Re: Is building green, green or is it light gray
From: Jim Rebman (seamusindra.com)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 10:17:16 -0700 (PDT)

from manufacture to disposal of glass bottles, plastic and cardboard.


Did it talk exclusively about recycling? Did it mention reusing glass bottles? Did it factor in disproportionately increasing petrochemical pricing (plastic bottles and plastic and/or wax coatings for milk cartons)? Did it talk about hidden subsidies vs. the real cost both in environmental and economic terms of the various materials used, energy consumption, etc?

I can see where it would be cheaper to produce and package with paper cartons and plastic bottles, but what's the real cost of that versus a one-time high cost to produce a glass bottle and then reuse it?

Not saying I have the answer, but I'm always concerned about the research and methods that go into these kinds of comparisons.

The longetivity issue with concrete and steel is valid, but I wonder what the real cost in terms of the huge amounts of energy needed to produce them is -- mining, transportation, ore refinement, production, more transportation, etc., etc.

The analysis of true costs is hugely complex and requires a lot more work than simply adding up the over-the-counter costs of finished and raw materials.

Always the skeptic <smile>.

-- Jim



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