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January 10, 2014

Amsterdam district bans disposable plastic bags

Filed under: Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 2:17 pm

plastic-bag-kate-ter-haarThe vendors of the market on Plein ’40-’45 in Amsterdam (district of Nieuw-West) have stopped handing out free plastic bags in an effort to stem litter.

Shoppers are requested to bring their own bag. The district says on its website:

Thousands of bags a day were handed out at the market. Most of these bags ended up in the garbage having been used only once and many bags blew away and littered the neighbourhood.

In 2011 the market in Dordrecht started an awareness campaign with the same goal. Vendors were asked to display signs asking shoppers to bring their own bags. According to the campaign website, one vendor, a baker called Kanters, has seen the amount of plastic bags he handed out for free drop by as much as 90%. He has since started charging 10 cent a bag from the remaining die-hards among his customers.

(Photo by Kate ter Haar, some rights reserved)

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March 6, 2013

Taking the guesswork out of expiration dates

Filed under: Food & Drink,Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:34 pm

Expiration dates on food are just a guideline. Sometimes, things like milk are bad from the get-go, while tinned products seem to last for years. However, we don’t really know, as most of us make sure nothing green is growing on our food or sniff it to make sure it smells alright.

But wouldn’t it be great to have the guesswork taken out of the equation? The Eindhoven University of Technology is working on doing just that using a plastic analogue-digital converter, or plastic chip. The cost of having these chips on food are less than a euro cent and could also be used for other expiration date sensitive goods such as medicine.

One of the researchers on this project says food can be monitored already using standard silicon chips, but that is too expensive, about 10 euro cent, which is too much for a one euro item. That is why they are using plastic, as the chips can be applied directly to packaging. And apparently, the chips use some very complex mathematics to make sure they work properly.

(Link: opmerkelijk.nieuws.nl, Photo of Orange juice – expiration date by viZZZual.com, some rights reserved)

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April 25, 2011

Modern still lifes by Richard Kuiper

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 10:54 am

Behold this 17th century painting, the delightful play of dark and light. Except it is not a painting, or even from the 17th century, as Hans Aarsman points out:

Look carefully now. Doesn’t the dark grey tablecloth look remotely familiar? It’s a plastic bin bag, just torn from the roll, the folds unmistakably plastic bin bag folds. The plates are made of plastic too. The lemon, the cans, everything is made of plastic. Close examination will reveal the casting seams. The fish is inflatable.

This doesn’t celebrate the old, it celebrates the here and now.

(Photo: Richard Kuiper)

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