vacuum cleaners and desk top stationary items, but perhaps that is actually the point. When “high-end” recycled plastic is used for standard items, maybe that means the material is doing it’s job and doesn’t require a fancy design statement to make it legitimate.