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Re: [GreenYes] plastic lumber
I cannot help laughing (and of course, i do NOT mean this personally) at
David Wollner's comment "If plastic can be made from renewable resources
and in a non-polluting way, then by all means lets make lumber."
Lumber--the real thing--is made of cellulose, a polymer, made by Nature in
as non-polluting and renewable way as can be imagined, namely
photosynthesis.  If humankind is to embrace sustainability, as it MUST,
then much of our effort should be focussed  using renwable resources like
trees and crops, in place of petroleum and coal.  Before WWII, many
products were based on carbohydrates:  glue from soybeans, rayon fiber from
cellulose (probably wood), etc. Linoleum derives its name from linoleic
acid which cames from either corn or soybeans.  The list goes on.  In
making chemicals from petroleum we, with the help of the chemical industry,
have become chemically dependent--addicted to a never-ending flow of oil.
In addition, we have created monstrosities like PCBs, dioxins,
chlorobenzenes, etc. which persist in the environment, and are toxic.
    Are carbohydrates a panacea?  No. Are there complicating issues like
genetically modfied crops? Of course.  But overall, we have to get off our
addiction to oil.

At 10:45 AM 01/07/2002 +0200, you wrote:
>David Wollner wrote:
>> Making post consumer plastic into lumber doesn't wipe away the
>> depletion of non-renewable resources nor the environmental hazards
>> posed by plastic. Sure, we have all this stuff and let's do something
>> with it, but, if that's the extent of our conversation regarding
>> plastic, that it is an immutable fact of life like the sun rising and
>> falling, then we are not doing our job. The evidence of the harm that
>> plastic's creation has unleashed needs to be addressed first and
>> foremost. If plastic can be made from renewable resources and in a
>> non-polluting way, then by all means lets make lumber. Until then,
>> lets figure out how to clean up the planet.
>hear, hear!
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        Don Hughes      Dept. of Chemistry
        315-470-6597    431 Jahn Lab
			SUNY-College of environmental science & forestry
                        SYRACUSE, NY 13210
 "If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a
            George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

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