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Re: [GreenYes] recycled plastic bycicles
Dear InÍs

Many would prefer that you didn't use plastic to make your bike.

With regards to health effects, one thing that can be said about plastics is
that there hasn't been a good one yet. Every step of its "life" is toxic.
Some are worse than others (PVC the worst), but, in general, plastics should
be avoided if at all possible. And it is possible.

The plastics industry is already working hard to recreate the world from
plastics, so you don't need to help them.

Plastic is light-weight, but a cruel joke to play on an unsuspecting buyer
that thinks it can perform like real materials.

Plastic is not recycled...
at least not in the true sense of the word. It's only reused a few times
before it becomes trash shipped off to our freinds in India, because they
really need the cash we pay them to take it. Maybe a bit of it makes it to
being reincarnated as a park bench or plastic decking material. Plastic wood
is only used for nonstructural applications because it has no strength, a
huge coefficient of expansion, and weighs almost as much as iron. All those
plastic benches -- when the earth will collapse from the weight?

Plastics make terrible mechanical parts -- the weak point of most products.
Last week I borrowed a handcart from the Ecology Center that had plastics
wheels. What I carried wasn't particularly heavy, and I didn't give it any
shocks like running it up stairs. One of the wheels broke. I spent most of
the afternoon searching for a replacement. After exhausting all possible
outlets, I gave up and got prices for new hand carts.

I made the mistake of buying a plastic bike rack for my car. I got talked
into what I thought would be easily adapted to various cars. It cost more
than the simple metal model, and it didn't last one summer. Junk. Pathetic
junk.

Manufacturers of car engines make some parts from plastic -- they say to
lighten the load... it's more likely to lighten the manufacturing cost
(without droppping the price.) Those parts always break first and most
frequently. The new plastic bumbers look horrible after one tiny bump from
the car in front backing out of a parking space, and forget about actually
pushing a car on its plastic bumper.

Plastic kitchen tools are worthless. And who wants to drain spaghetti and
get toxic chemicals along with it at the same time? Or how about killing
your paraquet while you fry and egg in a teflon pan?

Plastic does goes well with nonorganic milk. That combination gets all the
toxins in one place...
   rBGH - genetically engineered growth hormones
   milk   -  pesticides, antibiotics, and whatever else can be dumped into
it
   plastic cup - plasticizers, stabilizers, etc.

Check out this article on a new genetically engineered plastic tree, then
get back to making the bicycle out of metal that will last:
http://www.mindfully.org/GE/McDough.htm

Paul

Paul Goettlich
PO Box 517
Berkeley  CA  94701
www.mindfully.org
gottlich@infi.net
Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur
----- Original Message -----
From: scully_101@iol.pt
To: greenyes@grrn.org
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2001 5:30 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] recycled plastic bycicles


Hi! I'm new here, but I hope that you can help me with this:

I'm an environmental engineer student in Portugal, and I'm doing a research
about bicycles made, or partiatly made, of plastic, but I don't have any
information about that specific theme ( about design, type of plastic
needed, etc...). The resarch over the internet isn't going very well, so I'm
hoping that someone could help me with a link, or a e-mail contact to
someone that can share the information?

Thanks for helping!

InÍs
www.IOL.pt
Todo o mundo passa por aqui!

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