Non-Plastics (for Decorative or Structural Applications)

• Wood, bamboo, cork, wool, rubber, and other natural fibers

• Cast iron, aluminum, steel, and other metals

More details about the production of PVC are described in the excellent film, Blue Vinyl.[52]

Material and energy substitution isn’t easy, but it’s critical to address. Designers must take the initiative and seek out cooperation with colleagues across the development and manu­facturing spectrum in order to make informed decisions about product attributes, as well as giving suggestions to clients on how to evolve. Each project will have specific and different opportunities and challenges, but a short list of tactics you can use applies across most projects:

• Avoid materials that have an adverse effect on human and environmental health when­ever possible. This reduces product liability and risk as well as material impact.

• Use the least toxic materials possible and the minimal amounts of any toxic material needed.

• Investigate new manufacturing processes that require fewer toxic materials.

• Investigate processes that remediate toxicity of materials and waste, such as “living ma-

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chines or eco machines.

• Plan to test products, emissions, and waste regularly in the manufacturing process.

• Specifically, avoid PVC whenever possible.


Updated: October 1, 2015 — 2:57 am