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Re: [GreenYes] recycled plastic bycicles
I enjoyed your little rant on plastic, but before you settle on an metal 
fenders, check out the impacts of electroplating!

At 06:34 PM 10/24/2001 -0700, Paul Goettlich wrote:
>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
>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
>    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:
>Paul Goettlich
>PO Box 517
>Berkeley  CA  94701
>Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur
>----- Original Message -----
>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!
>Todo o mundo passa por aqui!
>To post to the greenyes list,
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