Thursday, December 06, 2007

Beyond recycling
[This is my Materials Witness column for the January 2008 issue of Nature Materials.]

It is surely ironic that global warming and environmental degradation now pose serious risks at a time when industry and technology are cleaner than at any other stage of the Industrial Revolution. Admittedly, that may not be globally true, but in principle we can manufacture products and generate energy more efficiently and with less pollution than ever before. So why the problem?

Partly, the answer is obvious: cleaner technologies struggle to keep pace with increased industrial activity as populations and economies grow. And green methodologies are typically costly, so aren’t universally available. But the equation is still more complex than that. For example, cars can be more fuel-efficient, less polluting and cheaper. But consumers who save money on fuel tend to spend it elsewhere: they drive more, say, or they spend it on holiday air flights. And cheap cars mean more cars. There is an ‘environmental rebound effect’ to such savings, counteracting the gains.

This is just one way in which ‘green’ manufacturing – using fewer materials and environmentally friendly processing, recycling wastes, and making products themselves recyclable or biodegradable – may fall short of its goal of making the world cleaner. All of these things are surely valuable, indeed essential, in making economic growth sustainable. But the problem goes beyond how things are made, to the issue of how they are used. We need to look not just at production, but at consumption.

One of the initiatives here is the so-called Product-Service System (PSS): a combination of product design and manufacture with the supply of related consumer services that has the potential to give consumers greater utility while reducing the ecological footprint. That might sound like marketing jargon, but it’s a tangible concept of proven value, enacted for example in formalized car-sharing schemes, leasing of temporary furnished office space, biological pest management services, and polystyrene recycling. It’s not mere philanthropy either: there’s a profit incentive too.

One of the key benefits of a PSS approach is that it might offer a way of simply making less stuff. You don’t need to be an eco-warrior to be shocked at the senseless excesses of current manufacturing. A splendid example of an alternative model is offered by a team in Sweden, who have outlined plans for a baby-pram leasing and remanufacturing scheme (O. Mont et al., J. Cleaner Prod. 14, 1509; 2006). Since baby prams generally last for much longer than they are needed (per child), who not lease one instead of buying it? If the infrastructure exists for repairing minor wear and tear, every customer gets an ‘as new’ product, and no prams end up on the waste tip in a near-pristine state.

Developing countries are often adept at informal schemes like this already: little gets thrown away there. But if implemented all the way from the product design stage, it is much more than recycling. What remains is to break our current cult of ‘product ownership’. Prams seem as good a place to start as any.


uhfdf said...

歐美a免費線上看,熊貓貼圖區,ec成人,聊天室080,aaa片免費看短片,dodo豆豆聊天室,一對一電話視訊聊天,自拍圖片集,走光露點,123456免費電影,本土自拍,美女裸體寫真,影片轉檔程式,成人視訊聊天,貼圖俱樂部,辣妹自拍影片,自拍電影免費下載,電話辣妹視訊,情色自拍貼圖,卡通做愛影片下載,日本辣妹自拍全裸,美女裸體模特兒,showlive影音聊天網,日本美女寫真,色情網,台灣自拍貼圖,情色貼圖貼片,百分百成人圖片 ,情色網站,a片網站,ukiss聊天室,卡通成人網,3級女星寫真,080 苗栗人聊天室,成人情色小說,免費成人片觀賞,

傑克論壇,維納斯成人用品,免費漫畫,內衣廣告美女,免費成人影城,a漫,國中女孩寫真自拍照片,ut男同志聊天室,女優,網友自拍,aa片免費看影片,玩美女人短片試看片,草莓論壇,kiss911貼圖片區,免費電影,免費成人,歐美 性感 美女 桌布,視訊交友高雄網,工藤靜香寫真集,金瓶梅免費影片,成人圖片 ,女明星裸體寫真,台灣處女貼圖貼片區,成人小遊戲,布蘭妮貼圖片區,美女視訊聊天,免費情色卡通短片,免費av18禁影片,小高聊天室,小老鼠論壇,免費a長片線上看,真愛love777聊天室,聊天ukiss,情色自拍貼圖,寵物女孩自拍網,免費a片下載,日本情色寫真,美女內衣秀,色情網,

liwo said...


女優王國,免費無碼a片,0800a片區,免費線上遊戲,無名正妹牆,成人圖片,寫真美女,av1688影音娛樂網,dodo豆豆聊天室,網拍模特兒,成人文學,免費試看a片,a片免費看,成人情色小說,美腿絲襪,影片下載,美女a片,人體寫真模特兒,熊貓成人貼,kiss情色,美女遊戲區,104 貼圖區,線上看,aaa片免費看影片,天堂情色,躺伯虎聊天室,洪爺情色網,kiss情色網,貼影區,雄貓貼圖,080苗栗人聊天室,都都成人站,尋夢園聊天室,a片線上觀看,無碼影片,情慾自拍,免費成人片,影音城論壇,情色成人,最新免費線上遊戲,a383影音城,美腿,色情寫真,xxx383成人視訊,視訊交友90739,av女優影片,